P52.2: Who We Become (16)

Perspective: Environmental Portrait

We are continuing our focus on Perspective, with the first month examining the way choice of lens alters one’s viewpoint. This week and next we will be challenging the “traditional” use of lenses – this week seeking to utilize a wide-angle lens in a portrait or other non-traditional use. Typically longer lens lengths are marketed for portraits, as they avoid distorting the subject and allow the photographer to maintain focus on the person and blur away any distracting background.

Choosing a wide angle lens for a portrait requires the photographer to consider the consequences of the deeper depth of field and distortion when composing the image. Items that are placed toward the edge of the frame often appear larger, which must be considered, and care must be taken that the background contributes to the photographer’s story, as it is unlikely to be out of the depth of field. Using the wide angle lens in such an instance has significant advantages, however – the photographer will often be close to her subject so that they may interact more directly, as well as utilize the subject’s environment in her composition. The effect can be to draw the viewer into the scene and strongly engage them in the scene. Please click HERE to visit Who We Become and take a look at how each of us chose to take advantage of the characteristics of a wide angle lens in nontraditional ways.


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