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Photography is undoubtedly one of the most important inventions in history -- it has truly transformed how people conceive of the world. Now we can "see" all sorts of things that are actually many miles -- and years -- away from us. Photography lets us capture moments in time and preserve them for years to come. The basic technology that makes all of this possible is fairly simple.
In the last section, we saw that at any one point, a lens bends light beams to a certain total degree, no matter the light beam's angle of entry. This total "bending angle" is determined by the structure of the lens. A lens with a rounder shape (a center that extends out farther) will have a more acute bending angle. Basically, curving the lens out increases the distance between different points on the lens. This increases the amount of time that one part of the light wave is moving faster than another part, so the light makes a sharper turn.
Once you've settled on the subject and the light, you have to decide on the relative prominence of objects in the scene. By moving the camera position back and forth, you can adjust the relative size of objects in the scene. After you're happy with the position, you pick a camera lens whose angle of view encompasses all the objects that you want to include in the photo. Objects? Relative prominence? I only want to take a picture of my friend Cyrano!
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