frame projects

vertical and horizontal frames

vertical and horizontal frames

In this exercise we were asked to find twenty situations and shoot all those images vertically. The purpose was to not only force us out of the habit of shooting most things horizontally without thought for the subject or composition.

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positioning the horizon

positioning the horizon

Feel on more solid ground again after the balance exercise. In this exercise we were to concentrate on the placement of the horizon within the frame when composing an image.

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finding balance

finding balance

In this exercise we had to identify balance within images, this balance could be objects, lines, tones or colour.

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focal lengths and viewpoints

In the previous exercise, the purpose was to note how changing focal lengths narrowed the field of view with the position of the camera remaining pretty static throughout. In this exercise, the object was to show how changing viewpoints when using different lenses will also affect the image — particularly when changing between wide-angle and telephoto lenses.

The subject I chose was the long-suffering partner, who is often a reluctant subject when I need to check something out with a camera or lens. I knew before starting that wide-angle lenses — when used close-up on people can result in caricature-type studies with distortion of features or body-shape, but guess that was half the fun! However, I have opted not to include the images! Many of them are real caricatures; and I worry that if I post them, he’ll not be posing for me again!!

lenses used

The first shot was taken with a 70-200mm telephoto set at 200 mm; with the close-ups being taken with a 16-35mm wide-angle set at 16 mm. The aperture stayed constant at f/8. I kept the aperture constant because I wanted to see the different depth-of-field produced by the two lens.

telephoto

Image 1 was taken at 200 mm at a normal eye-level. There is no evidence of perspective distortion; and the perceived depth in the image is flattened. The distance from the subject to the tree behind on camera-left looks markedly less than what it looks like in the wide-angle lenses. The greenhouse, and the tree on camera-right have been rendered pleasantly out-of-focus which is what I would expect to happen with a telephoto lens.

wide-angle

With all three of the wide-angle lenses, there is both an increased depth-of-field; and an increased sense of depth between the objects within the frame. The distance from the subject to the tree (camera-left) seems markedly more than that in the telephoto lens. The angle of view is increased with more of the surroundings — for example, the shed (camera-right) becoming visible. The ground no longer seems flat — especially visible in images 2 and 3 —where it seems to rise away from the camera. The lines in the grass are more visible; and seem to converge.

In all the wide-angle shots, there is a marked increase sense of depth with the image, with greater space seeming to exist between the objects. The depth of field is also noticeably greater in the wide-angle lens.

Also noticed when I did the shots on the previous page, that the wide-angle lens tended to accentuate the clouds — what minimal clouds there were — and consequently added to the drama of the sky.

use of wide-angle lens in fashion

Although I was aware that using a wide-angle lens on the subject, at both the distance and vertical position that I was using it, would inevitably lead to a non-sympathetic distortion of the subject, I am aware that fashion photographers often use a moderate wide-angle lens when shooting vertical full-length shots of models. They use the perspective change to increase the perceived length of the model’s legs and height.

conclusion

The increased sense of space and depth of field in a wide-angle lens is very suited to landscape shots where we want to increase this sense of space; and not really suited to people as it distorts characteristics when used at extremes.

The telephoto is useful for flattening depth and also for extracting the subjects from its surroundings.

Having assessed these photographs, I wish I had continued with the series, shooting wide-open (f2.8) and stopped down to f16 or f22 to see the difference between the depth of field on the two lenses at those settings. I had anticipated some of the differences in perspective, but had not really anticipated the difference in depth of field.

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understanding focal lengths

understanding focal lengths

This was an exercise to study the effect that the focal length of the lens — that as we change lenses from one focal length to another — its effect on the amount of view we can take in.

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a sequence of composition

a sequence of composition

Not much of a people shooter — there was always a chance that this project was going to take me well and truly out of my comfort zone.

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object in different positions in the frame

object in different positions in the frame

For this exercise, I chose a small bench underneath a tree, and in front of a hedge, in Windsor Great Park.

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fitting the frame to the subject (II)

fitting the frame to the subject (II)

After taking the previous four shots, we were required to find alternate crops of the final image from the previous exercise.

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fitting frame to subject (i)

fitting frame to subject (i)

In this exercise, we were to experiment with the amount of space that a subject takes up in the frame…

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can’t pan, won’t pan…

can’t pan, won’t pan…

An afternoon sat on the roundabout in Trafalgar Square, handheld camera with limited success …

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fixed position with shutter speeds

fixed position with shutter speeds

In this exercise, we would investigate how shutter speeds would either freeze motion, or allow motion to be recorded in an image.

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focus at different apertures

focus at different apertures

The images illustrate the effect that changing the aperture has on the depth of field within an image; and how the increased depth of field can be a distraction in busy scenes.

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focus with a set aperture (ii)

focus with a set aperture (ii)

This set of images is a repeat of the previous exercise where I concentrate on focus with a set aperture…

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focus with a set aperture (i)

focus with a set aperture (i)

In this exercise we were to become familiar with how a wide aperture affected our depth of field in an image; and also how this affected our perception of the image when the in-focus area was rendered in different parts of the photograph.

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