Surely we all know about the Fisheye 2 camera and its features by now – 170 degree perspective, double exposure “mx” button, “b” setting to allow endless opening of the shutter, and ability to distort objects. But during the past year or so, I’ve been documenting everything from road trips to everyday life with my Fisheye 2, and I’ve learned a few things through my experience.
One important thing I’ve noticed is that indoor lighting shouldn’t be overestimated. While many lights can provide enough of what’s needed for a good photo, there have been many photos that turned out poorly because I counted on lights that I shouldn’t have. Don’t be afraid to use the built-in flash indoors!
Some things I like doing are creating multiple suns through using the “mx” button, and also finding reflective surfaces to take photos with. Anything from mirrors to car windows to those silver crosswalk buttons can work for this.
The Fisheye 2 has an internal flash that works great and has helped me out in a lot of situations, but it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t the strongest of flashes and, depending on what the focus is in your picture, may not be able to light up all of what you’re trying to capture. This is one more reason why it’s important to get up close to your subject, especially at night.
Also, in a flurry of photo-taking, it’s easy for a finger, a hand, or even an arm to get in the way of the flash and cancel out its help. Keep in mind where the flash is on the camera and make sure you aren’t blocking it too much or too often.
During a sunny day, however, the flash isn’t even an issue, and it’s good to utilize the Fisheye’s ability to soak in a lot of bright shiny sunlight. Placing the sun partially behind an object or person you are snapping can create the ‘badass effect’ by partially blocking some of the bright light so that the picture doesn’t get washed out, but allowing enough to come through so that a cool shadow is placed onto your focus while still lighting it up enough to be visible.
Perhaps the thing I want to stress most is this: the Fisheye 2 isn’t one of the Lomo cameras that tend to be revered for it’s color saturation, nor does it have the oh-so-cool effect of vignetting. And to be honest, so many of the photos I browse through and am drawn to at the Lomography websites are taken by cameras like the LCA or the Diana because of their abilities to do just those things. But, I have taken many photos with my Fisheye 2 that have turned out amazing, and I know it’s all because of the camera. I’ve captured skies that almost looked like man-made backdrops because the colors were so rich. I’ve taken landscape pictures that turned out so good because this camera wants to stretch and reach and view every possible part all at once. And I’ve seen photos so beautifully distorted by this camera, and feel sure that the result could not have been produced by any other. The distortion created by this camera adds a sort of movement to the photos, making them feel alive and in motion as you view them.
The Fisheye 2 creates condensed beauty that bursts into your eyesight. I dream of getting one of the more expensive and sought after Lomo cameras and will surely have one once I have the money saved up for it. But I know that even once the day comes when I am holding an LCA in my hand, I will definitely be holding my Fisheye 2 in the other.
Check out the Fisheye 2 microsite here