My boss rarely says the words “use the fisheye for that.” So when she said that very thing to me last week about a challenging photo shoot at the Hinds Community College's John Bell Williams Airport near the Raymond Campus, it got me to thinking…just how much I love this lens!
Our department bought the Tokina Fisheye F3.5-4.5 several years ago. Some of us around here love it, others, well let’s just say, think it has its place and time to be used. I am one of those who loves it and knows that I probably use it way too much. My take on the subject it that if you are an artsy person you will be more likely to appreciate the art form that the fisheye can do. Those other “non-artsy people” who use their left side of their brain more think that it distorts photos. And I guess in reality it does. But that is what I think is so cool about it.
If you are not sure what a fisheye lens is, picture yourself looking through a peephole. And there you have it.
Over the years I have shot many photos with the fisheye lens.
Here is one of the hanger at the Raymond Airport.
This is a fashion show at the Rankin Campus and a cover shot for the Alumni Magazine that would have been quite boring without the fisheye.
The whole Hinds CC band would have never fit with a regular lens. This photo was taken by Sports Photographer Tracy Duncan.
I love this shot of the graduates tossing their hats!
My opinion is that the fisheye just makes a great photo that much more interesting to look at. A lot of scenes can be boring. Like here, we are doing a story on the Raymond Airport and want to show how a grant is helping fund wider runways. Pretty cool shot, right? Well it would have been a snoozer without the fisheye.
With a fisheye lens you can get some crazy play when pointing it upwards, or partly upwards, while the ground is still in the frame. When taking portraits, put the subject more in the middle of the frame. Use it to exaggerate size or content of your subject. Find a different angle, lay on the ground or climb on a ladder. The closer you are to your subject, the more distorted they will be. So get shot after shot as you get closer and check out the difference.
Here are some pretty cool (and some funny) shots I pulled from the internet taken with a fisheye.
So get out there and get creative, because a fisheye lens opens up a world of possibilities!