I just received my copy of Don Komarechka's new book, Sky Crystals. It's the study of snowflakes and it's far more than just a book of stunning images - this is a full tutorial on a totally unique subject, but with universal applications for any project you take on. However, here's what I love about Don's work - from microscopy and photographing snowflakes to the extreme opposite with a fisheye lens, he demonstrates how his creative gene, along with his teaching and presenting genes, kick into overdrive with a great subject.
Is he an artist, a teacher, a writer or just a guy who loves what he does? I'll let you be the judge. And, if you've ever thought about some day publishing your own book, listen to the tips he shares in the newest SCU podcast.
In the mean time, it's time that fisheye came out of your camera bag more often. It may well be one of the most fun creative tools you've got.
A fisheye lens will typically achieve a 180 degree field of view. Some lenses create a completely circular image while others offer corner-to-corner detail. In both cases, you have a lot to take in. In order to reach this expansive field of view, fisheye lenses introduce a large amount of distortion. Straight lines near the edge of the frame become incredibly warped and rounded, so not all subjects will suit the style created here.
So, what works?
A fisheye lens can be a great tool in the right situation. Pre-visualizing the shot can be tricky, and nauseating compositions can occur regularly until you get the hang of it. Give it a shot, but only share your best results after the novelty has worn off; the world has more than enough cringe-worthy fisheye shots.