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Phil Douglis | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Sixty Five: Using the zoom lens to change frame, scale, and meaning tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gallery Sixty Five: Using the zoom lens to change frame, scale, and meaning

The zoom lens offers us a way to optically change our vantage point by cropping the image to change the frame, abstract the subject, reveal and remove detail, and even change its scale and its relationship to its surroundings. Such changes can have a profound effect on meaning.

We can often do likewise by physically moving back and forth, however there are times where it may prove impossible for us to actually walk around our subject, move in, or pull back. We must instead rely on our zoom lens to optically vary both vantage point and frame. The greater the magnification factor of our zoom lens is, the greater the variety of framing options will be.

This mini-gallery, featuring six images of the same subject, is devoted to just such a situation. I was essentially limited to making all of these images within the confines of the observation deck overlooking the Lower Falls of The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park, in 2008.

Contrast and compare all six of these images together on this gallery page and see how they differ from one another, and think about how those differences affect meaning. The waterfall gets progressively larger from image to image here, while its surroundings become increasingly more abstract. All of these photographs were made with the same lens, all shot from the same spot using six different focal lengths offered by my 35mm-420mm zoom lens, which has a 12x magnification factor.

Read the captions, and then click on any of the large thumbnails to see the image in all of its detail and to read any commentary from viewers and my responses to those comments. I hope you will be able to participate in the dialogue. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions, and will be delighted to respond.