Wide Angle Street Photography by Brendan van Son

Ultra Wide Angle Street Photography?

I’m not one to shoot a lot of ultra-wide angle street photography.  But, I am a believer that you can shoot street photography on any lens.  In fact, I think that photographers should go out there with a variety of lenses and try different ones each time.  It pulls us into a creative box.  And, while some people thing that you should have creative freedom, I’m actually a big believer that putting limitations on ourselves in photography forces us to try new things and see through the camera in a different way.

For me, I prefer a 35mm street photography lens.  I like that focal length.  So, when I decided to play around with some wide angle street photography the other day using my Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, I didn’t think I was going to get any images.  But, in the end, I grabbed a couple I really like.

Sure, they weren’t perfect, and of course a lot of the images aren’t “classic” street images.  But, I am really happy with them. And, in general, I’m happy with the ultra-side lens.

Wide Angle Street Photography

As usual, there’s a photography vlog from my YouTube channel to go along with this post.  Jodie and I travelled from our base in Crete to the island of Naxos.  And honestly, I wasn’t thinking that I’d be shooting street photography at all in Naxos.  But, back spasms forced me to leave my heavy camera bag at home and instead carry my lightest lens.

Check out the video from the day below.

The Wide Angle Street Photos

Manual Focus  Wide Angle Lens – The Battle

Wide angle street photography, naxos

A couple people asked me if it’s hard to focus the Rokinon 14mm lens.  And, yeah, it can be a battle. It’s manual aperture, and manual focus, so it can take you a little bit longer to get your shot.  It’s not exactly the ideal wide angle street photography lens.  On this shot, for example, I focused a little too far away from the flower pedals on the ground. I still think it works.

Great Colours!

Wide angle street photography

I have always loved the colours that the Rokinon 14mm seems to pull. They always have a really punchy and soft characteristic to them. This scene of flowers worked really well with this lens.

Wide Angle Distortion

Naxos images

The distortion at 14mm is real. This scene was amazing, and I thought I managed to frame it perfectly. But, when I got it on a bigger screen I wasn’t lined up perfectly and the lines are all distorted. You really have to be careful with this lens. You should also note the sun star. Since the lens has 6 aperture blades you only get 6 points on the star. Odd number blades (like on the 16-35mm f/4) result in double points on the sun stars which looks really nice. This lens just doesn’t do sun stars well.

Patience Street Photography Grasshopper

Wide angle street photography

There are 2 basic ways of doing street photography. The first is to just run and gun and grab images as you fly around town. The other way is to stop at a scene and visualize it. Then, when the scene develops you take the picture. This scene took a long time to develop. We waited about 20 minutes for the girl to walk into the frame and sit to take her picture on the phone. It was worth the wait.

OK, This Isn’t a Street Photo

Naxos, Greece

Yeah, this isn’t a street photo. I had Jodie go and pose on this balcony for a photo. But, street photo or not, check out the light. It was amazing around sunset in Naxos. All the white just lit up to gold.

Black and Blue Photography

Wide angle street photography

So much street photography is in black and white. As more of a colour photographer, I love shooting colours along with white. This scene of blue and white in Naxos really played well. The man putting up the laundry just made it work. I think a 35mm lens would have likely made for a more powerful image. But, I still really like this one.

More Street Photography of Greece

Wide angle street photography

I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a town with as many cool streets as Naxos, Greece. I could honestly shoot images there all day. And, to be honest, the ultra wide angle lens wasn’t the worst idea for the street photography session. It was fun running around with the lens getting wide in the narrow alleys.

What’s Next on The Photography Blog?

I’m having so much fun putting together blog posts recently.  It’s funny, as my YouTube channel grew I thought I’d never blog again.  But, it feels like I have less pressure blogging these days.  I’m finding it almost like meditation to just sit down and smash some keys.

So, what’s next?

I’m actually putting together a list of famous street photographers that I really like.  That’s coming next week.  I think I’ll also have a business photography article coming soon.

As for life, we’re back from Naxos and at home Crete.  Greg is arriving tomorrow, so I’m sure some shenanigans will ensue.  And, at the end of the month we have the Trover sponsored photography clinic here in Crete.  There are still 2 spaces open if you want them.