Sunday, March 16, 2008

Something is fishy....

As I go about taking pictures, I have many lenses for many different purposes. One of my favorite lenses for doing something different, is the Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens.

The thing that is really cool about the Fisheye lens is the distortion it brings to the image as it bends a 180 degree horizontal view of the world down onto a flat sensor at the back of the camera. The outside edges of the image are curved around the Center. This is much more pronounced on a Full Frame sensor, such as the Canon 5D. (cropped sensors keep the center portion of the image and thereby throw away the parts of the image that are distorted the most ... usually a good thing, unless you were specifically wanting a "fisheye look")

But sometimes you can overdo it! And that's how I felt about yesterday's photo shoot at the Utah State Capitol Building.

So I turned to DxO Optics Pro (a Raw processor), as an alternative to my normal Raw processor (Adobe Lightroom).

Here is an example image, taken with the Fisheye lens, and processed using Lightroom:

And here is the same image, processed using DxO. I didn't tweak the lighting as much, but I did use it to de-fish and crop the image:

Notice how straight the lines are?

Now, here's another image. This one is actually FOUR images combined together into a single HDR (High Dynamic Range) image using Photomatix Pro by HDR Soft. You can see both the fisheye effect which is still intact, and the dynamic range of this image:

Going back into DxO, I reprocessed just ONE of the images to get rid of the Fisheye effect. And then I used Nik Color Efex Pro to adjust the lighting on this one:

See what you think of the images. Do you prefer them with the fisheye effect, or without?

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