View 294: Fisheye Fun at the Great New York State Fair

Sand sculpture inside the Center of Progress building at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.

Sand sculpture inside the Center of Progress building at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 2800, EV 0.

You may recall I borrowed a fisheye lens during the Calder Cup playoffs back in June.  I had a lot of fun and found many uses for it. So much so my wife gave me a Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens for an early anniversary present last week. While the one I used before was for a cropped sensor camera, the Sigma 15mm is for a full frame sensor camera like the Nikon D700 I use.

I could think of no place better than the 2013 Great New York State Fair which opened this week to give the new lens a proper shake down. As I mentioned before, with the 180 degree angle of view, you have to be very careful with the distortion a fisheye lens does around the edges.  Subjects which already have a natural curve work best like the photo of this year’s sand sculpture at the Fair (above) which is surrounded by a circular brick wall.

Here are a few more compositions which worked well with the fisheye lens.

In this case, I wanted the lens to curl the straight lines of the display cooler for this year’s butter sculpture found in the Dairy building.

The 45th Annual Butter Sculpture in the Dairy Building of the 2013 Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.

The 45th Annual Butter Sculpture in the Dairy Building of the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 360, EV 0.

A new exhibit this year is about the history of the New York State Fair. Big time entertainment at the Fair is something I fully remember and the time line, starting at 1969, on display worked well with the fisheye.  Especially with the people near the center of the frame.

Entertainment timeline at the Great New York State Fair history exhibit inside the Grange building in Syracuse, New York.

Entertainment timeline at the Great New York State Fair history exhibit inside the Grange building in Syracuse, New York.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 720, EV 0.

I found if I raised the camera over my head and angled the fisheye lens down I got some unique photos.

Bandaloni, One-Man Band, performing at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.

Bandaloni, One-Man Band, performing at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/200s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0.

I could not get the live animals at the Fair to cooperate by looking directly into the fisheye lens at close range.  I settled for this deer trophy at the DEC log cabin exhibit.  He was much easier to work with. 🙂

Deer trophy hanging on the outside wall of the DEC Log Cabin at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.

Deer trophy hanging on the outside wall of the DEC Log Cabin at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 200, EV 0.

This will be a good lens to use when the subject calls for it to help tell a story. Look for more from this lens in the future.

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5 Responses to View 294: Fisheye Fun at the Great New York State Fair

  1. Maggie says:

    Congrats on the new lens! I really enjoy what the fish eye lens does to the first photo and when you hold the camera above your head and shot down.

    Like

  2. Wonderful shots Scott, I definitely need to try one of these out, looks you had a blast shooting with it !!

    Like

  3. Pingback: Seduced by the Fisheye | Views Infinitum

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