Setting up this web site and looking back at some of the images makes me realise something. There’s a lot of photos taken with long lenses.
I do like to get wildlife big in the frame so you can really see the subject. In some respects, the stills photographer needs to get closer in to the action with a subject than the movie maker who can use movement. Our eyes and brain are naturally drawn to movement and focus in on it in any scene. Without movement, a subject can easily get lost.
That’s not to say all the images I like are all really tightly close up or cropped in. Some are wider shots context shots. But these are still shot using longer lenses. See some examples below:
So the problem is this, when we shoot with a longer lens, the subject is still almost always isolated from its context because of narrow depth of field and the field of view of the background is still pretty small. It doesn’t give the wider perspective.
So what to do? Well the clue is in the wider perspective. A short or wide angle lens gives that context. Unfortunately, to get the subject (e.g. a small bird) a reasonable size in the image means working close up (i.e. within a few feet at most). That’s quite a problem because it means working very differently possibly with wide lenses and remote triggering.
Nevertheless, I think I’m going to give it a try. This is a curious effect of setting up a website makes you think more about how you photograph. I hadn’t really thought that might happen.
I just looked out these two little lenses, these might do the job…
Left, Nikon, Nikkor 35mm f1.8G DX (50mm equivalent on crop sensor); Right Nikkor 24mm f2.8D (36mm on crop sensor). The latter is a venerable lens in Nikon’s line up, its been around for years and is a bit of a cracker but isn’t the latest style.