A frequent point I make in my workshops and lectures is the importance of understanding, and using to your advantage, the difference between your vision and your camera's vision. For example, while it can be frustrating to confine a scene to a rectangular box, this limitation of the camera's vision does have its advantages. Not only does it enable us to isolate specific subjects that might otherwise be lost in the greater scene, it also allows us to banish distractions and less appealing objects to the forgotten world beyond the frame.
For this shot I was battling the midday stampede in Arizona's Upper Antelope Canyon. As I mentioned in my last Antelope Canyon post, imagine trying to photograph in a subway car during rush hour. With a tripod. So while simultaneously trying to work around the photographers and tripods in front of me and holding my ground against the impatient surge of tourists at my back, I scanned the room for something to shoot above everyone's heads, finally settling on this light shaft targeting a lone tumbleweed on a shelf near the ceiling.
Concerned about changing lenses in the dusty canyon, I'd decided before entering to carry two bodies. I quickly switched from my full frame body to my 1.6 crop body (for those not familiar with this terminology, it's enough to know that a for any given lens a full frame body gives me a wider perspective, while a 1.6 crop camera body gives a 60% tighter, more zoomed perspective) that gave me just enough reach to frame this shot.
What you don't see here is the sea of heads and cameras just beneath the frame. In other words, my camera's limited field of view (compared to what my eyes could see) was in fact no limitation in this image, it was an advantage that allowed me to exclude distractions. Learning how to take advantage of your camera's different view of the world is essential part of successful photography. I discuss how to deal with your camera's "limitations" (such as the rectangular confines of an image's perimeter, depth of field, dynamic range, the missing dimension, and so on) in previous posts, and will continue to do so in future posts. So stay tuned....
Next post: June 7 (to view previous posts, click the arrow in the upper left of today's image)
* Website: Eloquent Images
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