Technique Tuesday – Canon EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens


In the field there are times when a standard lens is inadequate to capture a subject as you would like to portray it. Often I will use a 15mm fisheye to create more interesting angles and more dynamic compositions. This lens can improve the statement of a subject by changing the relationship of elements in the picture. Getting up close with this lens lends a strong sense of depth to a composition. Some say it distorts reality, but really you are changing the way you are perceiving perspective. The lens defines this way of looking for us and creates a fascinating relationship of foreground and background. Standard focal lengths can be boring! Take that step out of the ordinary.

Here are a few tips when shooting with a fisheye lens:

• Know your subject, and keep the composition simple – the distortion is already going to make your image more complicated. Make sure your subject stands out!

• Try different heights and angles – where you shoot from can intensify or lessen the fisheye effect.

• Fisheye lenses allow a lot of light to enter making them useful for night photography – therefore they can be great for shooting stars.

• Look for normally straight lines that will bend with the lens and lead the eye through your photograph

• Often I tell people not to put the subject in the center of the frame, but intentionally centering up a subject and using symmetry with a fisheye lens can often create a compelling image.

• When shooting in close quarters, a fisheye lens can be used to capture the elements that a normal lens would crop away. You can then either keep the distorted view, or use software like Adobe Lightroom to correct the effect and remove most if not all the distortion.

• Get close to your subject – a fisheye lens will bring so much of the surrounding detail into the frame, you can get much closer to your subject than you normally would.

For more tips and tricks, check out my technique books, “The Art of the Photograph” and “The New Art of Photographing Nature“.

 

 

3 Responses to “Technique Tuesday – Canon EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens”

  1. Kevin Nelson says:

    This is my next purchase. Thanks for the tips. Can’t wait to start shooting.

  2. Brian Carey says:

    I’ve been using the Canon 8-15 fisheye since it came out about 6 years ago. I love fisheye because it really throws open creative opportunities and imagination! Love your photos as always!

  3. Jenny Minton says:

    Thanks for this great post Art! I have been curious about using a fisheye lens but uncertain regarding its function and effect. Can’t wait to get one now. Love the results!

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