Shooting With A Fisheye Lens

iPhone fisheye lens picture shot in Sathorn

We’ve all seen plenty of shots taken with the fisheye lens. It’s a brilliant little gadget that can help to add a dramatic, even surreal look to your photos. Lemuro’s fisheye camera lens, developed for the iPhone, will help you to capture some really unique shots with minimal effort.

But if you’re keen to get started with the fisheye lens and aren’t sure how it’s time to take a crash-course.  In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the best ways to make the most of your fisheye tech.  In no time, you’ll have stacks of cool, artistic and panoramic shots to upload to Instagram.

Amplify Your Surroundings

Just as you’d use a speaker to amplify sound, you can use a fisheye lens to amplify visuals.  This type of lens is more advanced than the naked eye, which means it’s able to see more. It also means you’ll be able to capture more in your photos.  If you love panoramic shots, a fisheye is going to be a good friend to have.

Fisheye lenses have a huge amount of depth, but there should be a fine balance in how much detail you involve in your shots.  As with wide-angle lenses, we always recommend you take it easy on the extra bits and pieces in the background.  While you can quickly get a lot of detail into a shot, you might be overcramming it.

The best fish-eye shots make use of what’s available.  If you’re tempted to cram in lots of detail, it’s worth experimenting. However, for the best results, it’s worth taking it nice and slow. Try and focus on one or two subjects up front, to begin with, and add in more background elements as you go.  Amplify your surroundings but don’t go over the top.

Embrace Weirdness

One thing you should really do when using a fisheye lens for the first time is to embrace the weirdness.  When you first look through a lens like this, everything is going to look stretched out, super-deep, and distorted.  This isn’t something everyone loves, but it’s a unique way of looking at the world.

While you can tweak your shots gradually to minimize distortion, we don’t think you should be doing that right away. Fisheye lenses are fantastic at creating surreal, warped images which need little to no editing. By embracing the weirdness, you’ll be able to think creatively about the shots you wish to take.

#shotonlemuro by @diltakesphotos

#shotonlemuro by @travel9to5

What’s more, a great fisheye lens can be used to produce new ways to look at everyday things. We’ll cover that in a bit more detail further down.  While it’s good to explore, we think it takes time to get genuinely great shots. Fisheye isn’t something you can master straight away, but it’s definitely something you should play around with.

Minimize Distortion – If You Like

While some people like taking shots that can distort and warp to create unique effects, others prefer to use a fisheye to capture their surroundings on a grander scale. Great idea!

It can be hard to avoid distortion right away, but once you’ve got a feel for where the horizon is, you’ll be able to start noticing more straight lines. Lowering distortion with an iPhone fisheye lens means you’re going to need to have a steady hand.  As we’ve all experienced, even a little bit of a shake or wobble could make all the difference.

#shotonlemuro by @tantago

Lowering distortion could leave you with beautiful, smooth panoramic shots which simply capture more than the eye can see.  There’s no need for extra weirdness unless you want it.

Master Your Perspective

While a fisheye lens won’t let you zoom in and out of objects, that doesn’t mean you can’t get up close and personal. What’s more, it doesn’t mean you can’t stretch away. You can take incredibly different shots of the same objects and subjects simply by moving close to them, and then moving away. Fisheye camera lenses are excellent at creating new angles and new lines our eyes don’t see.

 

Try getting high up above the ground, or try getting really low. Look up and look down, too – fisheye is fantastic at helping you create unique shots simply by pointing up at tall buildings. Try seeing what happens when you get up close with a subject. See what a difference that makes to your background? Now try moving around a little, or try using different subjects.

Balance Your Subjects

One thing you may find tricky to do with a fisheye camera lens is isolating a subject. That is because the field depth you have is enormous! That can mean that your backgrounds may appear sharper than your foregrounds sometimes. If you’re taking shots of landscapes, or want to capture a wide open area, this won’t be a problem for you.

However, if you are interested in using a fisheye lens to capture a subject, you should think about a neutral background.  Framing your shot can be difficult with so much going on. The best trick for this is to also think about keeping one subject in frame or focus.  Not having a subject at all could create an uneven, unsatisfying effect. Even with fisheye or wide-angle shots, you need some sort of subject, even if it’s the sky or something in the distance.

Think About Patterns

Now, let’s focus on getting artistic with these shots. Fisheye lenses bend and distort the world around you by default, which means you should be able to see new patterns emerging where you least expect them!

Using a fisheye lens helps you to see patterns and shapes in things you wouldn’t always think about. Everyday items in your home, street signs, and windows – trees and bushes – they all take on new shapes and patterns when given a new field of depth.  With a fisheye lens, you can look for new, creative viewpoints on things you’d otherwise be walking past. Make sure you look at everything through the lens, so you don’t miss out!