Unusual perspectives and dramatic staging: the ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15 in street and travel photography
Architectural photography is the traditional domain of a wide-angle lens, and a powerful one at that, given the distortion-free results you can achieve with the Distagon T* 2,8/15. But the new ZEISS super-wide angle is not only suitable for these types of images.
With a field of view of 110°, it is also the ideal companion for staging events and emotionally-charged scenes in a lively and unique way.
With the Distagon T* 2,8/15, details can be focused at very close range. This leads to huge size differences between objects in the foreground and background, creating additional three-dimensionality. Depending on the pre-selected aperture value, an impressive sharpness over the entire frame from close-up to infinity or a selective sharpness of the focused subject can be achieved. The closest focusing distance is 0.25m, which enables the photographer to operate with a wide-angle perspective in even the tightest spaces. Details in the foreground can be purposely accentuated, making the lens perfect for creating energetic and striking images in both journalism and photo reportage, and allowing photographers to stress either the foreground or background in a creative way.
David Mor is one photographer who knows how to leverage the creative possibilities of the Distagon T* 2,8/15. He likes to take pictures of the narrow alleys in the Old City of Jerusalem and is always looking for everyday scenes that he can stage by giving them an allegorical feel: “I was looking for the best angle for an ultra wide-angle scene. The new Distagon T* 2,8/15 dramatized the perspective and turned the narrow, sun-drenched alleys into a three-dimensional stage, with the ‘actor’ stepping into a beaming stage light. In situations like this, the lens opens an unexpected door to a new visual language.”
Mac Kwan, who participated in The ZEISS Challenge: Touit in Bangkok, also uses the Distagon T* 2,8/15 as a daily companion on his photographic journeys. Rather than view the colorful scenes of everyday life he encounters on his travels through a standard lens, he prefers to take advantage of the possibilities of perspective afforded by the super-wide angle to fill his images with life and depth. “I used the Distagon T* 2,8/15 during my trip in Nepal. I think this lens is so amazing, especially the anti-distortion. I love it so much.”
In the temple precincts, Kwan discovered a group of children playing. The scene fascinated him. With the super wide-angle lens from ZEISS, he created this dynamic image with the camera alone and no other aids. “The children were enjoying themselves in a race. I squatted on their way to the finishing point in order to get a stronger visual impact with the Distagon T* 2,8/15. Thanks to that, I can blur the kids in a slower shutter without a tripod to demonstrate their vitality.”
Children made a strong impression on Kwan during this trip, which can also be seen in this image of his visit to a schoolyard. Kwan immediately became the center of attention. “Children are so curious about foreigners like us who walk into their schoolyard. They were so full of life and each child was vying to become the protagonist of the picture. With the help of the super wide-angle lens Distagon T* 2,8/15, I could easily capture all of them in my picture, even though the children were a bit out of control.”
After encountering such active children, Kwan probably fancied a quieter setting. This he found in the following images, which show a group of men waiting on the street. “Sometimes people think that the wide-angle lens can only be used for taking landscapes. However, I loved doing street photography with the Distagon T* 2,8/15 during my trip, not only for the colors and impact, but also for its lack of distortion. When you get closer to your subjects, their happiness, passion and emotions affect me personally and they help me pass on the experience to the viewer through my photos.”