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Author Topic: Patrick Ward - shooting wide  (Read 5861 times)

Rand47

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Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« on: October 30, 2015, 06:54:58 pm »

All I have to say is, 'wow!'  Both the images in his article and those currently on his blog are wonderful.  At a time when one can easily develop "retina fatigue" looking at pretty, over-processed lancscape icons, his work is a fresh breeze blowing from the direction of creativity, sensitivity, and "being there."

Rand
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MarkL

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2015, 07:19:30 pm »

Very good use of the wide angle. He does a great job with it but much of the wide work I see is poor and the lens intrudes greatly with the perspective detracting from the shot. I guess I shoot more like Michael, I struggle to make even a 35mm work well for me.
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Tom Montgomery

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2015, 08:03:45 pm »

Having only recently acquired a 16-35mm lens for my FF camera (hi Rand!), I'm still working at getting the hang of it, especially in atypical (for me) non-landscape situations.  And every so often I get a wonderful hint of a whole new perspective on subjects that I used to consider dull and overworked. Definitely worth the effort.
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danmitch

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2015, 10:31:49 pm »

I think that wide is good for such photographs. I also think that normal is good for them. And so is long. ;-)

It is true that when we photograph people up close with wide and ultra wide lenses we insert ourselves into the scene by forcing the subject to become more aware of our presence, a presence which can affect what the subject does. That aggressive approach can impact the photograph in interesting ways, though it also means that, even more than usual, the photograph may become more about the photographer.

On the other hand, when we choose to work from a greater distance and/or with smaller and less obtrusive equipment, we may have a better opportunity to photograph the subject as the subject is, almost as if we are not there and making us less a part of the subject.

It is quite possible to create an intimate photograph of a person or persons either way.

One thing that I don't understand is the notion that how we feel about being in close to the subject has much to do with the photographic result. It may please or excite us to be so close and there certainly can be a sort of personal thrill in that... but I'm less convinced that it necessarily makes the photograph better.

Dan
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stamper

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2015, 05:17:07 am »

I think that wide is good for such photographs. I also think that normal is good for them. And so is long. ;-)

It is true that when we photograph people up close with wide and ultra wide lenses we insert ourselves into the scene by forcing the subject to become more aware of our presence, a presence which can affect what the subject does. That aggressive approach can impact the photograph in interesting ways, though it also means that, even more than usual, the photograph may become more about the photographer.

On the other hand, when we choose to work from a greater distance and/or with smaller and less obtrusive equipment, we may have a better opportunity to photograph the subject as the subject is, almost as if we are not there and making us less a part of the subject.

It is quite possible to create an intimate photograph of a person or persons either way.

One thing that I don't understand is the notion that how we feel about being in close to the subject has much to do with the photographic result. It may please or excite us to be so close and there certainly can be a sort of personal thrill in that... but I'm less convinced that it necessarily makes the photograph better.

Dan

Well said! I read a lot about using wide primes with regards to street photography. Personally I use a small lightweight zoom and use all of it's focal length as appropriate and don't limit myself to one particular focal length. Sticking to one focal length is akin to putting a straight jacket on your thinking imo.

ashaughnessy

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2015, 04:21:40 pm »

I really enjoyed Patrick's writing style as well as his photographs. I always prefer shooting wide to normal because zooming in with a long lens always feels like cheating. I always feel I should be looking for a composition with what's near by. Just my prejudice.
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thompsonkirk

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 01:59:34 pm »

Insofar as the issue is how should a beginner start out, IMO the case is strong for wide.   Longer focal lengths suggest to the beginner that he or she look for 'things' faces, mountains, flowers that will monopolize the frame.  A wider lens will lead sooner to the realization that one is photographing rectangles, not objects, and that it's important to see everything that fills the frame.

Kirk
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jjj

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2015, 06:41:52 pm »

Insofar as the issue is how should a beginner start out, IMO the case is strong for wide.   Longer focal lengths suggest to the beginner that he or she look for 'things' faces, mountains, flowers that will monopolize the frame.  A wider lens will lead sooner to the realization that one is photographing rectangles, not objects, and that it's important to see everything that fills the frame.
That's a nice way of putting it.

I recently aquired a long lens  shortly after reading Michael's article on long lenses, which was a coincidence as it was simply because i wanted a light camera setup for travel/biking so bought an OM5II with 24-80mm + 80-300mm [equivalent]. Normally I have a 16-35mm glued to my Canon and my 70-200mm lenses gather dust and pocket cameras must have a 24mm coverage before even being considered. All this despite the fact that people are my main subjects to photograph. However I am very impressed by the Oly 40-150mm f2.8 lens, but and this is a big but....I simply do not love it. I realised that I'd rather be doing the same shot from closer to subject with a wider lens. I figure that I see in wide angle. The wide angle zoom for the olympus wasn't out at time, so maybe I need to get one of them to fully appreciate the camera.
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GrahamBy

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2015, 04:34:49 am »

I tnink that's it: some people see long, some people see wide. I'm from the former category: my widest current lens is a 26mm equivalent (17-50 on a Pentax K3) and I don't feel any desire to go wider. Once upon a time I bought a 16-35 canon for my film-era EOS, and really struggled with it. Maybe the sh*t who stole it got better use out of it :-/
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AreBee

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2015, 04:41:53 am »

Kirk,

Quote
A wider lens will lead sooner to the realization that one is photographing rectangles, not objects...

Please can you elaborate on the above?
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2015, 06:23:10 am »

Kirk,

Please can you elaborate on the above?

To me it's clear what Kirk meant. The rectangular frame requires filling it with a composition of multiple objects/shapes/patches of light and shadow because a wider angle of view tends to show more objects (even when focused close-up). A longer focal length, although not exclusively, tend to lend itself for isolating an object, either by magnification or DOF.

I think that a 'normal' focal length is best to start with, so one can learn basic composition and technique, and find out if a wider or narrower field of view is required, and whether a different perspective from shooting closer or farther away, is more appealing going forward.

Cheers,
Bart
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GrahamBy

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2015, 06:56:56 am »

It may be true, otoh the perspective flattening of a long lens can lead to the same realisation... many of the photos in the long lens for landscape article were demonstrations of that.
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AreBee

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2015, 07:39:46 am »

Bart,

Quote
To me it's clear what Kirk meant. The rectangular frame requires filling it with a composition of multiple objects/shapes/patches of light and shadow because a wider angle of view tends to show more objects...

Sorry, but I still do not understand. When Kirk mentions "rectangles", to what does he refer?

Quote from: Kirk
A wider lens will lead sooner to the realization that one is photographing rectangles, not objects...
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jjj

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2015, 07:51:10 am »

Sorry, but I still do not understand. When Kirk mentions "rectangles", to what does he refer?
What shape is the image produced by a piece of film or a sensor? A rectangular one. So that is what you need to consider when taking photos, not the just the shape of the subject.
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Manoli

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2015, 08:03:58 am »

Sorry, but I still do not understand. When Kirk mentions "rectangles", to what does he refer?

A frame consisting of four straight sides and four right angles with unequal adjacent sides,

within which ' .. a composition of multiple objects/shapes/patches of light and shadow .. ' exist '.. because a wider angle of view tends to show more objects...'

which part can't you grasp ?
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stamper

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2015, 08:14:29 am »

A frame consisting of four straight sides and four right angles with unequal adjacent sides,

within which ' .. a composition of multiple objects/shapes/patches of light and shadow .. ' exist '.. because a wider angle of view tends to show more objects...'

which part can't you grasp ?

I think he is trying to be provocative? :(

AreBee

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2015, 08:28:14 am »

jjj,

Quote
What shape is the image produced by a piece of film or a sensor? A rectangular one. So that is what you need to consider when taking photos, not the just the shape of the subject.

1. Frame aspect is independent of focal length
2. Frame aspect can be square
3. If Kirk referred to the frame, why did he refer to "rectangles" - plural? A typographic error seems unlikely (refer below to my response to Manoli).
4. If Kirk referred to the frame, why did he associate a "wider lens" with fewer "objects", which contradicts Bart's comment that "...a wider angle of view tends to show more objects..."?



Manoli,

Quote
A frame consisting of four straight sides and four right angles with unequal adjacent sides...

By substituting the word "frame", Kirk's comment becomes:

Quote
A wider lens will lead sooner to the realization that one is photographing [the] frame, not objects...

Does the above make sense to you?

Quote
A frame consisting of four straight sides and four right angles with unequal adjacent sides...

Three right-angles are sufficient to define a rectangle, according to your definition.



stamper,

Quote
I think he is trying to be provocative?

Not at all. Kirk's comment makes no sense to me, so I asked for clarification.
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jjj

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2015, 08:37:19 am »

Does the above make sense to you?
Yes. And seemingly everyone else too.
Longer focal lengths tend to exclude all but the subject, so that becomes what you focus in on and the shape of the subject is what matters
Wide lenses tend to encompass far more, so you need to consider the shape of the capture medium to fit all that content into.
Don't be so literal about rectangles/squares etc either.


Quote
Not at all. Kirk's comment makes no sense to me, so I asked for clarification.
Which I thought was pretty obvious, but some people like to make negative assumptions that may have zero bearing on another's motives. Usually assumptions that say more about themselves that the person they are criticising.  :-\
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AreBee

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2015, 08:55:12 am »

Quote
Yes. And seemingly everyone else too.

Seemingly everyone but one.
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Manoli

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Re: Patrick Ward - shooting wide
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2015, 09:46:38 am »

[\* levity-mode-on]

Rob,

Are we having a slow day, today ?

Three right-angles are sufficient to define a rectangle, according to your definition.

No, it wouldn't - only by 'angular' deduction and your alternative definition does not preclude the possibility of one parallel side being shorter than the other. Perhaps we can both settle on the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary definition: ' A plane rectilineal four-sided figure having all its angles right angles, and therefore its opposite sides equal and parallel '.

By substituting the word "frame", Kirk's comment becomes:
< A wider lens will lead sooner to the realization that one is photographing [the] frame, not objects... >

There is, in French, a term 'sous-entendu' - loosely translated as 'implied' or 'understood'.
I think it's clear that your interpretation of Kirk's wording is not only incorrect but also defies any logical 'sous-entendu' of Kirk's original phraseology.

I can't be certain, but my gut instinct tells me that you already knew that ...

[\* levity-mode-off]
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