London SceneryPhotoshoot

The Wild One

My summer experiment with stars and nocturnal skies awoke my desire to acquire an extra wide lens with large aperture. The now well known Samyang 14mm f 2.8 fits the criteria and despite not featuring an auto-focus, is praised for its sharpness and overall quality. One thing is to get the tool another is to get acquainted with it! As you move forward in photography you eventually “see” what one lens would grasp… It’s now true in my case for long lenses (80 to 200mm) and even for recently purchased 30mm 1.4 (DX only) but when it comes to extra-wide, one enters a different world where rules of optics seems to contravene your perception (or vice-versa!). Therefore, I needed to “field test” the new “eye” before trying to compose nice shots during my next trip abroad.

This Sunday was sunny enough to dare going out and close-by Isle of Dogs and its high rise buildings would be a good start… but since I had missed the station by one stop, I ended up near the quickly developing North Greenwich neighbourhood. The first shot reminded me that using this lens would void any chance to keep vertical parallel lines!

These wide angle lens need a composition using foreground object to guide through the distortion of the main subject (or so I think!)… An “abandoned” rental bike gave me an opportunity to try…

Should we forget this foreground element, all we end up with are converging geometry that could be pleasing…

I soon realised that few hundred yards in distance away from the camera was reducing the apparent size of the subject rather drastically! And that my theory about foreground (not really mine since you can read plenty about this on specialised forums and web site!!!) was after all a good one!

It was soon time to cross the river back to my original planned location… Canada Square… but before I got out of the station there was something I ought to try…

nothing new there but I could already imagine better constructed shot with human beings in the foreground… stay tune for more on this one!… but enough with projects… let’s get out to the heart of financial district. The resulting pictures are sharp enough despite my lack of focus tuning (I mostly left my lens on f 8 to 16 focused at infinity!)

Not too bad for a first date! I assume there will be more to come with an expected positive progress toward better composition and more original subjects!