Fisheye lens provide point of views on events that are striking because they are images that aren’t seen very often. I like to bring my 16mm f/2.8 to events because they spice up albums. Fisheyes aren’t common in many photographers repertoires, yet they are usually very affordable and give something that viewers don’t see often.
The 16mm on a full frame camera gives about 144 degrees and lets you see the full periphery. They obviously don’t work well for portraits, but can show action or drama very well.
This photo is of the recent Food Eating Contest that Yishan Wong held. This is during the intense hot wing eating contest.
I had a head shot booked Saturday morning with two young, professional twins looking for photos for their workplace websites. I set up the home studio with a simple white backdrop.
I wanted to do a four light set up, a key and fill plus two hair lights to give a symmetric feel for any joint shots with the two twins. I first exposed the hair lights and set the exposure to f/2.8. The hair lights were in strip boxes with speedlites aimed down. I then set up the fill light to f/4.0 with a monolight with a shoot-through umbrella. Finally, I set up a softbox monolight as the key light exposed to f/5.6.
I set the lighting expose on the low side because my home studio has a low ceiling with white paint, which thankfully isn’t gloss. In the past, brighter exposures have had problems with bleed over from light bouncing off the walls and ceilings. I sometimes set up black backdrops on the sides and even the ceiling to control the bounces. But I didn’t want to set up these control measures because they look a bit ghetto, particularly the backdrop covering the ceiling.
After the shoot began, it went pretty fast, we knocked about 200 shots off divided evenly between Ashley, Dana and the pair together. Throughout the shoot I used an 85mm f/1.4 on a full-frame camera shooting without a tripod and a 135mm f/1.8 on a APS-C crop sensor for an effective focal length of 202.5mm mounted on a tripod. The 85mm came out very well and provided more unique shots because of the free form, but the best shots in the lot were on the 135mm, which is better length for portraits.
I included a crop of the catch-lights. I’d be a bit happier with the catchlights being more symmetric and a bit wider. I am thinking about getting a second softbox and white shoot-through umbrella to be able to get symmetric catchlights. I like the look when catchlights frame the pupils. I wasn’t gong for that look here, but I think angling both catchlights wider would have given a better result.
I’ve been fascinated by tilt-shift lenses since I got acquainted with their unique style. It took my husband a long time to figure out how the tilting and shifting works to produce those fascinating images.
Sony doesn’t have any high quality tilt-shift lenses yet, so we grabbed a third party manufacturer, Arsat. They’re based out of Ukraine, and though I was initially skeptical, the reviews were good enough to decide to give the 80mm lens a try. Here is what it looks like
The cool thing about tilt shift, is that they can lens can tilt and shift as shown below
The tilting allows the focal plane to be tilted forward or backward. This can create for very narrow depth of field, or in the case when the image is tilting away, allows for an image with a narrow depth of field to keep a tilted subject in focus for a longer distance.
The shifting is a bit more subtle. The field of view of usually symmetric above and below the image. So that, for instance, an 80mm focal length lens on a 35mm camera, will capture 9 degrees above and 9 degrees below center to fall into the field of view. Shifting allows this to be offset, so that 17 degrees above center and 1 degree below center fall into the field of view. It essentially allows the camera to behave as if it is a medium format camera, where you’ve selectively cropped down to a full frame (35mm) image.
So we’re getting our tilt-shift tomorrow and we’ll see if we can get the unique images that only a tilt-shift can capture.