Playing with Lenses

Playing with Lenses

Moments That Matter: lesson 3: topic 6: which lens…which focal length?

This lesson was harder than I expected and I feel as if I’m only slightly getting the hang of it. Another skill to add to the knowledge kit, it’s really all starting to feel like driving a manual, and just when I get the hang of it we add a new skill:)
Part of the challenge was trying to get my lad to sit still, he managed a little.
Image 1 – iso 64, 1/28, 3.26
whilst there is a little too much light on Ignatius’ face I was pleased to see the softer background here, finally I felt I got it!
Playing around with all the different lens sizes, it finally clicked as to when this softer background would happen

Image 2 – iso 64, 1/20, 3.26
zooming in to focus on Ignatius in the foreground, though different from the first as the background isn’t soft here

Image 3 – iso 64, 1/34, 3.26
this image focused in on Ignatius even more than image 2. makes the background appear soft

Image 4 – iso 64, 1/34, 3.26
shadows and light, actually reminded me of the previous framing lesson.

lens-1 lens-2 lens-3 lens-4

By Erin
Erin, married to my Prince Charming, mum of 10, wannabe photographer. Living on a property on the North Coast of NSW.


  1. Happy to be challenging you Erin 🙂 I know I keep adding new skills for you to learn and sometimes it becomes a little daunting. But as you have found if you stick with it and practice it slowly all starts to make more sense. I love it when people get to a stage and say “I finally got it!”. You have lots of harsh light where you are so I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of the next lesson on light. It should make a huge difference to your photos.

    Well done with all of these. It’s nice to see the different looks you can get with the different focal lengths. I think my favourite is image 3 – even through you cut off his hand and part of his foot (keep an eye in that because this could have been an even better photo). The reason I like this one so much is the sense of story is really strong in this one. You’ll get more of that in one of the later lessons. You are also using the rules nicely (rule of thirds and framing etc) so well done.

    Were these all really taken at a shutter speed of 1/20 -1/34? That’s quite a low shutter speed for a day that looks very bright. If so you did an excellent job of hand holding the camera and not getting camera shake.

  2. Yes having now done the harsh light lesson I know what you mean.
    Actually at the time I knew I had tricky light, middle of the day but in some shadows with the low trees yet reflection off the water.

    and oh no I cut off his hand and foot and hadn’t even noticed till now! Obviously still working on this area.
    I see framing everywhere now, really drawn to it. and becoming quite ‘picky’ seeking rule of thirdsoften.

    I was crouched on rocks infront of him with arms tucked in tight. Less and less of my photos are getting the shakes:)
    Because I have a compact camera which yet allows me a far amount of playing, I’m restricted with my aperture.
    So I set my iso, then move the aperture up or down via the metering button, so I can’t set it independently really
    At the time I wondered if I would have been better setting the iso at 100 or 200, considering I had shade as well as light happening together. What do you think?

  3. I tend to look for a faster shutter speed if at all possible. So I would have perhaps upped the ISO to 100 or 200 to get it. But you did well so it’s really mostly personal choice.

    • Thanks for the tip, will go with 200 next time.
      What situations would you use iso 64 in?

  4. My camera doesn’t have 64 – so never 🙂 I use 100 as the default for bright light and only increase it if necessary to get a good shutter speed.

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