An Assignment

Some of you want more assigments! Well you shall have them. Here’s one for a start.

Go make an interesting picture. Use a “standard” lens. And “no flowers”.

Let me explain.

I.e. not this?

First, I would like you to go make a picture that is interesting in itself. Perhaps beautiful, even. And not because of the flower in it. The flower is already beautiful. You need you to make the picture impressive.

Hence also part two of the assignment: use a standard lens.

45mm lens

A standard lens, like my 45mm TS-E lens I used for the snap above, neither compresses perspective, like a telephoto lens does, or expand it, like a wide angle lens, as in the 16mm picture here (which I took at my art exhibit yesterday, and yes it is open this month):

16mm lens (on full frame)

So why is my 45mm lens a “standard” lens? A rule of thumb is that the diagonal size of the sensor is the focal length you should use to get a “normal” perspective. If you have a full-frame camera, with a 24x36mm “negative”, that is, if you remember Pythagoras:

√ ((242)+(362)) = 45.3

That’s why 45mm is “standard”. But it is subjective, so open to change within a range: back when, Leica chose 50mm as standard pretty arbitrarily. On your “crop” camera, 35mm is closer.

So if you use a 50mm (or if you have  “crop sensor” camera, 35mm) lens and avoid “flowers”, your work will be your work, and not the effect of cool stuff or weird angles. They have their place too – but not in this assignment. Go for it.


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