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How the Lens Affects Composition


Photography 101


Lesson Info

How the Lens Affects Composition

And this video we're going to take a few minutes to talk about how the lens affects composition now did you know michelle that they're actually fat and skinny linds I have heard this rumor it's true why do people think that? Why do people think that there are fat and skinny like it's all about tv, right? They say that on tv you get an extra five or ten pounds five or ten pounds automatically I look fifty pounds skinnier than I do right now I really like zero. I pride myself on that. Okay, so why? Why is it that people give that perception of certain lenses really it's about perspective? Yes, yes and the field of view of your lens. Exactly. And you mentioned one thing their perspective, which is huge because there's actually two types of distortion that I wanted to talk about one is lens distortion and one is perspective, distortion and often times these two things are actually confused with one another. Now perspective distortion has to do with how close you are to your subject and you...

'll notice that really with anything in our field of vision, the closer it gets to our faces, the larger it appears right in relation to whatever's behind it so in reality my hand is not bigger than this entire house, but at this distance it does appear to be so if we are close to our subjects, then you're making subjects basically appear larger than they actually are. This is perspective distortion the further away that we get, the smaller they appear in relation to everything around them and the closer we get, the larger they are. But what about lens distortion? Well, let's assertion has its own thing really a field of view of sixteen, which is a much wider lens, right has its own distortion where it stretches out the edges. So if you were to shoot a bunch of people and you put some on the edge, it might white in them exactly. Lens distortion is that tendency for and typically it happens more so with wider the angle lens. So you mentioned sixteen millimeters. It'll happen thirty five. It'll happen at fifty millimeters even but it just happens to a lesser extent and so the lenses basically bending light around the edges and that's where you noticed the linda distortion of most on a wide angle lens, you'll see lens distortion pretty much everywhere but the center of that lance so it wouldn't be too flattering if I were to say pop on this wide angle forty millimeter lens and I shoot you from this distance that would be very, very bad that would not be good, so what would be flattering then as a porter? Linds you probably want to use a zoom lens or something that's fixed at same eighty five which is my favorite portrait linds, I think I that is half a second that eighty five millimeter what whatever variant you have we're using the one to professionally but for the entire workshop is the one and it's an incredible lens it's a perfect lens for portraiture. Eso yeah, standing back a little further zooming in it will eliminate that kind of that lens distortion so perspective distortion and lens distortion those are the two things that we kind of have to come back now we did a cannon lens or siri's by us, our lounge and in that siri's we actually took the exact same shot. Well, very similar shot actually where we basically took the same composition we shot at first at sixteen or think of seventeen millimeters to start with and we backed up to twenty for thirty five, fifty, seventy, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred shooting the same composition on each of these shots we were able to. Well, what we did it for was actually to compare the lenses to one of the one of visual differences in lenses whether there was actually as big of quality differences as people would think between, say, a fifty one point eight versus the one point for us is the one point two now is very interesting we found out that really in reality when you look at these images there's not as big of a difference between these lenses as you would think and often cases primes just even the mediocre primes like one hundred dollars, three hundred dollar for dollar primes, they outdid all the other cameras or at least all the other lens hold on one second so a prime is a fixed focal length like a fifty you can't zoom in or out you literally have to step closer or farther from your subject in a zoom allows you to change that so you don't have toe step closer to subject zoom in yeah essentially with a zoom you get the convenience of having the extra well not having to move so much you control your competition with your focal length with the prime like you said, you're moving back and forth a lot but then you get kind of well get better low light you get a better book aesthetic okay, so what we found out also was that in addition to comparing the linda's were able to see the difference in distortion in len's distortion but also perspective distortion so it's crazy to see basically when we take that shot up close a seventeen millimeters our model looks all this story and each step back you can see the model kind of look more and more normal which is smaller but normal. Every girl would like to write normal well, every guy teo be skinny, but I would like to look normal and minus fifty pounds this's plus fifty pounds weight so so yeah, with every setback, the other thing that happens is that these telephoto lenses they kind of emphasis something that we refer to as lends compression, right. Something interesting about lens compression here's the thing lens compression we refer to basically is telephoto lens as demonstrating or illustrating link's compression basically, what that is is the background elements appear closer to the subject than they actually are. Now, the interesting thing is that if you take a shot at twenty four millimeters and you take a shot at two hundred millimeters and then you zoom into that twenty four millimeter shot all the way, so you have the same exact field of view as you did on that two hundred millimeter image, the compressions actually identical. It isthe did you find this out during the lens for siri's? Yeah, well, we knew that before lens or siri's, but a lot of people think that the compression is actually having to do with the lens itself and in reality, not its not the reason why we refer to it so much as being kind of the lens creating that that compression effect is because who would ever take a shot at twenty four millimeters and then zoom into that little tiny pinpoint what would be the point of that there's no point in that so we go to these lengths because they kind of further emphasized that effect but what that effect really is is by standing back further what's happening is we're changing that perspective distortion so we stand back further the distance between the subject and the background is relatively shorter basically not talking about photographer's perspective exactly so when we took that shot and you can see it when we took that shot at seventeen millimeters the trunk and the background of the tree looks like it's actually like several feet behind the model it looks like it's disappearing into the landscape because our distance the models very close the models is it's the background is further and then as we start to back up the distance the model in the background didn't change our distance to that mall did so the further we step back the more it looks like the trunk is actually coming forward. Okay toe add onto what I just said about lens compression I want you to remember this very simple tip wide angle lenses exaggerate distances and telephoto lenses compressed distances so like I said while we call this effect lens compression and while we use different lenses to achieve the look the compression really has nothing to do with the lens it has to do with a photographer's perspective. Now, when we talk about lens compression and effect that we want, we just say that we want to compress the background with a certain lens but it's actually good to know that the compression isn't actually coming from the lens, but rather the distance between the photographer, the subject and the background and the lands is just there to help achieve that zoom and the composition that we want. So either way, the most important takeaway here again is that shooting close to the subject on a wide angle lens will definitely exaggerate the distance between the subject and the background and then stepping back and using a longer telephoto lens will compress or pull forward with that background so it looks closer to the subject. All right, so we covered lens compression. We've covered lens distortion and perspective distortion. Everything's been covered. So if you guys want more information, check out the cannon lens or siri's on as are allowed. You guys can see us compare all the different lenses from set. I think we start with sixteen millimeters, all with a three hundred milliliters and everything that range. We compare lenses against one another, so we compared basically the fifty millimeter one eight. Versus the one four versus the one to and compared that to say, a twenty four. Seventy at fifty millimeters, to show you the visual differences. So it's, a great visual comparison of all these different lenses. That's it for this video, though, right? I think so. We're done here, so let's. Head on to the next video now.

Class Description

Learn how to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.

To a photography beginner, the gleaming complexity of a new camera seems to demand an arsenal of expensive equipment and a long legacy of training. This is a common misconception – beautiful, professional-grade shots are within reach to any with a mastery of the basic mechanics of photography.

Join Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge for a thorough, practical exploration of the fundamentals. Photography 101 teaches you how to use standard, inexpensive equipment to:

  • Explore the inner mechanical workings of your camera
  • Learn how to recognize good light and modify it to your needs
  • Make the elements of manual mode - aperture, shutter speed and ISO - work for you
Take advantage of the flexibility and control offered by your camera’s manual mode by shadowing Pye on 5 days of shooting at 8 different locations. You’ll learn how to capture both crisp action shots of moving subjects and classic portraiture with posed models. You’ll also gain a sense of what makes a great photograph, and how to mix professional staging with candid, humanizing moments.

You will walk away from Photography 101 with SLR Lounge's Pye Jirsa as a better photographer, and you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images; all with no more gear than you started with. 


2The Camera is Simply a Tool
3How Does a Camera Work?
4How to Adjust Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO
5Exposure Triangle
6What is a Stop of Light
7Reading Exposure Via the Histogram
8Blown Highlights or Clipped Details
9White Balance & Color Temperature
10No Such Thing as the Correct Exposure
11How To Measure or Meter Light
128 Key Points to Understanding ISO and Image Quality
13Understanding the 3 Primary Metering Methods
14How to Get Perfect Exposures in One Shot
15Equivalent Exposure but Different Images
16Compensating for Light and Dark Scenes
17Starting with Automated Modes
18Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode
19Portrait Mode on a Fashion Shoot
20Landscape Mode on the Beach
21Sports or Action Mode
22Macro Mode with Food Photography
23Creative Effects Mode - Floral Photography
24In-Camera Processing
25A Glimpse into RAW Processing
2615 Tips When You’re Having Trouble Focusing
273 Primary Types of Autofocus
28Single Shot with Portrait Session
29Single Shot with Action Shots
30AI Servo with Action Shots
31Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection
32Shutter Speed and the Reciprocal Rule
33How to Hold a Camera and Panning Tutorial
34What Makes a Great Photograph?
35How to Capture Candid Moments
36How to Find the Right Light Direction
375 Basic Compositional Theories
38The Power of Cropping
39Color Schemes
40Diving into the Narrative
41If It’s Not Working With, It’s Probably Working Against
42More About Your Camera and Lenses
43Understanding Megapixels
44Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras
45Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Demonstration
46Prime vs. Zoom Lens
47How the Lens Affects Composition
48Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG
495 Tips on Memory Cards
5010 Tips on Buying Gear
52The Good Karma Jar
53Posing and Action Shots with Female Model
54Posing and Lighting with Female Model
55Posing and Lighting Couples Portraits