Working With Wides

Well, I wanted to say “Playing with a Wide-angle Lens”, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration. 🙂

The word wide is relative, so I’ll describe how I use the terms, these are probably not industry accepted descriptions, so don’t quote me 🙂   Your basic entry-level DSLR usually comes with a kit lens that has a range of focal lengths from 18mm to 55mm, this I consider to be a wide telephoto lens, at the widest end (18mm) you get a nice wide view and at 55mm you get closer to close up of the subject, I consider somewhere around 33mm (on the crop-sensors) to be somewhere around “normal” (mind you, I’ll be talking from the stand-point of an APS-C sensor or crop sensor, a full frame or micro-four-thirds is an entirely different scenario)

Since this is the standard kit lens that most people get, we don’t often see it as wide, so that’s when we go Ultra-wide.

My favourite wide-angle lens (OK, the only one I have in the Ultra-wide category) is the Sigma 10-20mm, this produces pleasing images for me, and I love working with it.  You get some amount of distortion at the wider end (understandable) but this tends to be good in certain circumstances.

Often, in architectural photography, you can use wides and ultra-wides to capture more of the interior, and convey more of the sense of space and more of what encompasses the room.

At other times, you can use them closer to the subject to give an increased sense of distance, even accentuate the distortion by being close (do this with people’s faces, and you’ll get some weird effects)

I used the ultra-wide to capture the corner of this building (New Building Society), along with parts of the sidewalk and sky (and a pedestrian) 🙂

There are many things you can do with a wide, many of which I don’t do, I don’t normally put it right up to people’s faces and click, but I’ve seen those photos, and it’s a neat effect  🙂

What I did in this next image was to use the ultra-wide to adjust the sense of scale, I used a fire-hydrant in the foreground to dwarf a three-story building in the background.  One thing that I liked about this shot was that I didn’t have to worry about electricity wires!

The best way to see what your wide-angle lens or your ultra-wide angle lens can do is to put it on the camera and go have fun.  Sometimes it makes compositions tricky as it tends to include everything, even things you may not want, but like working with any focal-length, it’s up to the photographer to adjust framing and composition for these things.

I mentioned using wide-angle lenses for interior architecture, well I doubt if a tent falls under the category of architecture, but I suspect the engineers who came up with the idea for this tent would appreciate the use of the wide-angle for impact  🙂  And would you look at the view!  🙂


All images above were shot with the Sigma 10-20mm on a Canon body, Click on the images to see them in the Collection along with others in their respective Galleries.


2012 Deck – Week 52

I don’t know about anyone else, but I think this is the way to spend the last weekend of the year, with family and family friends, relaxing near a pool, sleeping under the stars (in a tent), far away from town, and I have my camera, spare batteries and spare memory cards  🙂



Click on the image above to see it in the Gallery along with all the other images for the 2012 Deck Project.

Reflecting on the year, it’s been great in some areas, specifically Photography.  Even though my personal photography has not been great this year, and by that I mean I am not happy with the overall amount and scope of the photos that I have taken this year, it’s been a great year for my photography in the following ways;

Neil Marks lobbied and secured for Nikhil and myself the opportunity to exhibit some of our work in a joint exhibition at the National Art Gallery (Castellani House) early this year; our involvement in the Guyana Photographer’s group has brought us into contact with many many talented local photographers, and we have seen the group blossom and grow under the guidance of the Admins and our fearless leader Fidal; the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport revived the biennial art competition (after a 20 year absence) and included Photography as one of the new categories, in which Nikhil won Gold, Sharon won Silver and I won the Bronze medal, I had a photo of mine selected to be used as the Cover Image for Caribbean Beat, the official magazine of Caribbean Airlines (an MEP Publication), and three local firms are using a few of my images in their 2013 Calendars.

If my count is correct this is my 300th Blog post, also an achievement, since I never thought I’d have anything to write that anyone would want to read…of course, the photos help!  🙂  Now, I just have to make 2013 count!  🙂

Have a great Old Year’s Night, and a very happy and prosperous New Year in 2013.

2012 Deck – Week 49

As Christmas draws near, I think it is important to remember the real reason for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who came for one reason and one reason only, to save us, unworthy humans, whose faults and failures make life the interesting journey that it is.

Probably the most quoted verse of the Bible is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, Verse 16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

He came to teach us how to love and how to live life through love of our fellow man (and woman), and for his teachings, for his belief, he was crucified and died for us, for our sins.

We celebrate the birth of a man who came not to live for us, but to die for us, that we may live, love and be loved!

Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, along with the other images for the Deck Project to date  🙂

2012 Deck – Week 48

Santa Claus, a mythical figure whose fame has spanned centuries, but is he only a myth or is he real?

The story of Santa Claus can be found in Legends, Myths, History and Folklore, and the names vary through the years and across land boundaries, but one thing remains the same, the IDEA that there is a person, an entity who gives gifts unselfishly to children, usually on the eve of Christmas so that on Christmas Day they awaken to presents.

For me, this Idea, IS  Santa Claus, this is what we want to believe in and keep the tradition going.  Was there ever a man with a long white beard who went house to house giving gifts to children?  I’d say that it was likely.  Did he dress in a red suit and have eight (or nine) reindeer pulling his sleigh through the skies?  Probably not  🙂

As Christmas approaches, I wish you all the best for the Season of Christmas.

2012 Deck – Week 47

Last night (Friday 14th December 2012) I stood alongside two friends and fellow photographers, on a stage populated by artists, art-lovers and art patrons, among Giants in the Guyanese art-sphere who are masters in Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Crafts, and I felt exalted and elated.

I am not a painter, nor a sculptor, I cannot draw nor mould, but this year the Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition committee included Photography as an art form, the first time in Guyana.  I was given the Bronze Medal, for third place in the Photography category, and was excited that my long time friend and photo-buddy, Nikhil, won the Gold, and his wife, Sharon copped the Silver.

I was thrilled to be included as a prize-winner, but even more astounded that I was chosen from what is reportedly a heavily contested segment, especially knowing that many other members of the Guyana Photographer’s Facebook group also entered amazing pieces.

To me, winning the Bronze was a giant step, but being among the first Photographers to be so honoured in Guyana is even more special.  To have our work judged meritorious is always gratifying, to have them judged by “Artists”; sculptors and Painters, Curators and Critics, and not by photographers is validation of Photography as Art in Guyana.

This is but a “drop in the bucket”, I look forward to the works of fellow photographers, fellow artists, as the future Competitions promise to be even better.

This brings me to my photo for the Deck Project for Week 47 of this year, “A Ripple in the Fabric”, I say to other Photogs, to other Artists, to all Guyanese who love art, “Look to the future, for this ripple in the fabric of the Guyanese art-world will not subside, but grow and change the way we Guyanese see Photography”

A Ripple in the Fabric

I don’t normally try Cyanotype processing, but I thought that this image looked better with a tinge of blue  🙂  I could be wrong….  Click on the image above to see it in the Gallery!