20 : Epic Longshots

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The whole kit and kaboodle

For this lesson, it's time to go epic! We use the term “longshot” to describe a grander-scale image; it communicates the overall idea of any given story. Longshots are often used to establish the scale of your subjects compared with their surroundings. These images are usually taken from farther distances (hence the term “longshot”) in order to capture a wider view of the setting.

When working with a prime lens, you’ll need to physically move farther away from your subjects to encompass more of the scene in your image. We find this will give you the best results.

When working with a zoom lens, you can try adjusting to a lower focal length (i.e. “zoom out”) to capture a wider-angled shot. Focal lengths of 35mm and below are considered “wide angle” and will help you achieve longshots without having to move as far away from your subject. Keep in mind that a wide focal length will also show some unnatural distortion.

So stand back and enjoy the big picture, especially if you are a photographer that tries to "zoom in" all the time!

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Extra inspiration

Pairing an epic longshot with a closeup from the same scene tells a wonderful story and makes a great display. When you are out shooting, think of how you can incorporate one or more small details. Take a moment to pull the whole story together!

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Creative Prompts

Include objects that show scale
For example, when photographing your children sitting under a tree, take a shot that includes the entire tree (top to bottom) to give the viewer a sense of how small your children are compared to the tree.

Remember composition
Where your subjects are placed within in a long shot can enhance the image’s visual interest. Think about balance, leading lines, and rule of thirds to help you create images that tell your story artistically. 


Share your images!

As always, we look forward to seeing your images in the Facebook group! If you have never posted a picture, it's fine to start any time. The Facebook group is a positive, no-judgement zone. We also hope that reach out for advice or help if you need it!