Photography Stuff: 35mm

Recently I’ve had a few questions from readers and friends about lenses, how I shoot with them, and which ones are my favorites. I thought today would do a post on these questions and show you some examples. Right now I would say my favorite lens is my Cannon 1:2 35mm. (To be honest it is actually one of our cheaper lenses we own.) Don’t get me wrong I love my 70-200mm but I adore my 35mm. And here’s why…..

The 35mm is a stationary lens so you can’t zoom in and out with it, instead you need to move in closer or farther away from your subjects. I love the intimacy the 35mm can give to photos. Yes sometimes you do have to get really close to the subjects you are photographing but the softness of the photos turn out stunning. I also really enjoy the wide editorial feel it can give when you’re taking in more of the action or scenery around you. The 35mm lens is a really wide lens so when you shoot with it you can get a lot in the picture and sometimes I think it helps tell the story better. The final thing that I love about my 35mm is that it can shoot at very low apertures. This means that the lens can let a lot of light into your shots. (In low light settings you need all the light you can get!) Keep in mind that shooting at low apertures can affect your focal points. If you are close to your subject and shoot at the lowest aperture your focal point is very narrow- causing only a small portion of your photo to be in focus. For example with the 35mm, if you don’t want to increase your aperture, to get more in focus you would actually need to back up and widen your shot.

Want to see what I mean? Below I used some random photos of Eli to help me explain. They’re nothing special but I think they help support my points.

In the photo below I took using my 35mm lens. My ISO was set to 400 and my aperture was a low 2.0. For this picture I was really close to Eli, you can even see my hand in the pic. Being this close and having a low aperture means that my focus area is very narrow. Notice that only the canon lens cap and our hand are in focus.  I love how the 35mm helps me to get this lovely artistic and an up-close & personal feel. Kind of like you are right there with me.

For this photo I took it using my 35mm and shot with my ISO at 800. The only light I had was coming in from the window behind Eli so my aperture was set to 2.1 to get all the available light into the photo. Again I was shooting with a low aperture to let in lots of light. For this photo though you’ll notice I stood further back from Eli. I did this for two reasons. I wanted to Eli’s whole head in focus, and I wanted to take in more of the scene around him. I love the wideness of the 35mm lens. Sometimes stepping back and taking in more of your surroundings help you tell more of the story at hand.

This next shot was taken with the same settings as above. You’ll notice though I changed my angle to one from above- making Eli more front and center. I don’t know why but I really like taking photos from a bit of a higher angle with my 35mm lens. It lets you see the backdrop but also keeps the focus on the main subject. Notice the softness that the 35mm lens gives the photo too?

That’s it for today’s post. I’d love to do posts like this more often- please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this week’s post and what other topics you’d like to see me post on. Have a great weekend everyone!

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