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Focal length (zoom)

If you are new to photography you probably think of zoom only as a tool to take photos when something is a too far away. However, the effect on your photos can be so much more.

Without going into much detail, when taking a portrait you would generally want to move back and zoom in to something like 50-100mm.

Here's an example showing the difference:

As shown, zooming in is a way to play it safe until you feel more confident to experiment with wider angles (less zoom). Notice how distorted the doors behind him looks on the wide angle shot?

The pictures were taken with my D70 while flashing into the ceiling. Notice that on the 70mm photo the lighting is also better, because on the 18mm photo i had to move so close that the flash caused problems.

One last thing to remember is that if you want to blur the foreground/background (out of focus) more zoom will enhance this as well, bringing the subject out from the background. This is visible quite visible here if you look at the left image you can see that while the face is in focus, the neck and back of the head is not.

Thanks to my cousin Espen for modeling :)