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Andrew Williams's picture

Diamonds in the Rough

We were at Diamond Beach (aka Wildwood Crest or South Wildwood) NJ last week for a few days. These represent two very different approaches in equipment. The first two were shot with a 20 mm wide angle and the second was shot with a 500 mm catadioptric lens. Just for the record, it's very hard to follow focus a seagull with a 500 mm manual focus lens-especially on a very breezy day.

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10 Comments

bluerhino's picture

Very nice. Makes me want to get a wide angle lens. There is a lot going on in the first pic, but I love the sky. Is the wide angle making the wavy effect of the horizon?

The second is may favorite. Great colors and I like the story its telling.

The final pic of the seagull, I completely understand. Before I got my new semi pro camera (Canon T6) I used a Nikon coolpix that has a 120mm standard and out to 675mm digital and here is the result:

Andrew Williams's picture

The wave activity at the horizon is waves, almost high enough for the surfers. Below that is a large tidal pond that is only a few inches deep. The ripple effect there is from the wind blowing across and intersecting with a little wave action from the ocean.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Brandon, yes, I that is "moustache" distortion caused by the 20mm lens making the horizon curve up in the middle, and curve the other way at the edges. The effect is even more pronounced in the second image, where the horizon runs at the "worst case" plane for this lens. Software tends to automatically correct this in jpegs, but not RAW (although you can choose for it to do so).

Andrew Williams's picture

Back in the day we spoke of this as pincushion or barrel distortion depending on the direction of the distortion. Every lens has it to one degree or another. I did not think it pronounced enough in these to bother correcting, which is relatively easy to do in software.I did rotate the images a bit so the horizon was as level as I could make it,

Chris Jablonski's picture

It's not quite either barrel or pincushion in this case, Andrew. It's mostly barrel, but reverses towards the edge, hence the name (i.e. in the top image with high horizon, it's convex upwards in the middle but the ends rise. like a well-waxed moustache). By combining variants of barrel and pincushion, lens designers could minimise the total deviation from rectilinearity, at the cost of making this distortion of more complex nature hard to fix in software, which can easily curve a line one way or the other. In the pre-digital days, when this lens was designed, there was essentially no fixing it. I used this lens for years; its newer sibling has more distortion, but just barrel, and more correctable in post. My newer one is very much sharper than my older one.

bluerhino's picture

Thanks for that. I had someone mention my horizon the other day so I had to physically edit it because the horizon wasn't straight across. Somehow it was slightly slanted. Then again, I was doing a balancing act on top a massive uneven structure.

Was wanting to figure that out before I dropped the cash on another lens.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Two different things here, Brandon? The bending of straight lines is due to the lens. Tilts like sloping horizons are not, and can be corrected too, at the cost of some inevitable cropping in the process. You can tilt the horizon with a perfect lens!

Peter N.'s picture

Sorry to say that, but this might be the wrong group to publish. Looks more like landscape or nature photography to me.

Except the first of your images, with a detail shot of the water in the foreground it could be a abstract one.

Francisco B's picture

yep I dont see how any of these images qualify as minimalism. Landscape/nature. I like the composition of the 3rd image. 1st is nice as well but sky needs some highlight recovery.

Chris Jablonski's picture

I like the third image, Andrew, for its drama & simplicity.