Happy Friday! Do you like pet pictures? You're gonna get your clicks worth today. lol
A couple of weeks ago I showed you examples of how a wide angle lens allows more elements into the frame, letting the image tell a more complete story. This week I'm going to show you what can be done with a long lens (or zoom lens.) This lens moves in, isolating your subject so that the surrounding elements don't distract from that subject or story. I love my long lens for many reasons so with this week's theme I thought I'd demonstrate a few for you.
First off, a long lens is perfect for pets who are a little leery about me pointing my camera at them. I have to back way up to use it and this is great when they are concerned about their personal space at the beginning of a session. I am able to zoom in from a longer distance and still get great shots of the pet without them feeling nervous.
This first image is an example of just that. With this lens I am able to zoom in on Hermes so that he isn't lost in the image. (The first image is as wide as my zoom lens can shoot - 70mm, and the second is zoomed in to 200mm with me standing in the same spot.)
With a long lens I can completely eliminate all of the surrounding elements in the frame leaving only a backdrop for my subject. If I want a certain color or texture to enhance my image, I can use just about anything with a long lens. Can you guess what my background is in this image? (Hint, it can be very useful at the end of a long walk. )
Zooming in and eliminating surrounding elements are wonderful options (if not necessary) to have when you are trying to isolate your subject in close indoor settings.
We have had a house guest for a few days and she proved to be a very gracious model. This is Sky and this image was taken at 70mm with my long lens to give you a feel for where I'm shooting.
I started out using my wide angle lens. It shows the table and her surroundings, but you can also see some warping because I'm so close to her. (I personally think she looks adorable in warp mode.) ;O)
When I switched back to my long lens you can see the warping is no longer an issue. (I'm zoomed in a little, but I am a lot further away from Sky, too . . . a LOT further.)
When I zoom in even further, I'm able to eliminate the background elements and isolate her so that she is the center of attention.
You can get some great close-ups with a long lens, too. I love Sky's little mouth in this image and I love how I was able to zoom in and show her long whiskers in the next one.
My favorite thing about using a long lens is that I can take pictures in crowded places. I love the pet events that we have during the summer months. I take my long lens to these and I'm able to take pictures of people and pets without them knowing and feeling awkward or feeling like they need to pose for me. These are always some of my most favorite images. I love that I'm able to zoom in on something that is far away THROUGH a group of people or elements.
At Woofstock 2015 there were people and animals everywhere. Barring one dog running directly in front of my lens, I was able to capture this sweet training moment even though they were "buried" deep within a sea of people. (I'm telling you there were people and dogs everywhere, but you'd never know it thanks to my long lens.) ;O)
I hope you are enjoying our weekly pet photographer's Project 52. This week you can start with Northeast PA based pet photographer, I Got The Shot Photography to see how others use their long lens when photographing pets.