Lens-Artists Challenge #165 – Going Wide
“Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ‘ah-ha’.”Ernst Haas
Last week Sofia asked us to look up or down. This week Patti has given us yet another directional challenge, this time to “go wide”. When I sold my Nikon equipment to move to mirrorless technology I did not replace my wide angle lens. Instead I subscribe to Mr. Haas’ philosophy of stepping back to capture a wider scene. There are times though when a wide-angle clearly does a better job. So this week I’ve used images taken with my Nikon and a 10-24mm lens, such as the scene above from Bryce Canyon in Utah. It would have been nearly impossible to capture the breadth of the landscape without a tripod and a wide-angle lens due to the limited ability to “back up” to capture the scene.
“Sometimes I look with telephoto eyes, sometimes with wide-angle eyes.”Alfred Eisenstaedt
Likewise in the image above I was looking to capture not only the beauty of the rice fields but also the village below. Again, I was walking along a narrow ledge around the fields and could not have backed up any further to capture the scene.
“Try to approximate as much as possible the way we see, focusing on details, opening up to wider angles…”Beat Streuli
Sadly, Old Sheldon Church (shown in the images above) is no longer accessible to photographers as it becomes ever-more fragile. I was fortunate to have visited a few years back with a friend to shoot the church ruins at sunrise. I thought the first (left) image with its sunburst best expressed my reaction to a place that for hundreds of years housed the faithful in communion with their God. I also loved the huge live oak tree gracing the second image. I’m curious to hear which of the images you prefer.
“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”Henry Ward Beecher
For the image above, my husband and I were vacationing in Scotland with our daughter-in-law’s family. They’d rented a large home situated on a beautiful loch to house all of us. I set my camera and wide-angle lens on a tripod at the edge of the water and walked out to the scene several times to capture the landscape as it evolved. The image I’ve shared here was my favorite because of the evening light and the lovely sky.
“Set wide the window, let me drink the day.”Edith Warton
I captured the scene above from a hotel window in Bar Harbor, Maine. I loved the peaceful feeling of the fog and mist creeping across the bay. I’d set the camera up the night before to capture what turned out to be a rather boring sunset and was up at dawn the next morning while the camera was still in place. It was simple luck that I’d awakened in time to see the scene. Shooting from a window, only a wide-angle lens could have captured the breadth of the landscape.
“Life is short and the world is wide.”
Finally, my image above was NOT captured with a wide angle lens, nor with a tripod. Rather I used my Fuji X-T2 with it’s 18-55mm kit lens while leaning on a rock wall. I include it as proof that one does not necessarily need a wide-angle lens to capture wide-angle images. As long as there is room to back away from a scene we can capture landscapes such as this one quite well. This particular day a good friend and I were bemoaning the miserable fog which was ruining our opportunity for good images when we suddenly broke through the clouds and ended up above them on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. It was EXACTLY the kind of ah-ha moment espoused in my opening quote by Ernst Haas.
My thanks to Patti for pushing me to think about wide-angle shooting which is not something I typically do. I hope you’ll join us in response to her challenge – if so, be sure to link to her original post here and to use the Lens-Artists Tag. Thanks also, of course, to Sofia for guest-hosting last week with her Looking Up/Down challenge. As always you rose to the challenge beautifully and with some amazing variety. We hope you’ll join us next week when Ann-Christine leads us on her Leya blog. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.
In closing, a note on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and to all those affected by the tragedies of man’s inhumanity to man. May we all find peace in our lifetimes and remember those who have served to protect us..
“Imagine all the people, living life in peace.”John Lennon