Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Frame: Project - Focal lengths

Exercise: Focal Lengths

Aim:  The aim of this exercise is to understand and appreciate the effect of changing focal length.

Plan:  I planned to spend the day in Manchester for a series of exercises.  There are a number of large squares that I could use for this exercise that would give me a clear view across from one side to the other.


The following shots were taken in succession across the square from a wide angle covering the whole of the square to a a tighter zoomed view covering the statue on the with a far side.  The camera was mounted on a tripod.

F16, 1/13 sec, 18mm 
The interest in this shot is the line of bollards curving round to the right leading the eye into the picture.  The cobbles lead in from the other direction but are not as strong as the bollards at this point.  The statue that will later become the focal point is barely visible.

F16, 1/13 sec, 30mm
Zooming further in looses the scaffolding on the right and the boarding on the left and brings the further, smaller tree into the picture.  The statue becomes a visible part of the image.  The bollards still lead the eye into the picture.  The church becomes more central to the image. The slight barrelling of the previous image is also lost.  This is a far more pleasing image.

F16, 1/13 sec, 75mm
 Zooming further brings the statue and the detail in the church into play.  The corner of the tree suggest that the square is not just 'bricks and mortar'.  The bollard provides some forground interest and the cobbles take over the role of leading the eye into the frame.  Detail in the people becomes visible and gives them more of a role in the image rather than people who were in the way.

F/9, 1/20 sec, 250mm
Finally the statue becomes the focal point of the frame with the lines of the church dividing the frame into 4.  The leaves in the top right corner now only serve as a distraction.  The statue is deliberately placed on the left, stepping into the frame.

Learning points:

Changing focal lengths over even a small amount can have a great effect on the focus of the image.
Different objects in the frame became focal points with changing importance as I zoomed through the lens range.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your photos with us. These are typical bollards used mostly for safety, security and crowd control. It's interesting to see that you used these for your Exercise. If you want to know more information about these bollards, check out my employer's site, McGraw-Hill. You'll be amazed at all the different bollards there are and what they are used for. Maybe you could use others for your next Exercise. They are interesting after you know their history.