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  • Writer's pictureRebekah

RCP Photography School: Zoom Lens

Hello to all who’ve joined me on day 26 of this 26 day challenge to learn about the basics of photography.

We’ve talked so much about the basics of photography, dipping into different subjects of people, places and things. Looking at how photography can help you get through lockdown and use it as a therapy.

If you’re doing this course, you probably already know a little bit about me but if you don’t, please check out who I am.

The last lesson which I want to share with you is...

Z for Zoom Lens

Zooms lens. Sounds pretty self-explanatory. Knowing how to zoom in to the person, place or thing and how to frame it is so important when it comes to photography. People beginning their photography journey will just zoom in and out to see things but it mightn't actually be in focus or framed in a way that creates a beautiful photograph. I'm not saying that you current photographs are rubbish, because you could well have this technique nailed already. Today's lesson is to help you frame the photograph better when using the zoom on your lens.

When we looked at prime lenses, that you have to get creative, get close up, step back. I mentioned that zoom lenses have the ability to zoom for hundreds of metres, but it doesn't mean that it involves less work. Anyone can use the zoom ring on a lens, but not everyone will know how to frame the photograph without taking away from the person, place or thing.

For example, here is a photograph of two newborns. Its was difficult to zoom in without taking most of one baby out, but you still have both babies and both lips that are the key features of the photograph.

Check out this self-portrait I took a few christmases ago. I want to give you a better perspective on how zoom can be effective and how you can frame the photograph better without taking away from it too much. You can use the rule of thirds, like I have, and use the people or things around the edges of the photograph as a literal frame - notice the tree and the wall/mirror become less and less, but still frame me within the photograph.

Most cameras come with a zoom lens attached, whether the lens is attached or interchangeable. It's knowing how to use it effectively and using it to get creative, especially if it's the only lens you have.

How can a zoom lens be benefical?

Holidays. Day trips. Taking a sneaky photo of your dad sleeping after Christmas dinner without having to leave your chair - hey, we've all done it! But the quality isn't always great. That's why knowing how to use your zoom lens and not causing camera shake by using a tripod. Depending on how many megapixels your camera is and if the lens is interchangeable will determine the quality of the photograph once you have zoomed in and clicked the shutter button.

Do I need to have the best camera and lens?

I have learnt over the years to adapt to the kit' or gear that I have, because I started off with just a camera and a kit lens (usually 18-55mm). I spent a few years with that lens before upgrading to a prime lens, then another zoom lens. Having the best of the best won't mean anything if you can't or don't use it properly. Having the knowledge of how to take a good photograph and how to do it with what you have, will make you a much better hobbyist than most people.

I hope you've enjoyed RCP's Photography School, and please send in your practice shots taken throughout the course.

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