Focal Length 18mm @ f/5.6
What I’ve long taught at workshops is this: the wider the lens you use, the closer you probably should be to the nearest thing in your scene. And there should be a nearest thing in your scene!
–Thom Hogan, Lens Week
I’m still working on my “back to basics” and thinking about the art of photography. The above quote has been sticking in my head lately, along with some other points in the article – namely that “zooming” closer to an image flattens your feeling of depth, whereas zooming out then walking into the image enhances it. If you want depth in an image, go wide angle and get close.
The above image is my first real attempt at doing this – rather than shooting at 70 mm from a comfortable distance like I normally would have, I put the lens at 18mm, then moved into my minimum focus distance. The result really is interesting – rather than a flower in front of a pylon, I ended up with a field of flowers leading to a pylon.
I think I’m going to have to experiment with this more – rather than thinking of wide angle / telephoto as magnification, think of it as flattening or deepening an image.
P.S. I’m still using manual focus for everything, and I swear my images are sharper because of it.