Photography I – telephoto vs wide-angle

When I was at Arches National Park, my brother-in-law and I both took the same picture of a view from our campground. It was amazing…the foreground was still a bright orange while the different layers (mountains) in the background were various tones of purple. That is the magic of Arches…it can be orange and purple at the same time depending on the light. My brother-in-law had his 24-105mm lens on and I was using my 16-35mm. He was able to zoom in a little…his picture was stunning. My photo was just a nice photo of a landscape.

I had cropped my photo to try and tighten the view but when I saw the comparison…there wasn’t a comparison! This assignment highlighted why…

Here are two shots taken at (left) 105mm and (right) 24mm with the same aperture. Notice the fire hydrant is approximately the same size and the framing is similar. You can see the difference in the background and the angle/look of the fire hydrant. The telephoto pulls the background up and simplifies it. The wide-angle pushes the background objects apart and makes it look far away. The telephoto changes fundamental aspects of the photo. And now you know why the cropping of my landscape photo didn’t fix it…


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