01 October 2011

Amaltal Mariner

Shoot Type: Commercial

Welcome aboard the fishing vessel Amaltal Mariner, where the client required a series of images shot at various locations around the vessel. For this type of shoot wide angle lenses are the "weapons of choice", and for this shoot I've used the Canon EF16-35mm F2.8L USM II & EF14mm F2.8L II.

A lot of folks associate wide-angle lenses with truckloads of perspective distortion, but there's a definite "trick" to using them for this kind of work -- and that's to be VERY careful with composition, paying particular attention to keeping the camera sensor perfectly perpendicular to the ground plane to minimise converging lines (essentially leaving only a little barrel distortion which is easily fixed in Photoshop).

Other important aspects of composition are the height of the camera above the ground, and just what elements are visible in the frame (sounds obvious, but the difference between, say, a door frame showing or not showing may well be just fractions of an inch).

Lighting for interior ultra wide angle scenes can also be a challenge; one of my "pet peeves" is interior shots of rooms where the photographer has exposed for the interior, leaving the light entering through windows to simply blowout that part of the exposure. I like to expose for the light coming through the windows, and then light the interior with flash or strobes, but for this, light placement is critical because on one hand we want to illuminate the entire scene evenly, but on the other hand, it's difficult to place the lights in a convenient location because with ultra wide angle shots there's often no easy way to keep them out of the frame. Shadows from lighting gear can also be an issue (one that can be minimised by using some pretty heavy artillery, but that takes time to setup - more time equals more expense for the client - and so this needs to be balanced against what the client requires the images for, and the amount of effort that they're prepared to pay for).

So in reality it's a case of setting them up as best one can (out of frame) - ensuring that the brightest part of the scene that they illuminate doesn't blow out the exposure, and then even things up later in post-processing (this is where the GND tool in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) is worth it's weight in gold.

(More images in my galleries at www.pbase.com/cjsouthern)

Until next time ...

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