Part 2, Project 1 – The Distorting Lens – Exercise 2.1

Exercise 2.1

Wide angle through compression

The exercise utilises a scene that has depth. Several images were taken of the scene starting with a wide angle perspective (or short focal length) moving through towards compression of the longer focal lengths. Each photograph was taken from the same place and an attempt was made each time to keep the framing of the scene reasonably consistent.

Image 1 (focal length – 20mm), Image 2 (50mm), Image 3 (80mm), Image 4 (135mm), Image 5 (200mm).

Walkway20mm Walkway50mm Walkway80mm

Walkway135mm Walkway200mm

The choice of focal length can change the scene as it is captured in camera significantly. A short focal length or wider angle lens captures more of the foreground in front of the photographer and, though it is not demonstrated in these exercise images, more of the view which is to the left and right of the photographer. A longer focal length brings us further into the scene, closing our angle of view so we cannot see some of the portico ceiling nearer to the compositional point of the photographer.

“Zooming” into a scene, using a zoom lens or by changing lens, changes the appearance of what is in the scene. Wide angle distortion is removed. Though the place of everything in the scene remains relational – much as it would do if we take an already captured image and crop into it to achieve the effect of a digital zoom (albeit losing pixels and dependent upon the extent of cropping and whether it’s done as an incremental Photoshop resizing task, resolution).