4 May 2010

The Frame: Project - Focal lengths, pt 2

Exercise: Focal lengths and different viewpoints
2 photographs

Click here to view album

There’s not a great difference in the focal lengths for this exercise; the first photo was taken at 55mm and the second at 18mm, each taken at different distances. Despite this, there is still an obvious difference between the two.

This first photograph taken at a short focal length (or wide-angle) has a greater sense of depth compared to the one taken at 55mm owing to a different perspective. At 18mm, the bottle of Crown Royal appears to stand taller that the Jim Beam toward the left of the frame. It is almost as if the scene is sweeping away from the viewer and pulling off into the distance.

In reality, a Jim Beam bottle stands taller than Crown Royal, as captured in the photo taken at 55mm. Scenes such as this may not lend themselves to a wide-angle; the situtation may dictate an accurate representation over a impression of depth.


I was out over the weekend taking some photographs and came across this wonderful scene of three archways that had the city-line in the background. I took the first picture close up at a wide-angle and, on reviewing the photo, thought that there was too much ‘empty space’ in each arch. Then I remembered doing this exercise and recalled that I could change the perspective by switching to a telephoto. So I stood back, zoomed in, and achieved a completely different picture! I am amazed at the sheer difference between the two photographs below – I am really going to have to think hard and experiment with focal lengths when I am out-and-about from now on!

Click here to view the whole album.

Also, I found a couple of great articles on the Cambridge in Colour website through the OCA course resources that gives great tips on utilising wide-angle and telephoto lenses.

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