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Ted Szukalski

Gallery of fine art photography.

People photography – Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM


One of the aspects of street photography is ability to come close to the people you photograph and show the environment around them. This is a primary reason why most of street photographs are taken with wide angle lenses. Yes, you can zoom in with a telephoto zoom, but a narrow angle of view will exclude the environment. Until recently my lens of choice was Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L. The lens has a nice range but I found myself in many situations where it was not wide enough. This is were my new Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM lens comes in. The view at 16mm covers so much of the scene it is incomparable. The lens is rectilinear meaning it does now curve the view the way fish eye lenses do. This in return means less distortions, a very important aspect when the main subject of interest for the photographer are people. The wider the lens the more attention needs to be paid to keeping your camera straight, otherwise people and buildings are elongates in the direction of the tilt. This is a challenge in street photography, where many photos are taken “from the hip”, where the photographer does not look at the viewfinder to compose the scene. This was a concern for me, as Canon EOS-1D Mark III is not exactly a stealth camera. It is quick to focus but it is hard to make it invisible. To my surprise, most of the photographs turned out well, holding the axis close to perpendicular and only requiring small rotation in post processing. I think I just found my new favourite lens.