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W is for Wide-Angle…

Up until 5 years ago, my only practical experience of photography was as seen through a wide-angled lens. I know they have their shortcomings, but nevertheless I quite like seeing my usual three-dimensional world-view flattened out two-dimensionally before me, smaller but wider, slightly curved and perhaps a little warped along the outermost edges. And because even relatively close subjects appear so much smaller through a wide-angle lens than with the naked eye, there is something unavoidably in-your-face about having to be so up-close-and-personal to whatever it is you want to be photographing, having to be so obviously present on the very threshold of the shot, almost being part of the scene you want to capture. For me it creates a different perspective to your photography, in every sense of the word.

For landscapes urban or natural you can see the entire vista immediately before you with a wide-angle lens, without having to step further back in order to fit it all in and risk obstructing your view – which is great, especially in the city. But I find you can also take great people-shots too, with plenty of context to show them as an integral part of the overall framed subject rather than having them individually posed as in a portrait with a deliberately bland background. And of course whatever you take in the original frame, large-file digital images can always be cropped slightly afterwards to help emphasise the main point of interest as necessary. I like to go by the maxim that you can always crop something out later, but you can never add more to the final image.

I’m not always comfortable having people in shot, but I definitely want to improve my street photography skills so will be working on using my Panasonic Lumix GF3 with 14mm (28mm equivalent) pancake lens more effectively to this end in the future…

Hollow Ponds Boating Lake, East London; Borough Market, South London; and an outdoor stairway along London’s South Bank…

boating lake

borough-market2south-bank-yellow

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