Wide Woods

A set of photos taken in the woods on an ultra wide lens with an 110 degree field of view and tremendous depth of focus. You have to watch your composition like crazy.

So the lens was my Laowa C Dreamer 7.5mm f2 with its 110 degree angle of view. The things you need to think about in composition with such a super wide angle include: where you stand (perspective - exaggerated expanded space), keeping the camera level (or not) and hence key holing (converging or diverging verticals), edges of the frame (keeping things out of the frame you don't want), subject distortion (stretched perspective of elements from the centre to the edges when close up), oh and keeping bits of your own anatomy inadvertently out of the picture and so on.


Now this is not meant to be an exposition on the use of ultra wide angle lenses rather an introduction to a set of photographs taken on such a lens in the local woods.


For example in the photo above I used the expanded perspective of the lens to stretch the whole image and as consequence lengthen path and better draw the eye into a farther vanishing point. I also kept the camera pretty level to avoid key holing as much as possible and get a fairly natural looking image.

In the photo a above I pointed the camera as vertically as I could to illustrate the hight of a mighty Scots Pine. The weird thing is, if you photograph this tree with a normal lens it does not do it justice nor give you the true impression of its height as you get when you actually stand under it. It is very, very tall at over 100 feet.


Enter the Ultra wide angle lens. I stood close to the bottom of the tree and looked straight up. Now we know that this gives me a greatly exaggerated expanded perspective making the top of the tree appear to stretch further away from the bottom than is natural. Strangely though, as a photograph, it seems to represent the feeling of the height of tree more realistically. This is one of the uses of such a lens.


Anyway, used well, an ultra wide lens has its place in any photogs camera bag but they are a challenge to use effectively. What they are not for is "getting more into the shot" but rather pulling your viewer into your photograph. The example of my woods walk with this lens may be found here.