Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Part 1 The Frame; Project: Focal Lengths

Exercise: Focal lengths with different viewpoints.

Objective: This exercise will demonstrate the effects on perspective of changing both your viewpoint and your lens (or focal length of your zoom lens).

Camera Settings: I used programme mode for this exercise. The camera settings are attached to each photograph. The two images were taken at zoom settings of 82mm at a distance and at 18mm close to the building. I chose to photograph the Chichester Festival Theatre. It is a hexagonal building and I thought it would enable the effect of perspective changes to be seen clearly.

4160: 1/320s - f5, 82mm Perspective: The short telephoto image was taken about 250m from the building. You can clearly see three of the hexagonal sides and the roof lantern. The trees and the flagpole in front on the building seem fairly close to it. The roof line where the centre and left sides of the building meet has a very shallow angle. The viewer would feel quite a distance away from the building. The horizontal shadows in the foreground reinforce distance

 4163: 1/160s - f6.3, 18mm Perspective: The wide angle view was taken between 20 and 30m from the building. From this angle of view, only two of the walls can be seen, the third is hidden behind the right corner. The roofline is also curved and the other side walls appear to be at a more acute angle. The flagpole is not in shot and only three of the smaller trees appear in front of the building. Lines and surfaces that we know should be vertical and horizontal appear to be pushed out of shape. As the building's shape has been pushed up (the roof latern is no longer visible) the viewer's impression of proximity will be confirmed. Curiously, the area of the frame dedicated to the foreground is the same, although the distance represented is much less.

What did I learn? Wide angle lenses can be used very creatively especially at the extreme end. Telephoto lenses can flatten perspective. Both have advantages and can be used creatively with line and form.

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