Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Field of vision

Front door, boots, The Hague, December 2007

The above shot is another from the recent roll of HP5+, this was the first shot with my new 28mm lens.

It's interesting to me for a couple of reasons. First, I was trying some things looking at depth of field although they didn't really work due to the low light (hence slow shutter & slight motion blur).

The second interesting point is to do with my own personal field of view and how it relates to focal length. I've observed through trial that close-up (couple of yards) I see things at around 28mm (35mm equivalent), medium distance (say up to 30-40 yards) I see at around 35mm and for longer distances I tend to see a bit narrower (50-70mm). Only when presented with a wide scenic might I deviate, then I tend to hop between 35mm and 100mm being the difference between "taking in the view" and "looking at a feature".

This is also somewhat borne out by the range of focal lengths I use in my photography (although I've not done any detail analysis short of flipping through EXIF data on several shots).

I think this is why I like my 17-55mm lens for general purpose: it covers me for my natural view of the world over a wide range of subjects.


  1. I like to carry a piece of card around with me. It has a window with the same proportions as the format I am shooting with. It helps me to explore a scene by looking though the window with the card held closer or further away from my eyes. I see possibilities that my "normal vision" doesn't readily recognise.

  2. I've tried some framing techniques and they don't really work for me. Interesting the way you seem to have adopted the standard method for the zoom age.
    What I'm trying to get at here, though, is the opposite: seeing something and trying to capture it as seen, rather than the idea of seeing what the camera would capture. I tend to see stuff all around and then am looking to match my camera to what I see. The fixed focal length really challenges the way I see the world.

  3. That's a difference, I've only relatively recently started to use zoom lenses, only ever used to use primes. I tend to use my zooms as if they were primes, seeing a potential image then framing to match it. With primes I used to walk towards or from the scene to suit! The advantage that I find with the frame is that I can isolate the object, probably not so useful with 35mm as with a view camera. Anyway, all that aside, your posts keep inspiring me so keep it up!


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