Street Photography using a Fisheye lens

Recently I have had an opportunity to try Fisheye lens  courtesy of Panasonic. The lens arrived from Panasonic at the same time as the new Lumix GX8 camera was announced. 

I am a one camera one lens person and have strongly benefited from this approach, as it makes me pay more attention to what's happening on the street rather than worrying about which camera or lens combination would work best for a particular type of scene.  

I had the brand new Lumix GX8 and the LUMIX Fisheye lens just before my street photography workshop in Southampton. I had never used a Fisheye lens before and the whole view was so much different. It was obvious that I had to first get used to such a wide angle view before I could start capturing some decent shots. 

An evening before the workshop, I ventured out on the streets of Southampton. Soon I spotted few skateboarders opposite the O2 Guildhall and started clicking. With 8mm Fisheye lens one has to be really close to the action. So I was cautious enough not to let my camera, or me, become an intrusion and make the skateboarders anxious. At the end of the day, they were there to enjoy what they love the most, and I was there doing what I love the most. I shot using the burst mode. After capturing a few shots, I reviewed the images and realised that I might have something, I walked away from the spot. I knew then, that I'm really going to enjoy shooting with Fisheye Lens over the coming days and weeks!

 

Next stop was London, my favourite place for street photography. By this time I was much more confident and comfortable with the 8mm Fisheye view. The shot below was captured on an overcast day. 

Gagan Sadana Street Photography Fisheye
 

Another evening in London, fortunate enough to see the sun. An opportunity for me to capture my favourite high contrast shots.

With a Fisheye lens, one has to treat the distortion carefully. It should be well balanced. If it is too much, then It takes the attention of the viewer away from the main subject. And if too little, which might happen if you crop the image a lot, then you have not used the ultra wide angle view to your advantage.

Gagan Sadana Street Photography Fisheye

 The picture below is probably is one of my favourite shots. Sun light and its reflections create great scenes and over here, the reflection of the sun from the glass and the steel structure created fantastic pattern, which was enhanced all the more when I saw it through the Fisheye lens. It gave such an other worldly feel to the shot and again reinforced the saying that camera captures what human eye misses. Fisheye's ultra wide angle of view helps bring the viewers eyes from three light pathways towards the point where they seem to merge. Overall result is a kind of cosmic scene.  

Gagan Sadana Street Photography Fisheye

Use of Fisheye lens opens up creative opportunities which I think every photographer is looking for.  I thoroughly enjoyed using it and would love to shoot with it in the future. I would highly recommend that you also try it. It is going to be Fun!

Now that the lens is back with Panasonic, I have added it to my wish list.

Thank you for taking time to read this blog.

Gagan