It had been a while since I’d broken out the 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D from Laowa. It’s a great little lens, but I haven’t had anything on my plate that would really suit the rendering of this lens. So, I made a challenge for myself. We had some beautiful post-typhoon clouds in Seoul and I got out to shoot a little street-inspired imagery with the ultra-wide.
I headed down to the Han River in the Yongsan district to see what I might find. I knew that the riverside would initially offer me some great views of the clouds with the city around but after that, I wanted to let the city guide me.
On my way down to the riverside, I stopped at the steps to make an image of the way down. This reminds me of why I love wide-angle lenses so much. Perspective distortion is so much fun to play with!
Then it was off to the riverside to get the cityscape and clouds out of my system so I could focus on looking for other images. The Yeouido skyline looks tiny at 9mm, but I love the sense of scale we get. The sky feels so vast on days like this.
It was then that I spotted this fisherman and the shooting began. Wide angle lenses give you a great opportunity to play with perspective distortion. Objects close to the camera get extremely large, and I wanted to give importance to this man using that technique. I greeted him and spent some time photographing him and his setup. But, it wasn’t until he walked away with his catch that I found the image I was after.
From here, I made my way back into the city to find people and activities to photograph. On a typical day, I usually use 16mm, 23mm, or 35mm for my candid street work. So, it was a fun challenge to get really close with the 9mm f/2.8. That was not the only challenge, however. In a packed city like Seoul, it can take a lot of moving around to clean up a background when using a lens this wide. Changing my perspective really helped, especially by getting down low or up high.
Being meer centimetres from this speeding child was a quick reminder that you really need to have your peripheral vision working when using a lens this wide. It’s also a great time to use the tilt screen on the X-H1 as I am able to keep looking at the world around me while I shoot to make sure I’m not blocking people or in danger of being hit by something else.
I hope you guys have enjoyed looking at these images from the Laowa. I’ve had a great time shooting with it and getting a different look at Seoul through an ultra-wide-angle lens.
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