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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fill Your Frame With Story

Use the expansive perspective of wide-angle lenses to put your portrait in context

Fill Your Frame With Story

Having started my career assisting two professional photojournalists, I quickly realized that powerful images could be created by using a wide-angle lens. Photojournalists love using this type of lens because of its ability to capture a subject closely while showing the expanse of his or her environment.

After segueing my career into portrait photography, I've embedded in my style the techniques of a photojournalist. The type of photography I shoot is different now. I now direct my subjects instead of being the "fly on the wall." I like to tell a story with my images, and a wide-angle lens allows me to do this.

Lenses: Standard Vs. Wide

Standard portrait lenses usually have a 50-80mm focal length range, with a narrow angle of view. Because of this, you're limited in trying to capture a story or sense of place in your image.

Wide-angle lenses are much different. My first wide-angle lens was a Canon 17-35mm, and I couldn't put my camera down when I got it. I started to fill my frame with objects, trees, sky, cars and winding roads, all of which direct focus to my subjects. This lens opened up a huge canvas on which I could paint, so to speak.


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