Pro Moviemaker Summer 2018


but more often than not just brings confusion. A viewer who doesn’t know what to look at loses interest quickly. A second feature of a telephoto lens is that it gives a foreshortening, so objects in the frame appear closer than they actually are. This could be as simple as a head-on shot of a car chase, where the chasing car looks like it’s right behind the lead vehicle. Or in a sport stadium, the spectators may appear right behind the players even though they are a fair distance back. A telephoto not only appears to magnify the subject but also the background, so shooting it wide open blurs the background nicely to keep attention on the subject. Or the focus can be racked to suddenly put the attention on something in the background while making the first subject go out of focus. That’s the beauty of a fast maximum

ABOVE Shooting a fast lens wide open can creata stunning out-of-focus highlights from point light sources. LEFT Blurring the background is a real bonus of using a very wide aperture to shoot close-ups.. aperture rather than the slower, variable apertures of many stills photo lenses. One often overlooked benefit of a longer lens is if you are panning, trying to keep up with a subject. The longer the lens, and hence the further away you are from the subject, the slower you have to pan. This keeps things much smoother than, for example, if you were up close using a wide lens. That way you’d have to whip around very fast and there’s no way you could keep the subject in the right part of the frame. It’s a disconcerting look – which can be used for creative e†ect – but one that might give your viewers a headache if used a lot. It’s not all plain sailing There are two big issues to solve when using longer lenses – and they can be related – keeping the lens steady while hand-holding or even on a tripod; and making sure focus is nailed at all times. A shallow depth-of-field means that focus is critical, so you need to get it exactly right or the shot can be ruined. If you are hand-holding then this becomes even more of a problem. The tighter angle of viewmeans any shakes, (that are often masked by using shorter focal length lenses) are magnified. And any camera moves, such as on a slider or a dolly, mean it’s very hard to get the focus perfectly right throughout the move. It can take years of practise and experience to really get to grips with a longer lens, but once you have mastered it, the look of your films will be transformed into something far more cinematic than ever before.



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