Change your Perspective: Using a fisheye lens

060_Blackwattle Bay Rokinon 8mm Tests

First, let me say that the lens in discussion today is the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 fisheye. This a fully manual lens that allows you to fine tune every little detail but does not include the comforts of automatic modes of any kind (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, etc etc) or even autofocus. But what it offers are crisp beautiful images with plenty of contrast and clarity.

Fisheye lenses are nothing new. They were first invented to be used for weather instruments and astrophotographers, so the entire sky could be captured from horizon to horizon. I am not an astrophotographer.

They have since, been adapted to many different types of photography. The largest is definitely skateboarding and other extreme sports and the exaggeration of lines can turn a difficult trick and to something legendary on film. I am not a skateboard photographer or videographer.

So... why the heck do I have a fisheye lens?

Funny you should ask...

Street Photography

This is a given. Street photos can be taken with anything, if you go out looking for something in particular and that is exactly what I did with this particular outing. It was July 3rd and I was out at Barefoot Landing to capture some of the nightlife for my blog and the blogs for my day job. I think all in all, they turned out pretty well; either way, it was the perfect opportunity for me to realize how awesome this lens really is.

Barefoot 7-3-2013-8
Barefoot 7-3-2013-7

Real Estate Photography

This is something I do a lot of at my day job. The neat thing about this lens is that excites you about using it. I don't know how to explain it, but even using it in real estate photography makes that type of work fun again ( keep checking back for my upcoming full length post on real estate/resort photography!) It takes a little more work is post, to get the distortion to an acceptable level, but I think it is worth for the type of shots I have been able to get with it.

WB 332-8

Family and Beach Photography

This is by far my favorite application so far. With this lens, I am able to get family of 10 in to creative poses and have fun with needing a ladder or something crazy. In this particular shot, they decided they wanted a shot of everyone with their heads close together, so I slipped on the fisheye and was able to oblige with no resistance or time to figure out how to make it happen. But then I decided to keep it on for a few more shots including this jumping of all the grandkids.

Sellers Family-20
Sellers Family-18

Wedding Receptions

This is probably one of the most fun applications for this thing. Walking around, I was able to really get some great shots of people enjoying themselves on the dance floor and hanging out. Even a fun shot or two of the bride and groom.

Mitchell and Kaitlyn
Mitchell and Kaitlyn

What do you think would be a fun use for a fisheye lens? Maybe you have one, and use it for something in particular? Leave your opinions in a comment below! Be sure to subscribe to see some of the fun things we have coming up!

-Jarrett

Room to grow: Using my Nikon 105mm Micro Lens

So, many people have their favorite lenses that they own or have owned and many drool over certain pieces of glass that they feel will boost their photography to the next level. That piece for me was the 85mm 1.8. I had such of love affair with this lens and after getting it, I haven't really used it much. But still I was determined to continue my photographic journey to professional status so I started to use it and have really fallen in love with what I can produce with it, but I figured I needed to continue investing in to my equipment to take better photos. Well one day cruising around craigslist, I found a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 for sale just an hour away from me. I couldn't pass up the opportunity of at least inquiring about it. Well after a few emails, the seller informed me that she was parting with a bunch of her equipment. She knew what she had but was willing to make a deal. I ended up walking away with the 70-200mm Sigma. She also had a few other things that sparked my interest, like a 17-55mm 2.8 which I passed on but she did talk me in to coming home with the handy dandy Nikon 105mm 2.8g Micro. Both were in pristine condition but I still only paid around 60% less than retail which for such a big purchase is impressive.

Anyway, I used the 70-200 constantly on photo shoots, weddings, pretty much anything outdoors just because there is something commanding about a lens that size. I know that sounds ridiculous and a bit narcissistic, but every photographer starting out has issues with being taken seriously. This lens was my ticket to the "not to be taken lightly" glances by those around who thought of me as a just another kid who thinks he knows what he's doing.

Rebekah-10

Well all this time goes by, probably six months, and I haven't even touched the 105 macro. This is ridiculous because it is by far the most impressive lens I own but I can never make anything work right with it. It always produced blurry and soft images. Most would get annoyed, blame the equipment and sell it off; but I keep it. Why do I keep it?

Maybe it's because I suck at letting things go. I'm great at finding deals but I am awful at selling off things that I can't or don't use. I usually hold on to them for way to long and then it bites me in the butt when I finally decide to sell something and its three generations behind and.worth half of what I think it is. I have been burned like this plenty of times.

Brent and Hillary-32
Brent and Hillary-34

But.... this is not one of those times. See, I realized shortly after I bought it, that this lens was too much for me, I couldn't make it work because I didn't know how to yet. I was still stuck in the "I must shoot wide open all the time" phase and didn't understand how to use it to its potential.

Surprise Engagement-64

To tell you the truth, I still don't yet, but I'm learning and I am shooting with it at my level now. I am gaining an eye for it and I can see where this lens could be a permanent fixture in my lineup to come. More than just a few nice shots of engagement rings, this lens is great for all types of shots. One use I have found, is babies. Having my first encounter with baby portraits just recently, I learned how to make the distance and depth of field and all the magic inside this lens work for me.

Singleton Family-21
Singleton Family-25

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Please subscribe!

-Jarrett

Switching Roles

So today, I figured I would share some photos from my time in front of the camera instead of behind it. I got engaged last year and as you might know, I will be getting married later this year to my wonderful fiance, Annie. Last weekend we spent some time down in Charleston, SC with our good friend Mary King (fellow photographer) taking some photos for us. It is such a different experience being in front of the camera! I don't really care for it myself but I enjoyed spending some time with Annie and getting all dressed up and having fun. I feel like I learned a lot as a photographer and gained a ton of respect for my past and future subjects. Taking a photo is a difficult thing to do well, but getting your photo taken takes patience, confidence and trust of your photographer. Thanks to all my clients for trusting me! Enjoy!

 

If you would like to see more of Mary's work, you can check her out here!

http://marykingphoto.wordpress.com/

Facebook: Mary King Photography

Valentine's Day!

So! The season of love is upon us. Many people, out there rushing to find the perfect thing to buy their sweetheart. Well, anyone thought about skipping the chocolates and giving a photoshoot to their valentine? I can't think of anything more sweet than spending time together and having it captured for years to come! Call me cheesy and everything in the post cliche, but I am a hopeless romantic and I know how much my fiance and I enjoy having our photos taken. Even if I am not the one who gets your business, I just want you to think about the opportunity. Be spontaneous and creative with your Valentine's Day!

Valentines-Special

John Family, Party of six please...

This lovely family are dear friends of mine and asked if I would be able to snap a few family photos of them while they had two very special guests with them. Brett and Katie are host for two children who spent Christmas in the US. I wish I knew more about this program so I could explain to you. The most informative thing I can say is that I have the utmost respect for them as followers of Christ who have been blessed with the conviction to help these children half way around the world. They bring them in to their homes, show them the utmost amount of love and it astounds me how well they interact as a family unit during everything. I was very honored to be a part of their stay here! If you would like to know more about their journey please check out Katie's Blog! John Family-7 John Family-2John Family-4 John Family-10 John Family-16

John Family-6

Thank you so much! Leave your comments and thoughts below!

BONUS! Here is a little slideshow put together by Brett John, the father of this amazing family about their time here together. What a blessing! [vimeo 56988070 w=500 h=281]

Christmas As A Family Of Six from Brett John on Vimeo.