With a wide angle comes great responsibility
Let’s be honest here, the most enjoyable presents for Christmas are the ones you give yourself.
That’s why I’ve bought myself a wideangle-lense from Tamron. First I had my eye on the 16-35mm but strolling through a second-hand shop I got lucky and found the 15-30mm.
About the strolling part, you might want to consider bringing one of these lenses on an afternoon walk, because they are heavy! Mine feels like it’s about three kilograms and definitely not something you can mount on a light weighted tripod, so you should consider that before buying one.
With a wide-angle there comes great responsibility
But enough about the technical stuff and let’s get to the practical part.
One thing beforehand, the heading “with great power comes great responsibility” (or something like that) is actually pretty accurate when it comes to one of those lenses. Because particular details you might want to use in your composition are going to be swallowed by the sheer amount of stuff you can capture in just about one frame.
As I favor my comfortable 35mm prime lens I was shockingly struck by the sheer possibilities of what I can fit into one single picture. The biggest “issue” with that is, that my photographic eye was, or rather still is, pretty used to perceive my environment in 35mm framing; so when I see something I want to take a picture of, I tend to see the shot before my inner eye in 35mm – which without a doubt is NOT working with a wide-angle lens! Due to that, I found myself seeing a composition, thinking that it would work very well, took the shot and was like “Why the fuck isn’t that working?”.
Here are some trail and error impressions of my first afternoon with this new lens in Munich.
Especially the picture taken in the University building shows, how this normally huge monumental hall is swallowed by the wide-angle. In the corners of the picture I seriously miss some details to make the composition interesting and just for the record, this hall is pretty, pretty big.
Wide-angle to the sky
So much for the first round, a little bit shocked but still far from giving up, I decided to give the little Monster-lens another go in Vienna over new-years-eve.
For one, I kinda found out something really enlightening but still was really relieved when I went back to my used 35mm after two days or so. The one thing Vienna taught me was to go to the sky when using these kind of lenses, which means go vertically from a low angle.
Being back in Munich I wanted a rematch after the overwhelming first try, so I went to the Hackerbrücke and learned another useful tool when engaging in wide-angle photography: the use of a vignette in editing. Using darkness at the edges of the picture-frame helps to navigate the viewers eye on the subject you want to highlight (got that? Using darkness to highlight something, pretty philosophical isn’t it?).
In case you are wondering, the pictures where edited to look like an old kondachrome film from the 1935ties.
Another exciting possibily is the use of wide-angle in portrait-photography. In the past three months I used it a lot for portrait-shoots and gathered some experience with it but thats a topic for another entry.
So do you guys have experience with wide-angle-photography, I would love to hear about your opinion and if that little guide helped you out. let me know in the comments.
As always thanks for reading and see you in the neon-jungle we call home