Thursday, August 23, 2012

Embracing the Wide Side

When I got my first DSLR camera (about 4 years ago, has it really been that long?!) I was amazed at all the capabilities it had that my point-and-shoot did not. Most especially I loved that I could get so close to my subject. It was heavenly to be able to fill the frame with my beautiful kids' faces, their eyes sparkling back at me in the photographs just as they do in real life.

Mustang Island, TX

I found shooting nature and flowers close up to be a awe-inspiring experience, as well. So many details! All the amazing colors and shapes and beauty to be found if you get down close to a simple wildflower or moss growing on a rock.

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However, before long I found myself firmly in a photography rut. All of my photos began to look the same and my inspiration was waning. My photographs looked tight and cramped to me and I was feeling a bit cramped myself.

Wave jumper
Elizabeth is jumping over the waves in this photo. 

Finally, I learned to mix things up and breathe some new life into my photographs by embracing wide angle focal lengths. For me that meant shooting on the 18mm end of my 18-105mm kit zoon lens or shooting with my 24mm prime lens.

Sisters and Flip Flops

All of these pictures were taken on our recent vacation during a brief visit to Mustang Island State Park using the wide end of my 18-105mm zoom lens.

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In these photos there is room for my subjects, be they children or husbands or birds, to move and interact with their environment. It's also easy to see there different sizes of the kids relative to each other.


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I particularly love capturing so much of the sky in a photo so you can see the beautiful natural gradation of the blue. Capturing the surroundings as well as the subject in a photo adds so much more interest.

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It's a whole new world on the wide side.

I won't stop taking those close ups of my kids' precious faces, though. I just now know to mix them up with a few shots that capture their entire bodies and their surroundings, as well.

3 comments:

Jill said...

Love it! Such beautiful blue skies and I love the one with the birds flying overhead.
I think Kelle Hampton does a great job of this. I believe she once said her favorite lens is her 18-35...there is always a 'story' going on in her photos.
I don't know if you follow Yan Palmer, but she does a lot with tiny subjects in a vast 'negative' space.

I'm in a rut too as I am still loving the face close-ups. I guess my issue is that I often find the 'wide' photos end up looking like basic snapshots and not as special as the close-ups. And I just love eyes in the close-ups...

It's funny because I got my camera in the winter and couldn't wait for spring for new backgrounds and now I can't wait for fall leaves since I haven't shot any in the fall yet!

Great photos, great post!

Colleen said...

Jill,
I know what you mean about wide photos ending up looking like snapshots. They can be tricky to pull off (of course, it's much easier when you're at a beautiful place like the beach). That's one thing I have learned from Kelle Hampton. She is all about finding interesting angles. She gets down really low and they shoots up slightly at her kids or she'll get well above them and shoot down. I've learned a lot from her photos, though I'm still learning how to apply that knowledge. I don't know Yan Palmer. Is she on instagram or does she have a blog? I'm interested in checking her out!

bobbi @ revolution of love said...

Wow. These are simply lovely!