I think each photographer has their own natural inclination in terms of how they instinctively gravitate to a scene. We all start somewhere, right? We plant our feet (or the feet of our tripods), put our faces to the camera and begin creating a baseline for a shot. Some of us go straight for the head-on shot. Others like shooting at an angle. For me, it’s all about getting low.
I think that is why the large majority of my images are taken with ultra-wide angle lenses. I love embracing the distortion that these lenses create at that vantage point. That is the essence of what helps make my images compelling to me. My goal for a shot like this is to saturate you with such a wild portrayal of this sea plane because of its distortion that you forget about not being able to see anything of the top half of the craft. All of the focus falls to the skids, underbelly and, of course, the propeller blades.
The same holds true for me when I’m out shooting in wide expanses. I seem to prefer getting my tripod very low and filling the foreground with whatever elements are there. Distortion is usually inevitable so I have learned to embrace it and use it as a dominant theme across my images.
It’s an important topic to think about for yourselves. What style do you find yourself gravitating to? And do you like it? If so, what more can you do to accentuate it?
In terms of processing
Canon 5D Mark II with the Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens here. Nine brackets obtained with the Magic Lantern firmware and tone-mapped with Photomatix. I couldn’t get all of the highlight and shadow details without it.
I built a customPerfect Effects Preset to get the look of this image that consisted of a slight Deep Forest Glow, a custom Tone Enhancer to bring out texture, and Moulin Rouge for the color shift.
Next, I made a rather complex selection in Photoshop that omitted every part of the sea plane. By doing this, I was able to let FocalPoint blur everything but the plane. This helped me achieve that 3D-ish shallow depth of field effect.
Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.