Over the time I’ve had off I have been able to shoot and experiment with the techniques I was previously taught. Here are some of my different re-shoots…
3rd December 2013
What have I done?
I asked a friend if she would like to participate in a small photo shoot, using my white back drop and 2 umbrella lights set. I took photos of her showing different focal lengths.
What have I got from it?
I can see how focal length affects the depth of an image dramatically, and as I am wanting to go into photographing portraiture, this experiment has shown me the effects they can have on someone’s appearance/shape of their face and features. I see that a shorter focal length (24mm) distorts the face greatly and makes the part of the subject closest to the camera, bigger. It ‘creates more space’ between features. This gives the illusion of a longer face both length ways and from the front of the face to the back of the head – because as you look at and compare both images, on the first you can’t see the ears or her hair tied up, but on the second one, this is visible. The reason for this is that with the longer focal length (105mm) the more the image and the subject is compressed – features appear smaller and more in proportion to the head as a whole. The reason I did not try with the 300mm lens was because their was not enough space in my room to stand back as far as I would need to capture the same composition.
I would like to experiment more with this concept and look at the possibilities that different focal lengths can create, by practically shooting more.
19th December 2013
Another re-shoot – comparing and contrasting the different focal lengths – from different angles to show how the face is distorted. As you can see, especially the image taken from above – the face is compressed, and this is also evident as the Christmas lights behind her are completely out of focus (creating the bokeh effect) although they were quite close to her.
Also looking at the 24mm images, I have noticed that everything is spaced out and there is a lot more distance created between the subject and the background.
24mm vs 105mm
22nd December 2013
In this re-shoot I worked more with my long lens, at 300mm. Usually, I tend to stick with my short focal lengths and I like the distortion and ‘cartoon-like’ effect it creates. However this was a productive time and it opened my eyes to the possibilities a long lens creates.
It’s interesting to see how aperture also effects the look of the image at 300mm. I personally prefer the look of f5.6 at 300mm because the subject that is focussed on is almost lifted out of the photo and the background has dropped significantly out of focus.
This practise has helped me see how a longer lens length also flatters the features and shape of the face a lot more. I want to start shooting at longer lens lengths, alongside mastering the ones I already shoot at from now on! And see what effects I can create.
26th December 2013
105mm vs 24mm
Notice how on the 24mm the legs look elongated and the knees (closest to the camera) appear larger than the face!
The nose appears much bigger on the 24mm image as it’s closest to the camera. The 105mm is definitely a more flattering focal length as it puts all the features in proportion.
Wow! What a difference! You would think it was 2 different people! Again, the nose looks larger than the other features on the 24mm and the whole of the head (as well as the crown) is visible on the 105mm – because the whole head is compressed.
Thought I’d try a self portrait! It’s incredible how the face is distorted, and on the 24mm, it appears as though the sides of my face have been cut off!
The reason a lot of my 24mm shots aren’t properly in focus is because I wanted to get as close as possible to the subject to show the contrast in it’s fullness (towards the 105mm image), and my lens is reasonably long with a maximum aperture of f4 so those combined means I can’t get as close as I would be able to, for example, on my old camera’s lens – 18-55mm at f3.5 (maximum).
One that I particularly liked and I edited. Slightly over 24mm but not quite half way between the 2 lengths, at 35mm. I would say this is quite a flattering image of my subject because of the angle (slightly from above), the lighting (lighting her cheek bones and leaving shadows underneath them and her chin), and because – the shorter the lens length, the thinner the face tends to look – this is something I have noticed.
30th December 2013
One thing I need to work on and something I realized in this shoot was about my flash exposure and white balance because I set it on the ‘Flash’ white balance setting but because of either how close or far away I was to the subject, the flash was too little (300mm) or too much (24mm). Also the colour the ‘Flash’ white balance setting produces is quite an orange tone (as to compensate for the white bulb and to make sure the subject isn’t washed out). However I have learnt that flash compensation must be altered depending on the lens length I am using, and that I should take my reading properly from an 18% grey card in future!