WIDE ANGLE AND TELEPHOTO – TWO WAYS TO HIGHLIGHT A SUBJECT
Many people have a very simple attitude to lenses – big lenses make things bigger, small lenses make things smaller. While this is generally true, there is a lot more to it than that…and understanding the creative possibilities can transform your photography. So let’s take a closer look.
First look at the main image above, taken from VERY close to the subject with a wide-angle lens. The wider angle shows you a lot of the landscape around the subject, and thanks to the naturally strong depth of field we can see a fair bit of detail. Yet the flowers remain the main feature…why? Because the wide-angle lens makes things in the distance seem much further away. This exaggerates the prominence of the object closest to the camera – the flowers.
Now compare that to a similar subject shot with a telephoto lens. The larger lens shoots a much narrower angle of view so we can’t see much background. And thanks to the naturally shallow depth of field, the background is out of focus. So all the attention is on the sharply focused flowers.
Both of these approaches make the subject the ‘star of the show.’ But they do it in very different ways, creating distinctly different images.