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Tips & Tricks

Movement VS Zoom | Changing A Subject’s Relationship With The Background

By Wendell Weithers on April 20th 2017

Understanding your gear and how it performs is just as important  as what gear you buy. After all, it doesn’t matter if your lens has a red ring, gold ring, red dot, or a big ‘G’ stamped on the side of it if you don’t know how to make the most of it. One of the best ways to get creative with your images is understanding how to manipulate the persecutive in your shots and this can be done using prime or zoom lenses. In this video, J.P. Morgan from the Slanted Lens explains how both zooming and physically changing your position impact the perspective in your images.


 Zooming vS. Moving Tips

These tips work when you keep your subject the same size in the frame. If your subject moves, it becomes more difficult to achieve your desired look.*

  1. Only zooming into or away from your subject with your lens doesn’t change your subject’s relationship to the background.
  2. Moving closer to or away from your subject, while keeping your subject the same size in the frame, will change their relationship to the background.
  3. Using a longer focal length and moving further away from your subject creates a perspective where the background is closer to your subject.
  4. Using a shorter focal length and moving closer to your subject creates a perspective where the background is further away from your subject.

These tips are good to remember when you want to maximize or minimize the role of the backgound in your image. Next time you shoot a portrait move around a bit and play with the perspective.

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Terms: #Compression

Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Guy Delarea

    great atrticle, always helpful 

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