Sunday, 27 September 2009

Wide angle photography

You may remember that my colleagues from my last school very kindly bought me a wide angle lens as a leaving present when I moved on from there. I spent some of my time over the summer playing with it to see what kind of results I got. I told you that I would be showing you some for the bad shots I managed to take along with some of the not quite so bad ones.

I think that some of the indoor shots that I took were quite reasonable, but I have noticed that the lens produces shots which are considerably darker than any other of my lenses and that vignetting (a darkness around the edge of the photograph) is a constant problem with it.

I have come up with a couple more problems as you can see below:

Unexpected shadow

When I took the night shot of a medium sized oleander I thought the wide angle would be perfect because I could be quite close to the plant but still get it completely in the frame. What I hadn't expected was the effect of the flash. I have used the built-in flash on my camera and you can see that this has cast the shadow of the lens on the side of the photograph. Of course I held the camera vertically, had I held it horizontally the shadow would have been on the bottom. Clearly the built-in flash is not going to work with the wide angle lens - but this is perhaps not a bad thing as I have already started dropping hints to Mrs QB about the possibility of a separate flash gun as Christmas present!


This one wasn't a mistake, I knew what I was doing when I took the photo. I wanted to have this amount of distortion. The corner of the pool is actually a right angle and I think this amount of distortion is quite amazing, though my framing is not as good as perhaps it should be. I did take a somewhat unflattering photo of Mrs QB but I would not dare put it on here! It was a photo of some yachts with Mrs QB stood on the harbour wall looking at them. Mrs QB is at the edge of the photograph and is subject to a similar amount of distortion as the swimming pool. I have learned that being close to your subject but putting them at the side of a photograph is a recipe for a disaster!

Depth of field

I don't often take photographs of people and I very rarely put them on here, but the photo of Captain Jack and Sarah (as before, names changed) demonstrates a good use of the wide angle lens - you get shedloads of depth of field, huge amounts of landscape and at the same time can get quite close to your subject without distortation (as long as you put them in the centre of the photograph!).


Chris said...

Interesting piece.

Wide Angle has a huge learning curb and honestly you "NEED" a quality lens when playing around with it. I personally love wide angle and am often looked upon with disgust as I shoot in all situations. Sports, events, portraits, landscapes - you name it.

However, on the portrait you took that is very sound advice. Keeping the subject in the middle. But when you master distance (wide angle ain't for the shy, its an up close and personal endeavor) you can actually place the subject anywhere in frame. Examples though none are mine...

However I too am trying to push the wide to the max! Good luck with your endeavor.

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