Choosing the right focal length

Choosing the right focal length

  Seems like an easy thing to do, just point the camera at your subject, frame your subject and if it fits; shoot. If not, zoom out or zoom in. But, there is so much more to it than that. Different focal lengths provide different looks. Wide lenses will exaggerate distances, while longer lenses will compress distances and objects. The relationship of distance between objects will be compressed with longer lenses, and exaggerated with wide lenses. Now, most people will agree that longer lenses are great portrait lenses. They compress distances, framing the face in a very flattering way. Most, would also agree that wide lenses (especially very wide lenses) are not the most flattering for portraits. They tend to exaggerate the distances from the tip of the nose to the ears, etc, etc. They also tend to make people look   *ahem*….wider. Which if you are being paid to do a portrait, probably not the way to go. Now, most will also agree that the best (and most common) choice for a lens when shooting landscapes and such would be a wide lens. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my 14mm wide lens, but it is not always the lens I grab when shooting landscapes. Many compositions can benefit from the compression that a longer lens will give to a scene. Most photographers think of lenses only in the ability to change the field of view, but there is much more to the look of a than just field of view. Early spring we went on a short hike on the Rails to Trails Conservatory trail near the...
Elk watching in Boxley Valley, Arkansas – Trip #3

Elk watching in Boxley Valley, Arkansas – Trip #3

My 3rd trip out to Boxley Valley proved to be quite a bit more exciting than last time. There were quite a few herds out in the fields in different areas in along the valley. The elk really like the lower temperatures and the rain that we had last night. There was a very large herd of elk in the first field when you drive into the valley.  We kept going through the valley, just to see what was going on, and we saw several small groups and several lone bulls wondering the valley. Eventually we came across a medium sized herd, the there were several bulls that were bugling and counter-bugling. I was really hoping to see a bullfight, or even some sparing, and if we were going to see any this was probably the spot. Sadly, though, no bull flights. The herd bull spent a fair amount of time chasing the other bulls that were there around, but none were willing to stand up to him. I did manage to get some shots of the herd bull bugling with his breath showing in the cold air. That was one that was on my list. On the way back home we stopped in Harrison, where the Harvest Homecoming was taking place on the square. Caite was happy, she found that there was someone there with a facepainting booth.          ...
Boxley Valley – Trip 2

Boxley Valley – Trip 2

Trip number two was a little bit of a bust. It is a two hour drive from Mountain Hime to Ponca, and when sunrise is on the agenda, that is a rough drive. It is much easier to make the drive there and back when everything pans out and you get what you came for. I woke up early, a round 4 am, so that I could plan on arriving in Ponca before 7 am. It had rained the night before, and was still raining a little on the drive to Ponca, and that was a good thing, usually, rain and lower temperatures will keep the elk out in the open a little longer. It should have been a perfect time for viewing elk. the time of year is right, the weather is right. perfect time of day. But not this time, when I arrived in Ponca and started down 43 to see the elk, there was just nothing going on. No herds out today. I saw a few lone bulls here and there, but no real action to photograph. On the way back I stopped to take a few landscape images. Well… Hopefully next time out I’ll have better luck. Just goes to show, You can do all the planning, and everything seems favorable, and for some reason nothing pans out. I still got to see a few elk, and got a nice view of farms and the passing storms, so at least its not a total loss....