MATTHEW NORDHAGEN :: PHOTOGRAPHY

ABANDONED, YET STANDING

February 6th, 2020

North Dakota

A 35mm lens on an APS-C camera is one of my favorite focal lengths — it's a comfortable angle of view with minimal distortion. While a majority of my photography is either parked at 35mm or at focal lengths greater than 100mm, there are times where a 35mm lens feels restrictive. These photographs from an old, abandoned school are a good example with an equally good lesson.

North Dakota

Using a lens that nets you the greatest flexibility for your average occasion given the type of photography that you do is a reasonable approach. Zooms lenses of any variable focal-length are extremely useful for obvious reasons. Prime lenses are, usually, more compact, and sometimes optically superior to their zoom lens counterparts. Prime lenses can also box you into a corner when you'd rather not be. With these photographs I would have appreciated a few more millimeters on the wide end, but what I lacked in millimeters I had to make up for in composition. A composition that you envision at 16mm seems unlikely with a lens that is 35mm but often there are compositions within a composition. It's just a matter of taking a larger view and pairing it down to its lowest common denominator. The outside light was the obvious choice in this building, and it was just a matter of finding a suitable composition to take advantage of that available light. This experience was a good reminder to be flexible in a situation with equipment that may not necessarily be ideal and to use that limitation to your creative advantage. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

North Dakota
North Dakota