OP – The Blog

February 16th, 2013

Going Extreme

Posted By Kevin Schafer

Saguaro Embrace

As photographers, our view of the world is often shaped by the lenses we choose to put on our camera. That’s why, every once in a while, I try to move outside my comfort zone and slap on a lens I rarely use, if only to stretch my way of looking at a subject. That’s how I found myself crawling around under this wild saguaro at sunset with a 14mm lens.

This is a terrific piece of glass, but one that distorts the field, curving things that are actually strait. (Not normally a lens you want to use for your family portrait, for instance.) But in this situation it allowed me to get in close for intimacy–too close: I’m still pulling out spines–and accentuate the wonderful curves of this unique cactus.

I have often advocated the value of shaking up your visual vocabulary. Try using a wide-angle lens in a situation when you’d normally reach for the telephoto. Or try it the other way around. On this occasion, I used every lens in my backpack before the sun went down. Each lens created a different perspective and an entirely new picture.

Saguaro Cactus, Arizona

Nikon D300, Nikkor 14mm lens


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