How Focal Lengths Make Your Audience Feel

INCLUDED IN THIS LESSON:  4 Minutes of Instructional Video, In-Depth Written Breakdown, Side-by-Side Stills

IN THIS LESSON YOU WILL LEARN:  The right lens will help sell the look you want to craft. In this lesson, Shane Hurlbut, ASC discusses his career and the different choices he’s made when facing new projects. This is an in-depth look into theory behind lens choice and picking the perfect set to tell your story.

  • Understanding the different traits that lenses can evoke.
  • Understanding the importance of focal lengths.
  • How to pick a specific lens size to tell a specific emotion.
  • The importance of lens test and prepping prior to production.
  • How to organize yourself to make the right decision for the story.
  • In-depth look into Shane’s films and what he decided for each project.


<<<Sonny>>> This was an awesome Lesson. Focal length is something I think about a lot. I love hearing your breakdown. I think the reason longer and tighter distances us from the subject is a very interesting and real thing that happens in our brain that tells us we’re punched in on something far. I noticed this looking at buildings not too long ago. Everything in that distant horizon was compressed together. Then I remembered what I’ve read about working distance and how essentially we’re cropping in when we increase focal length. Besides all the things that happen optically, the compression is actually there in short lenses just very distant. When we see subjects on long lenses our minds instinctively see this as punched in despite the size of the subjects on screen. It’s an interesting effect, I think. Thanks again for the Lesson!
<<<Alex>>> Great Lesson Shane. I forget how effective strong camera placement is!
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