Canon 7D, Angles

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Strong angles in an image can add a lot to the composition, especially when the angles and lines are going in different directions (Figure 8.4). This can create a tension that is different from the standard horizontal and vertical lines that we are so accustomed to seeing in photos.

You can accentuate the angles in your images by tilting the camera, thus adding an unfamiliar angle to the subject, which draws the viewer’s attention (Figure 8.5).

The assortment of angles and lines refl ected on this building added visual interest to the image.
FIGURE 8.4 The assortment of angles and lines refl ected on this building added visual interest to the image.
I tilted the camera when photographing this plate of food—a technique referred to as “Dutch angle.”
FIGURE 8.5 I tilted the camera when photographing this plate of food—a technique referred to as “Dutch angle.”

CREATIVE AND SPECIALTY LENSES

You can create shallow and great depth of field effects with any lens you own, but some specialty lenses create unusual and unique bokeh (the area that is out of focus in your image) and also offer an enormous range of creative photographic possibilities.

Tilt-Shift Lens

The tilt-shift lens was created to correct lens distortion in images. It’s a popular lens for architectural photography because it keeps the lines of structures straight, not curved like you would see with wide-angle lens distortion. One side benefit of using this lens is that it creates unique bokeh and can make things look miniature if photographed from high up (Figure 8.6).

The unique bokeh effect of the tilt–shift lens makes the houses in this image look like a miniature model.
FIGURE 8.6 The unique bokeh effect of the tilt–shift lens makes the houses in this image look like a miniature model.

Lensbaby

The Lensbaby (Figure 8.7) creates a similar bokeh effect to the tilt-shift lens, but instead of a focus area that is straight across, it has a “sweet spot” within the frame that can be moved around to give the image a different look, depending on the subject (Figure 8.8). The moveable lens comes with an array of accessories that can change the look of the image. One of my favorites is the Creative Aperture kit. It allows you to change the shape of the aperture, which will affect the shape of the bokeh. The bokeh shapes of apertures in traditional lenses and the normal Lensbaby are usually circular or octagonal (Figure 8.9), but with the Creative Aperture kit you can change the shape to hearts, stars—virtually anything you can imagine (Figure 8.10).

Lensbaby Composer lens on the Canon 7D.
FIGURE 8.7 Lensbaby Composer lens on the Canon 7D.
In this photo, the petals on the tulip are in focus and the rest of the image is blurred. The area that is in focus is sometimes referred to as the “sweet spot.”
FIGURE 8.8 In this photo, the petals on the tulip are in focus and the rest of the image is blurred. The area that is in focus is sometimes referred to as the “sweet spot.”
I photographed this image with the Lensbaby Composer lens at its widest aperture and with nothing in focus.
FIGURE 8.9 I photographed this image with the Lensbaby Composer lens at its widest aperture and with nothing in focus.
The Lensbaby allows you to change the bokeh shape by using “shaped” apertures. I used a heart–shaped aperture in this photo to change the shape of the lights in the background.
FIGURE 8.10 The Lensbaby allows you to change the bokeh shape by using “shaped” apertures. I used a heart–shaped aperture in this photo to change the shape of the lights in the background.