I had the pleasure of taking guide photos in Fredericksburg, Va., recently. When I am photographing a city, town, or neighborhood I do a lot of walking, miles of walking in fact, so I can see every conceivable view and angle of the area’s notable features. I may shoot wide and tight, low and high and keep going until I get the most compelling perspective. I don’t just take a photo two ways, I may approach a shot 5-6 ways. Please see second photo and additional text below.
The historic city of Fredericksburg, conveniently located between Richmond, Va., and Washington D.C., has a lot of colorful wall murals. This mural is near the heart of the historical district. I shot the top photo with a telephoto lens in order to compress the mural with its surrounding building giving the mural a sense of place and perspective.
In fact it looks like the steeple in the mural the woman is looking at is the same steeple seen in the photo at far left.
The second photo below was taken just a few feet away from the mural’s base. Its an O.K photo of the painting but you really do not see much of anything else. Except for the fact that it says Fredericksburg on the wall this photo does not tell the view much except what the mural looks like. The second photo is a horizontal though it has the feel and look of a vertical.
As a former photo editor, I am very sensitive about providing choices to my clients and to me when I am editing my own take. So I shoot verticals and horizontals, long shots and close ups, wide angles and telephoto versions. Sometimes I may throw in a panorama version to add scope to the image.
You do not want to shoot too much because then it makes your editing a chore, but at least give your self some options. This is imperative if you are shooting for a Web site or any sort of publication. Designers love options and they do not like to be constrained by a lack of choices.
Sometimes these options might not end up as photos taken, but its important to look at a scene, or building, animal, flower or person from all angles and distances as possible with a variety of lenses. That extra minute you spend or mile you walk to scout out an angle or a look on a photo a different way might make the difference between an average photo and a good one. You may even see something you would have never seen if you had not tried for a different perspective.
My favorite example of this is a photo I took of a lily a few years ago. Please see below.
I was taking pictures of group of flowers outside of our home using a wide angle lens. As is my practice I switched to a 60mm macro and got closer and closer and closer. The more I shot
I began to notice this small brown object at the base of the flower. First I thought it was a bug then after a more thorough inspection I discovered it was a tiny frog, about the size of a dime.
Below is an even closer look at the little fella.
One final note on using telephoto lenses: Using a telephoto lens serves two purposes: it brings your subject closer and maybe more importantly compresses the objects in your scene.
The more compressed that scene is the clearer and crisper the image can be. Your subjects will pop out of your frame and you can effectively eliminate a lot of unwanted and annoying clutter.
Thanks so much for dropping by my blog today! Rob