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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shooting Wide for Big Prints- Laura Radniecki Images: Weekly Photography Tips

Today's photography tip is about shooting wide, with the intention making big prints.

What does shooting wide mean?

Basically, you shoot with a wide angle lens, getting a lot of the scene/environment into your image.

A 'wide angle lens' would be something less than maybe 40mm. If your lens is an 18-55mm lens, the lower numbers are the widest part of your lens' range. 25mm is wider than shooting at 50mm.

When you shoot with a wide angle lens, you have the opportunity to include a lot of the environment around your subject in your photo. You can include the sky, ground, and a lot of space around your subject, giving it a more whole feel.

If your lens doesn't zoom, and you can't change the focal length, then move your feet! Scoot way back and let your subject breathe that way. I am often shooting with a prime lens, which means I only have 1 focal length and my lens doesn't zoom. So my feet are often my zoom.

Now, I know I have mentioned multiple times about getting close to your subject and filling the frame with them. Focusing close on things like fingers, eye lashes, and other small and delicate features. I LOVE to shoot that way, and I do the majority of the time. But there are instances where shooting wide and giving your subjects room to breathe is the best course of action.

One of the benefits of shooting wide and including a lot of the environment is that these types of photos often look great as a big wall print or canvas. If you were to make a huge canvas print of a close up photo, it might look overpowering, or you might get sick of it faster than you would if you had shot wide. When you shoot wide, you create more of a story, more of a sense of time and place. The photo can have a more timeless feel, and chances are, you'll be happy with it for a lot longer than you might be otherwise.

Let's look at these examples below:

This first photo is up close and personal, like I usually love to shoot. I'm focusing on his smile, his little baby teeth, and his cute shirt. Great photos, yes. Awesome in an album, in a frame, on your dresser, lots of places. But if you blew this up into a 20x30 wall canvas and hung it above your couch, it may not create a restful and timeless feel in the room.
Now let's look at this next image. I shot much further back from my subject, giving him room to breathe. I included the scenery and environment around him - the sky, the pond, and the road. This image would make a great canvas to hang on the wall in a room, and it has a timeless quality to it that would keep you from getting sick of it quickly.
This next photo is a great close up where the bride and groom fill the frame. Beautiful couple, beautiful photo. But if this was blown up large and hung on the wall, it might look overpowering in a room.
Now look at this photo. There's lots of empty space around them, letting them breathe. There is sky and water, and the horizon. This photo would be a great large canvas to hang above a couch.
There is a time and place to get in nice and close to your subject and to step away and shoot wide, giving them room to breathe. It is best to include both types of shots when you shoot, so you have options on what to print, and in what size!

Stay tuned next Tuesday for another weekly photography tip!

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