A common saying among proponents of prime lenses when confronted with the versatility of zoom lenses is: "Zoom with your feet!" However, that does not produce the same effect. Learn about the difference between changing your crop and changing your perspective in this quick lesson.
In this great video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens walks us through the difference between zooming (which is essentially cropping without a resolution penalty) and changing perspective. Why should you care? Because perspective refers to the relative relationships of objects in an image, a relationship photographers frequently exploit to compress or extend the foreground-background distance and size. Watch the video above to see how moving physically closer or farther but keeping the subject the same size in the frame by changing the focal length changes the foreground-background relationship and results in vastly different images. It's a very useful technique to keep in mind when composing shots and something that anyone from portrait to landscape photographers can benefit from knowing. It allows Morgan to get exactly the right ratio of the subject to the skyline he desires while also removing distracting elements from the frame. Just remember: "Move your feet, change your perspective. Zoom in, change your crop."