wide angle new york skyline photo

Even the best wide angle lenses will distort your image to a certain extent, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you open your mind to the artistic “effect” lens distortion can create.

Lens distortion can sometimes lead to a Dali’ish sense of altered perception… a virtual reality of sorts which can create an image that will constantly attract you to it even though you know it’s wrong.

Every object in this photograph seems to be reaching towards the sunshine. It reminds me of those time-lapse videos we’ve all seen on National Geographic where plants grow and reach towards the sunlight. They distort themselves in unimaginable ways to get to their primal energy source… the sun. The buildings are reaching and you can imagine every one of the 10 million people in New York reaching right along with them. This image is just as energizing as the day was itself, and that’s why It carries a special place in my collection.

For this shot I used a Zeiss 15mm f2.8 wide angle Distagon lens, which is an absolute gem of a lens. It’s a truly incredible piece of glass. So precise. So refined. So well built. I found it quite difficult to create interesting shots with such a wide angle until I read a key piece of advice about wide angle photography… you can never, ever get too close. This shot isn’t about being close to anything, but that idea showed me a whole new way to use this lens that I hadn’t anticipated, and now it gets used so much more often. Stay tuned for what I mean about getting close with wide angle lenses…


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where dreams come true

vaperture photography

On the brand new @Vaperture twitter account, I chose to post the first photo I ever took as my first tweet. For the Vaperture blog, I’m going to do just the opposite and show you the very last photo I took… where dreams come true.

This was taken from a Roosevelt Island rooftop at about 9pm. I used a Canon 5DIII with a Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 manual focus lens set to f/11. 30 second exposure on a tripod with a remote trigger. No post processing… straight from the camera. It took me a few tries to get the composition I wanted, but this is one of my favorite pictures so far, and it’s head and shoulders better than my first-ever photos taken a few months back when I started this journey teaching myself digital photography.

Now I’m going to have to figure out a way to keep shooting on rooftops when it gets cold, and also how to get access to more rooftops in this city.


see the where dreams come true collection

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