Friday, September 19, 2008

The Great Society

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
--Greek Proverb

It seems every couple of months I rediscover my wide angle lens (a Sigma 10-20mm). I guess it falls out of the starting rotation because it weighs like a brick in my backpack and doesn't work for every application -- it distorts the edges of the frame and flattens horizons (and fattens people!). But for drawing attention to subjects close to the camera, it works wonders. I love the unique and exaggerated perspective it produces. To get this 'canopy' shot, and the one I posted Wednesday, I basically got right up next to a clump of trees and pointed up. Simple enough! All you need is the right lens and soft lighting. The real key to using wide angles is to put the camera right up next to the subject (Click here for a tutorial on ultra-wide lenses). For me, it gives a sense of being 'pulled into' the image (click the photo above to enlarge). Of course, I'm still playing around with Lightroom 2 -- here, I bumped up the contrast and clarity, desaturated the greens, and added a dark vignette.

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