Project 10: Focal Lengths and Different Viewpoints

The bad weather (torrential rain) has kept me from exposing my… wait for it!! camera of late (not to mention effects its had on the cricket), but the sun has returned, and i have ventured out to get this project completed.

As with the last project, I needed to use 2 lenses, one wide and one telephoto. I needed to find a scene with enough space in front to allow me to be able to move forward and choose different view points, from close in to far out.

To start with I need to to fit the telephoto, set with a focal length of 200mm and compose a shot, ensuring that the subject fills the frame. After taking this I then had to change my telephoto lens to a wide-angle, then walk towards the subject, checking in the view finder until the subject fills the frame, once there compose and take a second shot.

The last project showed me how the change in focal length, can determine either  an increase or decrease of  coverage of a scene, through the viewfinder. Although the shape of the two frames does not change, and the line of view is direct, the difference between the two images is dramatic. Below each picture I have described the different characteristics.

focal length 18mm

focal length 18mm

The first image taken about 300m from the building was taken with my 18-55mm, with a focal length of 18mm, giving me the widest possible view of the scene. This image gives the viewer an understanding of the environment that the building is set in, and allows them to explore. Although this image’s horizon looks relatively straight, the whole scene is on a slant and slopes down to the left, something that can be seen in the foreground, but not in the distance. The tree lines, either side, because they extend to the edge of the frame, and the two on the extremes are not whole, give the impression to the viewer, that scene extends beyond the frame. The tree line, also, because of the size difference (taller at the frame edge & narrower towards the building) are providing some diagonal lines to take the viewer into the scene. There is also more depth to this image, than the second image.

focal length 85mm

focal length 85mm

After closing in on the subject, in a direct line, the second image taken about 130m from the building. This time I switched lenses to 55-200mm, however, due to the capabilities of the zoom, was unable to extend the focal length more than 85mm.  This, give me a tightly cropped and very subjective view of the building. Opposite to the first image, I have lost the depth in this one. My diagonal lead-in lines from the trees have also disappeared, however, I have now gained horizontals from the rooftop, pelmet and the windows as well as verticals from the pillars, porch and change of brickwork. The slope I mentioned earlier is also prominent in this image.

click here to to see my references for this project

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