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Before we dive into our specialty lenses in depth, I want to quickly go over one very important idea that was covered in Foundations of Photography: Lenses, but that people often forget about, and that has to do with camera position. It's going to be particularly important when we get to telephoto lenses. Take a look at this image. I want you to pay very close attention to the distance between her nose and her ear and the overall sense of proportion in her face. I was shooting this with a 50-mm lens, and I was standing very close to her. Now watch what happens when with the same lens I step backwards.
Now, the sense of distance between her nose and her ear seems to change. Here's before, here's after. The proportions of her face are very different. Here, this distance appears shorter, her face appears to flatten out compared to here where I see greater increase in depth. As you change camera positions, sense of depth in your scene changes. People often mistake this for something to do with focal length. They say that as your focal length increases, the sense of depth in your scene changes.
Technically, that's not true. There's nothing optically happening here between these two images. The change is only happening because of my camera position. The thing is, if you're using a very long lens, you don't stand close to your subject, you stand far away. And so, we end up feeling like long lenses make for this change in depth. And that's usually what we say, and that's how I'm going to be referring to it later in this course. I'm going to say that when you're working with longer lenses, the sense of depth in your scene is going to be compressed.
It's not happening because of focal length, it's happening because of where you stand with your long lenses, and it's important to understand that difference.
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