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Home Photo Tips What is a Fisheye Lens?

What is a Fisheye Lens?

Fisheye Lens

The basic definition of a fisheye lens is a wide angle lens that takes in a wider than normal image that is hemispherical in shape. If you look at a photo taken with a fisheye lens there are varying degrees of distortion apparent in the picture but you will notice that they take on the illusion of being spherical instead of straight.

image taken with fish eye lensWhen dealing with this different type of lens you can choose to make your shot look like you used a fish eye lens with noticeable distortion or you can subtly let the lens work for you in a way that enhances your images without letting the effect take over the shot.  There are good things to be said for both ways, depending on what you are wanting from your shot.

If you are going for the rounded, more distorted shape the fish eye lens can provide, look for a subject that would captivate a viewer, hold attention, and really benefit from the unique qualities a fish eye lens can generate.  For example, don’t overcrowd your shot with too many details if you want your star to be one main subject.  Know what it is you want from your shot.

Don’t be afraid to take several shots to make sure you get your picture just right.  It is easier to delete a few extra pictures and it is to go back later and get the same shot.

However, if you are wanting to utilize the fish eye lens without making it obvious you are using it there is a little trick to use that will help you find the perfect medium for your lens: finding the horizon line. Point your camera at the ground and slowly bring it upward. If you look closely in your viewfinder as you move your camera up the edges of your image distorts.  When you hit your picture’s “horizon line” the distortion caused by the fish eye lens is at its least obvious, making it look like an incredibly wide shot.

 Whether you choose a strong distortion or not, experiment with your fish eye lens to discover how you can use it effectively in different situations.

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