Ballycotton Fishing Boats

Fishing boats crowd the harbour in Ballycotton on a warm August afternoon.

This was taken in 2006, when I think I shot the rest of my Ballycotton images. I love the imposing clouds and the leading lines of the bows.

The hat and the smoke

I made this image of the guy in the hat on Patrick’s Street last February and I knew I had a great street shot. I have no idea what those people in the car are doing but they left shortly after.

Link love: Donal has a great portrait of some of the kids from his trip to Lesotho.

Wide angle adventures

David (I think, there’s no author information on the post) of Digital Photography School has rediscovered his wide angle lens! He has a few examples, and the kids shots are particularly good. The two at the bottom of the page aren’t anything to write home about however. I’d have got closer in on the violin player to exaggerate the size of his elbow and arm.

Of course, I’m very keen on my own Sigma 10-20 wide-angle lens too. It’s great for street shots for two reasons:

  1. It’s so wide that I can be pointing at something else and still get some passers-by in the shot. Useful when I’m not feeling up to pointing my camera in their direction. I usually carry my camera about with me in my hand, in a vertical orientation. I don’t have to worry too much about missing the action with a wide field of view.
  2. Distortion! It’s not the most flattering in the world, but I just love the flat stretched look at the edges. People and objects lose their depth and become frames for what’s in the center of the image. See point 1 again.

There’s one bad thing about wide angle for street shooting, you have to get really close to get a frame filling shot. That person five feet away from you is going to be swallowed up by their surroundings. Get in close, they won’t hurt you! *gulp*

I had a great time at WordCamp this year, and I have a feeling you’ll see more wide angle shooting by a few people who were there!

What do you do with yours?

Sigma 10-20: going wide

I splashed out on Monday afternoon on a Sigma 10-20mm F4.0-5.6 EX DC HSM in O’Leary’s Camera World. Prices are good at around 499 Euro, comparing well with those I found at Pixmania and elsewhere online. Sigma are based in Bandon, Co. Cork and I guess that helps to keep distribution costs down.
First impressions? It’s wide! It’s also distorted but that’s to be expected. Chromatic aberration is kept to a minimum although I haven’t looked too closely for it. It produces nice crisp images and saturated colours!
While walking around town I found that 10mm is almost too wide. I can be almost on top of my subject before shooting which can be a little nerve wrecking considering the loud click of the 20D! I have captured some great street shots with it already, some of which I’ll post over the next few days.

I couldn’t find many reviews but a number of print magazines have reviewed it and given it glowing recommendations. This thread by Jamison Wexler points to a gallery of example images. This picture reminds me that it’s great for taking self portraits when you really don’t want to ask someone to take the photo!
Now, if only my Sigma 18-200mm was a real 18-200..

While on holiday in Lanzarote I found a shop that sold this lens for 389 Euro. The shop is Visanta and is listed as the main Sigma dealer in the Canarys. You can’t trust all the small electronic shops selling fakes, but Visanta are ok. There are dodgy looking guys hanging about outside the tourist traps but Visanta staff were very helpful and professional.
Unfortunately they didn’t have the lens in stock. Of course, if you buy over there, you should declare it when you get home. The islands are a duty free zone but you’re only allowed to bring home goods below a certain value without paying that duty AFAIR.