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The Trick for Using a Fisheye Lens

Fisheye lenses are making a big comeback, and they actually can be very cool for a variety of landscape shots—you just don’t want your final image to look rounded and distorted, like many fisheye shots you see. You only want a very wide field of view. The trick to doing that is to simply keep the horizon line in the center of your image. This limits the amount of fisheye-like distortion and makes a huge difference in the final look. The best way to test this is to actually tip your camera downward, then back up towards the sky, all while looking through the viewfinder. You’ll see the edges of your image distort as you move up and down (as seen in the top image), but you’ll notice that as your horizon line gets centered in the image, the fisheye distortion is at its very minimum (like in the bottom image), and it just looks like a really, really wide-angle lens. Give it a try—you’ll see what I mean (by the way, this is the only time you really want the horizon line in the center of your image, as you learned in volume 1).

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