Chapter 9The Lens

It is often said that “the lens is the eye of the camera.” This is true, in that light enters through and is controlled by the lens, and ultimately this light registers as an image. However, there are many things that human eyes and human psychology of perception do automatically which, on a lens, must be accomplished manually. Focusing, exposure, and framing are activities we rarely consciously think about, but on a lens we have to deliberately set each of these functions. These choices are, in fact, part of the creative potential of any lens and part of the aesthetic palette of a documentary filmmaker. Often there is no absolute “right” setting. Rather, you must find the appropriate setting for what you want to express. You ...

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