Exercise 2.7 -Wide-angles and deep focus

In this exercise we explore wide lenses and small apertures to produce scenes with deep depth of field. Of the mechanical exercises in Part Two, this is the one I found most difficult because I am uncomfortable with wide angles. I do not particularly like the associated image distortions and I find the backgrounds, although receding, are intrusive because of the difficulty in excluding disturbing elements from the frame.

All of these images were shot using an Olympus E-30, fitted with a 9-18mm wide-angle zoom. The 2.0 crop factor means that the 35mm equivalent zoom range is 18-35mm or ‘very wide’ to ‘short standard’. There is more variation in focal length than Exercise 2.6, where I mostly used 50mm (100mm equivalent) which I find easy to compose with. In most cases, the aperture was set at f/11.

All images were shot at ISO200 with aperture-priority evaluative metering.  This has led to some significant exposure variations within sequences, depending on the amount of sky included in frame. All images were shot in RAW and exported unedited (apart from resizing) from Lightroom.

Sequence 1 shows a recently-cleared piece of woodland. After the first two images, I adopted a lower viewpoint switching between foreground stumps and between portrait and landscape formats. The portrait shots emphasise depth but I found the arrangement of stumps became rather linear. In both selected images, the stumps form a zigzag leading into the frame, the top of which is held-in by a dark line at the base of the trees behind.

Sequence 2 is in a bike-park. The first four images are at various focal lengths between 12mm (24mm) and 18mm (36mm), after which I settled on 9mm (18mm) and varied my viewpoint. In this case, higher viewpoints (above handlebar level) gave a more extensive view and better sense of space. One problem is the pink bike at the left of foreground, which is intrusive when broken by the image frame.

In sequence 3, I was initially interested in the lifering and the rowing boat. Then the silver birch suggested itself as a third element.

Again, I present some non-sequence images that I was happy with.

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