Sarah Sakamoto blog »

Best of… scenic (wide) photography

Some old, some new. I don’t usually like wide lenses unless I’m trying to take scenery shots… so this kind of just worked out in itself, being a nature photography course. Of the three (macro, telephoto and wide), this was definitely the hardest on me in terms of being able to create the exact image that I wanted.

The two that seem really, very small are actually panoramas. I took anywhere from 4-8 photographs and “stitched” them together in Adobe Photoshop. The one with clouds was taken in Memphis, Tennessee and the bottom-most one is up on Figueroa Mountain.

Quick tips for panoramas: for the lens, it’s actually better if you don’t use a WIDE lens because wide lenses cause distortion at the edges; it’s better to use a lens that is longer than 50mm (probably longer than that) and take a series of photographs. Shoot vertically if the panorama is horizontal and vice versa.

If you’re wondering about the “star trails”, that was a series of exposures as well, also stitched together in Adobe Photoshop. I took a flash (580EX II) and lit the telephone pole. This might also be a film scan… but I can’t quite remember at the moment, and I’m working off of my laptop with smaller jpgs (and the original file is on my iMac).

And, if you’re wondering, the close-up of the plant was also taken with a wide lens. I used the fact that the wider lenses can focus closer and used it to emphasize the natural pattern that the leaves unfolded in.

Wide lenses can be used in many different ways! I hope this entry helped you think of a few new ways to look at the world and how to utilize the lenses that are available.

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