How Focal Length Affects Compression

Posted on September 17, 2014 by Sean MacDonald
As I was setting up a quick photo shoot to advertise the new 70D photo specialty kit, I was reminded of the affect focal length has on the compression of an image. So I thought I would share a few photos as a quick example.

The difference can be seen best if you first scroll through just looking at the box. You will notice the size of the box in relation to the frame stays about the same from the first photo through the last.

Next, scroll through rather quickly just looking at the logo in the background. You will notice it gets much larger as the focal length increases.

The focal lengths for the photos are as follow: 19, 23, 27, 32, 37, 40, 58, 84, 105, 140, 170.

Why does this matter and how will it affect your photos? Well, if your background is important to the content of the photo, then you may want to use a wider focal length. If you want to isolate (separate) the subject from the background, then a longer focal length will help accomplish that.

The longer the focal length, the greater the compression. So when you hear people talking about the compression in the photo, you will now know what they are talking about!

It is up to you the photographer to determine what is important in the photograph, and what to include or not include. Focal length and compression are just tools and techniques.

I hope this tip helps you get one step closer to accomplishing your photographic goals.

*also, if you are interested in the 70D Photo Specialty kit, please contact us. (comes with free bag, memory card, and HDMI cable)

If you are not familiar with our camera store, we are located in Dubuque Iowa, and specialize in new and used camera equipment, as well as camera rental, lens rental, and photography classes and photography workshops. Feel free to contact us at (563) 845-7207, or visit our website at www.everyphotostore.com 
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