Photography Lesson – No 1 – Wide Angle & Telephoto
Finally I have managed to achieve one of my ambitions and that is to have photography lessons.
Though I have always enjoyed taking pictures it has always been with a point and shoot number. It wasn’t until I suffered health problems, had my mobility challenged, which threatened to incarcerate me to my bed permanently, never to glimpse outside again, or so I thought, that when in fact I in fact did get outside it was as if someone had taken the blinkers off. Everything, I mean everything was stunning, beautiful, had to be captured, to the extent I nearly put my children off having their photos taken for life. I have calmed down somewhat, however my love of capturing nature and all it provides still an incredibly rewarding experience of which I am grateful to be able to do.
It was also at this time that I started blogging and met other fellow photography enthusiasts. Whilst they seemed to develop their skill sets in this realm I seemed to remain stagnant, perhaps my fear of technology and figuring photography seemed to include some degree of mathematical skill of which I am useless. So I would just admire my friends photos with an “oooh” an an “aah” wishing inside I could do similar.
So here we are, I have had a few lessons now, still a complete novice but starting right at the beginning. The objective of publishing bits of my lessons is firstly as a reminder to myself. It is said if you write up what you learn it tends to stick better in one’s grey matter and I could really do with some help with that. Also of course my teacher might like to know that I am actually listening to what he says. Last but not least you might like to see what has been going on. Perhaps there are some novices out there like me who might tinker a bit and join in with me.
So finally my Nikon D3300 gets to see the light of day as well as me. It was bought for my birthday a year back and I was too scared to try and use it, pathetic I know. Now the dials have had their cogs oiled so to speak and well, my photography seems to be getting worse. But they say you get worse before better, well at least I hope that is right 🙂
Whilst I talk about my lesson, please however remember I am learning, so I won’t necessarily use all the right lingo and might make mistakes along the way but if you are ready to find out about my class here goes.
Lesson 1 we used the P setting (Programmed Automatic) and covered:
Zoom out – wide angle
Zoom in – telephoto
This I learned means that there is more in the picture, more information in the background.
You achieve this by zooming out, giving more distance, the background is further away, objects are smaller in the distance.
If you however move in to the same object, ie a face on the same wide angle and try to frame for instance said face to fit it with a similar size it will distort the portrait. Apparently JR Artist is well known for photographing this way. Here are some examples of his work.
As quoted by his website:
Face 2 Face Project
In 2007, during the Face 2 Face project, JR and Marco organize the largest illegal photography exhibition ever.
For this project, portraits of Israelis and Palestinians are pasted face to face, in monumental formats on both sides of the wall and in several Palestinian and Israeli cities.
As quoted by his website:
Women Are Heroes
The Women Are Heroes project has various steps in Africa, in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Sudan.
In January 2009, 2000 square meters of rooftops are covered with photos of the eyes and faces of the women of Kibera, in Kenya. Most of the women have their own photos on their own rooftop and for the first time the material used is water resistant so that the photo itself will protect the fragile houses in the heavy rain season.
With the eyes on the train, the bottom half of the their faces ware pasted on corrugated sheets on the slope that leads down from the tracks to the rooftops. The idea being that for the split second the train passes, their eyes match their smiles and their faces are complete.
When you use telephoto, what I learned was that there is less information in the background. Telephoto compresses the perspective, flattens it in a way. That for me is a good way to imagine it. For instance on a landscape with telephoto if there is a mountain range, a valley then a bank infront of you, you won’t necessarily get the depth that you would using a wide angle, it would flatten.
Our homework from this lesson was to use my 18-55mm lens, capture an object on 18 then move in to a similar frame size on 55 and see the difference.
This homework was rather fun.
Here are my results!
If you hover over each image it will tell you the stat difference, ie lens etc.
First I tried some portraits. It’s astounding how much it can distort someone’s face. If you look at one extreme to the other you end up losing perspective of how the face really is. Well I did. We looked at some examples of stages and most faces looked the most normal somewhere from the 55mm -24mm. But I suppose it depends on the face shape or the desired look?
My lovely friend above was my first victim. I literally stepped from my photography class to her class where she treats my back. She is responsible for getting me back to exercise and getting fit enough that I can embark on these classes.
Below, one of my sons fell victim to my lens, though he would argue the 18mm photograph doesn’t look distorted whatsoever, it’s odd a teenagers perspective on their appearance LOL.
I then decided to get up close and personal with my youngest, his face I thought really transformed when moving in with the 18mm lens.
Time to move away from the face.
The results aren’t quite so dramatic when photographing an inanimate object, well in this instance anway. But you can see that in the 55mm photography the background is firstly blurred and has lots less information than the 18mm photograph which shows much more trellace, greenery etc. So one would say far better for landscape?
That is the end of Lesson No 1 for me. However if you wish to join in, ie take some photos using the same techniques please make sure to post the link in my comments section so I can take a peek, it would be great fun.
Here’s hoping you all are meanwhile having a fun festive break.