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Angle of View

Lesson 43 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

43. Angle of View

Next Lesson: Framing Your Shot


Class Trailer

Photographic Characteristics


Camera Types


Shutter System


Shutter Speed Basics


Camera Settings Overview


Camera Settings - Details


Sensor Size: Basics


Focal Length


Lesson Info

Angle of View

All right, Next up, let's talk about angle of view, which is really starting to look at what lenses we choose. Do we want to shoot with a wide angle lens? Do we want to shoot with a telephoto lens? How much do we want to include into the scene? So we've chosen are subject, and now we're storyteller, and we're trying to figure out what type of story we got. Our subject. But what type of story do we want to tell about this particular subject? All right, see if you can recognize where we are and at which lens. Do you recognize this location? Raise your hand when you figure it out. So we're at the Coliseum in Rome, and it's fun to have a wide variety of lenses out there. But each one tells a slightly different story, and you do need to think of yourself a little bit as a storyteller movie director. But it's a still movie, in this case, your you got your primary subject, but what's your secondary subject? What's this story? What's the statement that you're trying to tell in this case? And s...

o oftentimes we're just simply trying to tell the best story, and that's going to determine how much of our seem to have in it in eastern Cuba. I got a gentleman sitting on the stoop late at night. I could go in tight and just show him, but I kind of wanted to show the building that he's at a little bit of that lonely, empty street feeling in there. And I don't get that if I get that really, really tight shot. So it's a certain type of story. I'm telling the Flatiron Building in New York, Beautiful building there. And so I was there one morning, photographing all sorts of different things. And as I found this one place that was safely out of the way of traffic but pretty close to it, I noticed that when the subway let out, there is all these people crossing the street, and that's a lot of what New York City is. A lot of foot traffic, a lot of people walking around. And so I just waited for the next subway to come and you know, boy, you get about 15 seconds where that one light turns and it's just packed with people. That's the time that I want to add that element to my particular photograph Shooting a tight shot. I'm able to get one, uh, school child here, but with all the other schoolchildren kind of packed in around it, creating a bit of a patter and a nice clean back pattern that helps support the subject that I'm trying to show in this case, this one haystack rock that is really tall. I liked all this driftwood around it, but you kind of had to be in the right place to get all the driftwood in the right foreground. So now we have some foreground and background, which is another topic that will go into a little bit more. So sometimes you just can't tell the story in one photo, and that's okay, Uh, think about pairs of photos. Get two photos to make the shot because sometimes we're gonna tell photo stories. Now, it could get much, much longer than this, and you can turn it into a movie. But, you know, just the next step after a single photo is what can I do in two shots to help show this photo? And so going back to the fly, a Flatiron building very near where I was shooting the other ones. Now I wanted to shoot the traffic more shows, the cars driving down the street and let's choose a completely different lens to tell a completely different story that goes along with it. That kind of has a matching theme. And so now I'm gonna go in and I'm gonna show you details of that particular building using that same philosophy. Okay, Golden Gate Bridge, Beautiful bridge. Let's show you the whole thing. Now let's just go in and take a look at a portion of it because we get to see it. I mean, we saw this in the previous photo, but now it really lets us look at that even more closely. Seattle makes for a nice panoramic shot. I've probably showed more than my fair share of them here in this class on This is a nice shot and one of things that I noticed about this, this is kind of recent, is that the cranes they've put Christmas lights on, and there's a lot of color in there that I haven't seen in the past, cause there's a lot of construction in the city, and then when you get a telephoto lens out and you start pointed at the cranes. You're getting this really neat refract reflections in the water. And so it's not always the easiest to tell the pick to tell the story in one photo. So think about doing it in two photos and putting them in pairs. And once you go into pairs, well, then you can start talking about photo stories and think about okay, here is something that's very interesting. Maybe it was a trip you were on or an event that you went to. What photos do you need to tell that story? How maney health? Few of photos. Can you tell that story? Can you tell it in 10 photos or eight or five photos? And what would those photos be? Because a lot of us are sharing our photos with friends and friends have limited time span and attention span, and so they don't want photos. But how can we quickly explain something? And so one of my favorite trips that ever been on was down to South Georgia Island, which is in near Antarctica near the southern tip of South America, and they have these huge colonies of penguins and the penguin colonies are very, very dense. Have a beautiful island that they're on with these mountain landscapes in the back and the penguins. They all hang out really close together. And you know, they have. They have duties that got things they've got to do. And so you know, they're walking here and there, walking there and, you know, it kind of feels like, you know, it's the bus. Here comes the bus. You know, everybody's coming to work now and, you know, but But they also made and they have pairs and they kind of playing around together and they care for each other. And, you know, they're helping him out and cleaning each other up. And there's ones that are fallen it that are sleep here, and this is how they sleep. And they've got really interesting details. And so just a few photos like that, and I've taking you through a little bit of that trip. And generally what I did is I started really wide toe, let you get a view of where we were, and then I started going in closer and closer and closer to give you more and more details about things that I found interesting there. Sometimes stories happened over time when I was in Tanzania doing my Safari Scout. There was an incredible amount of wilder beast making a crossing across the Mara River, and they were stacking up coming down this hill side, and they were all very scared about crossing because that's where the crocodiles are in there. And it's a very dangerous process getting across the river. But they need to for grazing purposes, and we sat there for about four hours, watching them come down and get scared and go back up, come down, get scared, go back up and you know, eventually they start following their leaders getting down, and then they start in a stampede and they're rushing. And then this dust just all over the place and you can barely see anything and they're diving into the water and water splashing and there's snorting and splashing, and it's just this massive chaos going on. And then they're swimming a lacrosse, and you could just see that they're just swimming for their lives is like, this is not something they normally do, and you've got to get out of here quick and they get over to the other side and you can just sense their relief when they get across. I was shooting pictures of him entering the water on the other side and as my cameras firing fairly quickly on this, I just noticed down here on the right hand corner that look at this one here, right here. I mean, look at the form of this. This this one could be in the Olympics. This is a really good jumping effort here because I don't know how smart they are, but I think they might be thinking I can make it across the whole river if I just jump hard enough. And so I started shooting Mawr with a more telephoto. I put on my tele converter just to shoot these ones because every once in a while one would decide just to take off in the air and really capture a lot of hair. It just looks to riel. And so there's a lot of different things that are going on in that moment. And this is ah, story that unfolded over a period of time, and it's nice to go to go back and just pick a few photos that tell a few important points of that story. Ken and I have led a number of tours to Cuba, and one of our favorite trips is we. We go over to place called Regulates a smaller neighborhood, and the first time I was over there, I shot this kind of water tower, and every time I've gone back, I just should I just shot it again just cause I like it. I just wanted to document it over the time that I'm there and you know, I'll keep going back. And every time I go there, I'll continue to photograph because it will change over time because their stories that develop over large periods of time. Another thing that I found in Cuba on one of my trips was this old car, and you can tell which street we're on right now, that one street that leads to the capital and we talked about angle of you getting down low cause I wanted to really show, you know, this cars up on blocks because that's what happens in Cuba's. It's hard to get parts and you working a car a little bit, you try to order a part in and you get that part on. And so the next time I went back, it's like, Yeah, the car is still here, but look, it's got wheels on it. It's not quite dry verbal yet, but it looks like it's got wheels on it. And then on the next trip, well, it looks like it's ready to go. And so you know, this took place over a period of time. And so I think about time in photography, and this is obviously something that you would normally do with your family, you know, photographing people. And I love photographs of, you know, when they take, like, the same photograph after a period of time. And so, uh, and so think about time and this story that you're trying to tell. We've talked about the longer lenses in the compression, and that's a good way of working a story, a tool in order to tell a story. And so, with wide angle lenses, the subjects in the foreground are going to seem very dominant and large compared to the subjects in the background as we go through our range of lenses from ultra wide to normal to telephoto to super telephoto. It really changes the nature of this story that we're telling, even though it's all the same stuff in the photograph. And so sometimes we're choosing longer lenses because we can't get closer to our subject. But it tells a different type of story, and that's one of the reasons why I like to have. Ah, reasonable variety of lenses is that they just allow you a different tool for telling a different type of story. And so that compression effect, we'll let you know that Hey, Seattle is pretty close to Mt. Rainier. It's actually about 70 miles, takes about 2.5 3 hours to get there, but it looks like it's pretty close together, and so it could be a deceptive story sometimes. But sometimes that's the story that we want to tell about different elements, including them in the photograph with those long lenses. Another thought is whiting close, and this is a technique that a lot of landscape photographers use when you want to include subjects in the foreground and things in the background, and so going up to Mt. Rainier National Park, we've got ourselves a 35 millimeter lands which is, you know, you're kind of standard, basic, slightly wide angle lens. Now how does this change? And what's the difference of what we see as we get to a wider and wider angle lens? And as we've mentioned a few times before that the wider angle lens allows you to include a lot of foreground material. And so if you're gonna work with wide angle lenses, you need to think about four grand a lot. Or if you have things in the foreground that you want to include, think about wide angle lenses and how they relate two objects in the background. And so in Rockefeller Center, there's a place where you can kind of stand over the wall and hold your camera a little bit over the wall. Don't drop it. It's gonna be really hard to retrieve and probably is gonna be severely damaged at this point. But this is using a fish eye lens, and so I've got a big, dominant subject in the foreground. But there's a lot of other interesting things going on in the background up a Glacier National Park walked along the shoreline. Actually, I was driving down the shore line and I had the map system in my car, kind of showing me the contours. And I was just looking for a place that stuck out into the water a little bit because I wanted to see some water. And if it's just a straight shoreline, it's kind of hard. So you want to get out in the water a little bit and then walking along, trying to find some interesting rocks to put in the foreground so that I have something there to include with the mountains there in the background. This was one of my favorite photos from Yellowstone and went there in the winter time. And this is Ah, there's other photos that don't need to be shown at this point. But I scouted this location accidentally. I was in one of the snow cats and I was going on another trip, and I was looking out the windows. I'm I'm a window looker because I want I'm scouting all the time and I saw this one group of trees and a river that looked really good. I'm like, Not that not that one in the brain. I'm coming back for that. That's a good one. And I came back the next day and I got a glimpse of something and, you know, I felt like an NFL recruiting coach, and it's like, Oh, this kid's got potential here. And why, when we drafted him, didn't turn out at all. You know, sometimes you look at something and you'll think I got a hint of something I think is good. May not be good. And it was no good at all. And so this happened to be something else that I found that I wasn't able to see it all from where I was doing my scouting trip on dso you scout things. You try to have a turnout, but they don't always turn out. But then, just like OK, switch years, What else can I do with this location? And I just found I just love that this smooth snow in the shadow there foreground, you know what's in the foreground versus the background using those wide angle lenses in Prague, they have ah, all these geese that are very close on the river, and you can just have them come up very close to you if either you're feeding them or you're just very calm and I wasn't feeding them. There were some people feeding them in other places, but I just got out as close to the water as I could, and I sat there and I was very quiet and I was very still, and I didn't make a lot of movements. And if you're around wild animals that calms them down. They consents tension and a consents nervousness. And so they'll come a little bit closer, even though they are definitely more tame than than your standard wild animals thinking about foreground, just, you know, just playing around. It's not the greatest shot in the world, but just a different type of shot of this scene to include those closer for grounds.

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