As a photographer, you must have noticed the growth of technology in this sphere. You must also be quite well aware of the fact that it is in fact quite easy to get got up with all of the cameras and lenses and all those other fantastic equipment which have been designed to take your pictures to some other level. But, it is essential to remember the fact that photography, after all, was expected to be interesting and fun. One of the easiest ways to add a bit of fun factor to your photography is by getting a fisheye lens for your camera. These are extremely wide angle lenses which offer you the chance to click surprising and fun pictures.
- What is a Fisheye Lens
- Fisheye Lenses and Optical Distortions
- What are Fisheye Lenses Good for
- How to Keep the Lenses Completely Clean
- Change your Perspective and Get Creative
What is a Fisheye Lens
To explain you in a simple way - you would see the world through a fish’s eye! Sounds odd? But that’s what a fisheye lens is!
The fisheye lens is an ultra wide angle lens that clicks photographs in extreme panoramic fashion with a touch of distortion and creativity. Just click a photo using a fisheye lens and you would notice objects closer to the lens appear bigger than the surroundings. Also, you would get a curvy, hemispherical view of the photo.
Well, it is believed that they are excellent for underwater shoots, however, you can expand your creativity to basically anything and add a touch of fun and innovation to your clicks!
They were created originally for studying the phenomena and processes of the atmosphere. However, these days they are being used for various kinds of photography.
Most people often wonder as to why use Fisheye Lenses?
Well, because the applications of these lenses are limitless and rather interesting. You can easily find them in action cams like the GoPro because of their wide field of view. Of course, companies like Nikon, Canon, Sigma, Samyang, Sony and many others also have these lenses available.
Fisheye Lenses and Optical Distortions
The fisheye lens has been built in such a way that the straight lines present in the scene appear straight in most parts, however, increasing amount of distortion can be noticed towards the frame's edge.
Most shutterbugs dislike the effect of these lenses as they aren’t quite impressed with the distortion of the images. They also do not like the editing part using Lightroom or other software that is used to reduce the total amount of distortion. However, it depends on the careful choice of the subject and composition which can actually reduce this distortion’s impact without the need of any extra editing.
How to Use Fisheye Lens?
Before we get into the creative part of the fisheye lens, it is important to learn the technique to click through it. Check them out:
- If you want to bring a concave effect to your images then, tilt your camera upwards and click. In this fashion, the subject would look towering in the photo.
- If the creative mind in you wants to accentuate the Earth’s curvature, then tilt your camera lens downwards! This is great for clicking horizons, nature,
- Remember the distortion is less at the centre of the frame, so you can place your subject at the centre of your frame. This way you would get clearer and focused images.
- Since this is a creative photography, you can get closer to the object and bring large distortion in the images- adding a new touch to your clicks.
What are Fisheye Lenses Good for
A fisheye lens is an all rounder lens and you could use them both indoors and outdoors.
Such as at museums, skyscrapers, churches, nature, underwater and much more. These lenses also work great with the natural landscape and easily help in capturing wide panoramic views. They are of course very different from all the other kind of lenses available in the market. It can help you to get that creativity and fun element in your pictures if you are feeling stuck or unmotivated. You also cannot deny the fact that the photos were taken with a fisheye lens turn out to be rather stunning and brilliant.
Listed below are a few ways to get creative with a fisheye lens and also to make the most out of it. If you still do not own one, now would be the perfect time to get it.
1. Get Unique with the Distortion
The fact that distortion can be rather annoying most of the times is acceptable.
But, it doesn't really have to be. You can cleverly use this distortion to your advantage and click a unique picture. All you need to do is find subjects or scenes with which this fisheye effect would appear cool and add that wow factor to the picture. If you have seen the images clicked with this lens before, you would have noticed that the images do appear distorted. But, if used properly, this distortion can actually be quite pleasing. When working with such lenses, attempt to use the curves and distorted lines as a way by which the viewer can get into the image.
2. Click Images in the Dark
These lenses let in a lot of light and the wide angles and frames also work in the favour of capturing a scene.
This means that now with these lenses you get the chance to shoot brilliant pictures even at night. With these lenses, you would get the chance to have a strong grip on the shadows, composition and the light. Go for higher apertures rather than slow shutter speed. But, these lenses can very well handle the slow shutter speed because of its really wide angles. Stopping the aperture to the lowest f-stop value might just seem too tempting but isn’t actually necessary. Once you use it, you would find that these lenses are much sharper than the normal lenses. Therefore, it becomes essential to focus on the aperture so as to get back some sharpness in the exposure. If you want to click and know about how to click sharper images, you should go for these lenses.
3. Use Fisheye Lenses with Round Shapes
As must be quite obvious by now, the fisheye lens curves a straight line. So, if you click images of shapes that are already round, this curving would be less apparent. You could try it on intersections, round stairways, tubes or buildings where this fisheye effect would work really well. This curved horizon that you capture would actually help in completing the image by helping in creating a complete circle that looks pleasing.
4. Point the Lenses Upwards
When you point the fisheye lens upwards, you can manage to achieve a crazy line play.
For this, you need to point upwards in such a way that the ground still remains in the frame. You could try to take pictures of buildings or of trees like was done here. This makes it apparent that the image was clicked with a fisheye. This would also give you a super wide image that is remarkable in its own way.
5. Click Really Wide Landscapes without the Fisheye Effect
At times, the fisheye lens can also be used for capture each and everything of the landscape that you want in your image.
There are times when you do not really want a distorted line but could actually use the wide angle that these lenses have to offer. In case, you have a landscape that doesn’t have straight lines like trees or buildings, you could position your lenses in such a way that it looks just like a wide angle lens. All you need to while holding the camera is making sure that the horizon is in the centre of the frame. When you do so, it would allow you to get the shot of almost a 180-degree perspective of a scene while being able to avoid the distorted look of the fisheye lenses.
6. Shoot Weird and Interesting Images
Clicking interesting and fun images can be said to be the primary propose or rather the straightforward purpose of using the fisheye lens.
You could attempt to use the distortions that these lenses offer when clicking the image of your pet when it is really up close. It could be your dog, cat, squirrel, guinea pig or just any animal when you visit the zoo like a giraffe, buffalo, llama etc.
The image that you capture would make it seem like the animal has a super big nose and eyes that are looking at you with curiosity. It would also make their body appear small and the overall result would be an image that is unique and super interesting. You can also get creative and tilt the camera in different directions and rotate it as well so as to create landscapes that are distinctive and funny.
7. Capture Shots of the Entire Ceiling
So, if you want to capture the beautiful architecture ceiling in a unique way then fisheye lens in the answer.
As is quite obvious, there is absolutely no way in which you can actually manage to capture the entire ceiling with a normal lens as you wouldn’t be able to click such wide images.
At times, you might visit museum or churches or monuments that have incredibly brilliant architecture and amazingly stunning ceilings. These are the times that you wish that you could actually capture the entire ceilings. When monuments have brilliant symmetrical architecture as the one in this image, you would also be able to find a marker on the ground that would help you in determining the exact centre of the room. Stand there, take your camera, this lens and get clicking. You would for sure manage to get some stunning shots.
8. Use it for Behind-the-Scenes Shots
These kinds of lenses also work great for capturing behind-the-scenes shots. For instance, you might be shooting a time-lapse or were busy clicking some other pictures. At these times, a fisheye lens can help in capturing a wide-frame picture of what you are doing along with the surroundings.
How to Keep the Lenses Completely Clean
If you are just beginning to use this lens, you might not be aware of the fact that they are more susceptible towards dirt than the standard lenses. Even a little bit of smear, water marks or other elements can end up ruining a beautiful scene. It is therefore important that you clean the lens before you head out to take pictures. You might also consider carrying a cleaning kit in your bag.
Change your Perspective and Get Creative
By now, you must have understood that the fisheye lenses can actually help you to click images that you wouldn’t have been able to click with your normal lens. What you need to do is keep your lens on your camera and point it in all possible directions. Look at your view finder and you would be left amazed with all of the beautiful things that you would be able to see. You might not have been able to see all these with just your eyes but these lenses make it possible.
You need to remember that the most important thing with photography is to have fun. Also, keep in mind the fact that this lens is a prime lens so you wouldn't get the option of zooming in or out. Therefore, it is you who has to act as the zoom for the lens. Just keep on changing the perspective and experimenting with all the different angles. Bend low or if required lie down flat on your stomach, lean on a wall and use this lens’s distortion so as to wrap the wall around the image that you are attempting to click.
Major Drawback in Fisheye Lens Photography
Coming to the not so happy news about the fisheye lens!
The only major drawback of this lens is the fact that it doesn't allow you to use filters which are actually not great for people who are addicted to filters. Almost all of these lenses do not really have the capability to mount standard filters. This is because of the bulging front component of the lens. There might be some DIY solutions that you can adopt. However, if you look really closely, this isn’t really a drawback and if you really want, you can work on it in Photoshop or any other editing software.
A fisheye lens wouldn’t be on your list when you are planning to invest in camera equipment. But, it can, of course, offer fun and unique effects to your pictures. But, if you do have the budget and are willing to experiment, these might just be the perfect option for you. It isn’t really that expensive and can add that extra bit of spark and character to your pictures which would make you really proud of what you have been able to capture. Let us know in the comments below if you have used fish eye lens!
Stop Thinking Start Clicking!