Changing Perspective – Wide Angle Photography – Getting Up Close

135mm gets you nice a close without getting people’s faces. Wide angle photography offers no such buffer zone.

The Ricoh GR has a 28mm F2.8 lens. I felt like chucking the camera straight onto Ebay when I downloaded my first few sets of shots. Everything was too small. People, buildings, objects – all just little random bits and pieces. I needed to stop and reset.

I kept “seeing” and composing shots imagining a longer focal length lens was on the camera. And they kept coming out needing significant cropping to get them even close to being OK.

Back to the internet for some advice, I got two decent guardrails…

1. Get Close


2. Move further away

The first thing was to Get Closer. My natural inclination was to continue to keep a fair distance between the camera and the subject, ending up with “inbetween” nothing shots.

When you move in close with a wide angle, you get much more of the background story into frame, whereas with a long focal length, the background tends to “crop”. Hmmm, I need another analogy here… With the same proportional size of your subject, a wide angle lens has a broader “window” behind the subject that will be included in the shot. The longer the focal length, the less of the background will be in shot.

Moving Further Away gets more of a broad scene into shot. Tell a story with more parts.

So, some results I am happier with :


R0000710R0000525 R0000508I am still not convinced this is the best outcome – A few more trips out with the camera should help develop my ability to compose with the wide lens. Hopefully.

One thing I have already improved on is determining the focus point. You can see in a couple of the shots above I was still working out how to set the focus point. One of the very few minor issues with the Ricoh GR is the lack of touch screen focus. I love the function on a lot of cheaper point and shoots where you just tap the LCD screen to tell the camera where to focus, and potentially meter from. The Ricoh needs direction from a joystick button – but works very quickly once you get the hang of it.

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