Working without a Zoom Lens

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Using a camera without a zoom lens requires that you be creative when working with settings and subjects/objects. For example, if you are a candid photographer who shoots people without them knowing it, a zoom lens works well because you can shoot people from a distance. You'd think that if you take a picture without having a zoom lens, it would be kind of hard to photograph people without them knowing it, but the opposite is true. When you hold up your iPhone camera in front of someone to photograph them, it can appear that you are texting someone or just playing with your phone. Most of the time, they won't even notice you. Whether you decide to photograph people without their permission is up to you. It's not always the best thing to do; however, some of the most famous photographers have done it.

Now, if people know you are photographing them and you get them in good light without any distracting background, you'll get a really good portrait on the iPhone without zooming in from farther away. Figure 2.12 shows what you can get when your subject is close to the lens. Note how the face fills the frame completely so that there is no distracting background, taking away from the subject in the photograph.

Figure 2.12 Framing your subject tightly will eliminate a distracting background.

If you don't frame your subject tightly in the frame, you risk getting a distracting background. Figure 2.13 shows a woman in front of a distracting background—the huge trunk of the tree. If she was cropped tightly into the frame by holding the camera closer to her face, that background could be eliminated.

Figure 2.13 The tree looks as if it is coming out of the subject's head.


If you want a background that is less distracting, you can always move your subject, or you can move around your subject, stopping when the background contains no distractions.

Chapter 3

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