Perspective : Specialty Lenses and Creative Purposes

Welcome to Week Seventeen of p52.2 : Framed, our year-long collaborative blog project is dedicated to composition and artistry! We are continuing our focus on Perspective, and finishing up our first month examining the way choice of lens alters one’s viewpoint. This week we are utilizing various types of specialty lenses – telephoto, fisheye, macro, lensbaby, etc. – and seeking to be inspired by the unique qualities of these lenses or seeking ways to use those lenses creatively.

  • Telephoto or long lenses are often used for portraits, as we discussed in prior weeks, or for sports and action shots, when one can’t get very close to the action.
  • Fisheye lenses are ultra wide-angle lenses that create visual distortion, so the image is circular rather than rectilinear. These lenses allow an angle of view that is greater than 100 degrees – sometimes even allowing a 180 degree point of view!
  • Macro lenses allow you to get very close to your subject and may capture details barely noticed with the naked eye.
  • Tilt-shift lenses are designed to allow the photographer to tilt the plane of focus and shift the position of the subject without moving the camera back. They are useful when photographing architecture, in order to avoid the convergence of parallel lines, although many photographers have utilized it when shooting portraits.
  • Lensbaby brand of lenses are designed to give a creative effect, where one portion of the frame will be in focus, while the rest is blurred. In some cases, the lensbaby will mimic the effect of the tilt-shift lens.

As the saying goes, restriction breeds creativity. The narrow purposes of these specialty lenses can inspire the photographer to rethink how she might approach an otherwise familiar situation. Please take a look at how each of us chose to take advantage of the characteristics of these specialty lenses in the images below.

Please click HERE to read more about our project. The gallery mosaic is randomly sorted every time you load the page so please Refresh the page in your browser to see a different view. Please click on the individual images to see a larger version on the artist’s website and, in some cases, a series of related images.


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