22 Apr 2008

Wide angle for people

This is a very different style of photograph to the one in the previous post. It was taken just a few moments after the first in a busy camel market in Cairo.

This time, though, a wide angle 24mm lens has been used. The action is far more static. It is a reflective moment while the group of camel traders sit together on the ground smoking and talking. This time I wanted to emphasise the arrangement of the four people in the group while retaining lots of information in the background. This background information tells the story of who they are and what their work is.

So I have moved right in and filled my foreground with the wide angle. This has slightly exaggerate the perspective and placed more emphasis on the men themselves.

Of course the men knew I was there and that I was taking photographs. But I had been in the market most of the morning and had build something of a rapport with these people. In the end they were quite happy to let me get on with what I was doing while they carried on working.

My normal way of working is with two camera bodies – one fitted with a wide angle lens and one with a longer lens. This completely cuts out the need to keep changing lenses. It is just a method I have got used to over many years working as a travel photographer with The Sunday Times and for other magazines. There are many conditions in which you simple would not want to change lenses especially these days with the problems of getting dirt on the sensor. The dusty conditions of this market would have played havoc with the sensor of a digital camera.

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