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  1. #1
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Get close with a wide-angle lens.

    I've come to realize that when I use a wide angle lens, often I am not getting close enough to the subject to properly fill the frame.

    It seems natural to me when i encounter a gorgeous view to step back and try and take it all in. What I really need to do is step forward and making sure to get my main subject close enough to stand out. Otherwise the main feature I am trying to highlight ends up tiny and insignifigant.

    Am I crazy or what?

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    Using a wide angle lens up close is a great way and tool of using the near far relationship. However, keep in mind that there is an exageration of size of objects in the foreground in relation to those in the background. You may want to rethink your composition or what are the most important elements. The subject in the foreground will frequently become the most important or certainly one of the most important portions of the composition. Whether focus is held to rear of the image or not, the background can at least be used to identify the location (as an example mountains in the background).

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I think that's right. One of the key things with a wide lens is to have some foreground interest.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    The wide angle lens is somewhat of a myth. As you note you cannot stand in the same position you would be with a 50mm (35mm format) and get a wider angle with a 28mm lens. What you get is pushed back (smaller image of larger area) from the same position. A true wide angle lens would let you stay in position and cover a larger area with the same size image. So what we accept as wide angle is really just a smaller image but more of it.

  5. #5
    Ole
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    I sometimes think of what I do as swapping film formats instead of lenses. Like keeping the 90mm SA, but swapping from 4x5" to 5x7". Or in one extreme case swapping 5x7" for 30x40cm while keepin the 210mm focal length.

    I think the pictures I've taken with this mindset tends to be very different from those where I decide I need a wide-angle lens!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darinwc
    I've come to realize that when I use a wide angle lens, often I am not getting close enough to the subject to properly fill the frame.

    It seems natural to me when i encounter a gorgeous view to step back and try and take it all in. What I really need to do is step forward and making sure to get my main subject close enough to stand out. Otherwise the main feature I am trying to highlight ends up tiny and insignifigant.

    Am I crazy or what?
    Wise, not crazy. From any viewpoint there may be many photogenic subjects. A wide angle lens lumps them all together. A telephoto is selective. Some photographers like the "get it all" approach. I like the ability of a longer lens to zero in on the best part of the whole. The wide angle approach does have one distinct advantage: it draws the viewers in and makes them more a part of the action.

  7. #7

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    Thats how I use my lenses.

    On 8x10, a long 19" lens will take in the 'grand view' with turning the mountains into itty bitty things while getting up clse and personal with a short-ish 9-1/2" or 10" lens will fill the gg with the rich details of a creek, boulder, or gnarly snag.

    Of course ther are exceptions, but thats the way it seems to work for me 8 or 9 times out of 10.

  8. #8
    darinwc's Avatar
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    I've allways managed beter compositions with longer lenses (in 35mm format). I have a 100mm f2.8 for my canon that I love dearly.

    I allways thought I just havent havent had the eye for landscapes. But in reviewing my negs I see that in most of them everything is just tiny. (this goes for all formats I shoot) I need to try getting closer. Really close considering the focal lengths I have.

  9. #9
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darinwc
    I've allways managed beter compositions with longer lenses (in 35mm format). I have a 100mm f2.8 for my canon that I love dearly.

    I allways thought I just havent havent had the eye for landscapes. But in reviewing my negs I see that in most of them everything is just tiny. (this goes for all formats I shoot) I need to try getting closer. Really close considering the focal lengths I have.
    Sounds like you might be happy with something on the order of a 300mm lens on a 4" x 5" camera if your camera can handle it.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  10. #10
    darinwc's Avatar
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    For some reason I didnt like the 300mm focal length. I just got a 360mm and it feels just right.

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