This video shows how focal length and zooming affect subject-background relationship in your photos

Sep 24, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

This video shows how focal length and zooming affect subject-background relationship in your photos

Sep 24, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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I believe you already know that “zooming with your feet” and changing the focal length can affect the relationship between your subject and the background. In this short video, you can see the effect of both coming close to the subject and changing the focal length, and how it affects the final look of your image.

The video was posted by dubby8880 on Reddit, and it’s one of those amusing short demonstrations of the focal length change. A tree is the main subject, the video starts with moving to the tree physically, without changing the focal length. In the other part, the photographer moves away from the tree while zooming in. Or rather simulates this effect by cropping and scaling (considering that the video is a collaboration between Ari Fararroy and Adobe). This makes the tree stay about the same size in the frame, and the background changes and becomes more compressed. This creates the dolly zoom effect you can see in movies such as Vertigo and Jaws.

YouTube video

We’ve seen before how different focal lengths work for portraits and headshots. And there’s an example here how focal length affects the depth of field. If you’re interested to read more on zooming with your feet versus zooming with your lens, make sure to check out this article and watch Jay P. Morgan‘s video below for some great examples.

YouTube video

[via Reddit]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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One response to “This video shows how focal length and zooming affect subject-background relationship in your photos”

  1. B Henry Avatar
    B Henry

    Great demonstration. I recently took a photo of the me and the wife with Mt.Rainier in the background and used this technique to bring the mountain closer. One I printed the photo my wife was amazed at house large the mountain seemed behind us. She thought I used photoshop .