"Fishing" at Trinidad State Beach

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A few weeks back, when a passing storm had left plenty of clouds to keep the sky occupied, I ventured forth to do some “fishing” at Trinidad State Beach, on the north coast of California. By “fishing” I don’t mean with a line and a fishing rod, but rather with a camera and a fisheye lens. On this particular occasion, I made use of that oddity among lenses, the fisheye zoom. This particular lens, which comes in a Tokina version for Nikon and Canon and a Pentax version for Pentax, begins at the wide end of its focal length providing the typical highly distorted but ultra wide 180º fisheye field-of-view; then, as you zoom to the long end of the lens, the field-of-view narrows, and the distortion, while still significant, abates. Here is what the Pentax version of the lens (reviewed here) looks like:

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To use a fisheye lens for landscape photography, at least two things (as I’ve noted previously) are required: first, you need to put the horizon in the middle of the frame, because that’s the only way to make the horizon straight; and second, you need lots of clouds, because otherwise close to half your image will just feature blank sky, which is boring. But if you have clouds, lots of space, and not a whole lot of large straight objects (like trees) anywhere near your camera, fisheyes can be fun to use in landscape photography. And using a fisheye that zooms from 180º to 100º field-of-view only adds to the fun, providing more versatility to your photography.

So here’s what my fisheye zoom lens captured on an afternoon at Trinidad State Beach:

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And here’s a few bonus shots taken from around Trinidad Head and Pier:

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