Time for some fisheye fun

Every now and then, it’s good to put the serious side of photography to one side and enjoy some light-hearted moments. Meet the Digital SLR Photography team asyou’veneverseen them before

WHILE PRETTYMUCH every portrait technique we’ve produced in the past has had the aim of producing flattering images of the subject, this one is geared towards doing exactly the opposite.

The circular fisheye lens is an unusual optic that produces a very unique view of the world. Its 180° field-of-view captures quite literally everything in front of it and condenses it into a wildly distorted image that bears very little resemblance to reality. Because of its extraordinary angle-of-view, the scene is depicted as a perfect circle at the centre of the image with the rest of the image area in solid black. The circular fisheye has its uses within scientific applications, but has also been adopted by some landscape and panoramic photographers, too. And, of course, it’s also occasionally used by portrait photographers wanting to capture humorous results.

Fisheye lenses deliver images that exhibit strong levels of distortion, amplified the closer the subject is to the lens. Therefore, by getting in close to your subject — and by close I mean literally making lens-to-subject contact — it’s possible to get freakish results.

Depending on various factors such as the angle you take.the area of the face you place centrally in the frame and whether the subject looks straight on or turns sideways to the camera, it’s possible to give the most beautiful of subjects bugeyes, witches’ noses or Brucie-chins. And because of their exaggerated perspective,their body and feet will take on diminutive proportions. Alternatively, you could also hold the camera at arm’s length and shoot a quirky self-portrait. Once you’ve started and shown the results on the LCD monitor, everyone from adults to kiddies will want the fisheye treatment.making this an ideal fun project to try out at barbecues this summer with family and friends. You could also take the fisheye along to the workplace and capture colleagues as they’ve never been shot before. This latter option is what we’ve done here, revealing the Digital SLR Photography team as you’ve never seen them. We just hope the images won’t put you off buying the magazine in the future!

Incidentally, if you’re not keen on the black outer portion, keep the subject small in the frame and crop the central area of the image to leave a square-format image.

Finally, while the results are best when using a full-frame DSLR, you can get away with APS-C models, although the effect won’t be as exaggerated.

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