A few days ago, I went with one of my photo buddies, Alan, out to the badlands of northwest New Mexico to shoot the rising full moon as we have done for the past couple of months.
This time, however, we were greeted by a rainbow and clouds in the east . . .
. . . as well as a large bank of clouds near the horizon in the west, so we were fairly certain we weren't going to see the moonrise this month. Maybe next month . . .
But the sun was still above the clouds in the west, so we shot what we could in the 90 minutes before we lost our light.
Fortunately, I had a "Plan B." Alan had bought a new mirrorless camera and lenses, and offered to sell me his 10-18mm wide-angle lens, which wouldn't work on his new camera but would fit mine. He brought it on the trip, so I put it on my camera and began shooting.
Well, that was enormous fun!
A wide-angle lens allows you to get closer to a subject while still including more of the surrounding area . . . like this:
(I was about six inches away from the tip of this piece of wood.)
Yes, the lens introduces some distortion, which becomes noticeable if there are straight or perpendicular lines in the scene. But for wide scenes without straight lines, a wide-angle lens is just the ticket.
I had never used a super-wide-angle lens. My workhorse lens only goes down to 18mm. That is sufficient for most purposes, but having a 10mm focal length lens gave me a whole new way of shooting things.
And the features in the badlands were perfect subjects:
(That's Alan off there in the distance.)
You might notice that in the center of this image there's an interesting little hoodoo (about 3-4 feet tall) and a couple of dead plants below it:
This subject intrigued me, so I moved in very close, knowing the wide-angle lens would let me capture it all. Bingo!
Again, I was about 6 inches from the plants, and the hoodoo was about 4 feet further away. I had to get down low so that the hoodoo was against the sky instead of against the ground. But it was worth the effort, thanks to the wide-angle lens.
If you would like to see these images in a larger format, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.