Bare Basswood: Blog, WP, landscape

Bare Basswood

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Wimbachklamm, Ramsau (OSM)

Recently I had a short email exchange with the the Profligatographer regarding the preferred focal length/angle of view. He told me that he just recently came to enjoy that “normal” angle of view while having used almost exclusively moderate wide-angle-lenses before.

And this was not uncommon, as there were such dedicated wide-angle photographers even before: When I spoke to the son-in-law of the late Ernst Baumann (*1908), South Tyrolean/German film producer Luis Trenker’s still photographer, he told me that his father-in-law had never bothered with normal lenses, neither on his Leicas nor on his Rolleiflex, and was an exception at that time.

To me this preference seems to be influenced a lot by the photographic socialisation, and there was probably a time, say, in the 60s and 70s, where a wider angle of view was preferred by many and the 50mm equivalent was seen as something more orthodox. Myself I am coming from the normal-to-tele lens preference, but in the many cities I’ve visited in the past years, I drifted towards wide-angle-lenses. But even when shadowing a Munich-based newspaper photographer for some days, I never came to grips with using a really wide lens for environmental portraits. Probably it has to do with the fact that then you have to invade your subjects personal space too much, and even for a good image this was/is something I can’t bring myself to do.

6 thoughts

  1. Beautiful how the bare tree glows. I have only used 50mm on my crop sensor, where it works well for portraits. Recently purchased a full frame, but have yet to play with it on that one.

    1. Michael, now I regret that I did not give my 50mm lens on that APS-C I was using a good workout – I got deterred by its ghosting (it was a design for a film camera), instead of really trying out where its strengths were. Probably that’s a question of necessary experience to overcome the fixation on technical image quality.

  2. I really like this picture. Such a lovely color of green. Speaking of lenses, I find myself using 90mm a lot in the woods. It helps me to get a simpler picture from the mass of details there.

    1. Yes, David, I too use the longer focal lenght lenses for concentrating on structures that all too easy get out of control. And I do enjoy a lot to support the compression effect by using large f-stops, cautiously trying to guide the viewer to the elements I want to emphasize. Of course this can backfire when to applied with too much thinking instead of looking…

  3. Zauberhaft, sowohl in der Farbstimmung als auch in der Allover-Textur der Äste.
    Und unabhängig vom genutzten Objektiv ist das Foto vor allem das Produkt Deiner “Optik”.
    Gruß, Uwe

    1. Danke, Uwe. Die eigene Optik kann ja nur dann Eindrücke transportieren, wenn man sein Werkzeug kennt. Nach 10 Jahren intensivem Fotografieren komme ich dem hoffentlich näher. Aber das Lernen ist ja letztendlich das Interessante daran.

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