Let me state up front, this is not a commercial or a critique for the Canon 90 Degree angle finder. This is merely a conversation of what I have in my kit that makes my life easier while out photographing. For all of you that have a flip out screen on your camera this blog may be useful but not necessary. For those of you who don’t, such as myself and you shoot low POV’s (Point of views) or straight up POV’s you may want to read further.
As you can see by my website, I am a black and white Architecture photographer. Most of the shooting I do is at an upward angle of 45 degrees or more. The lower the point of view I photograph from the more of the building I can capture which in turn gives me a more interesting photograph and more to work with in post processing with angle and cropping. Prior to Architecture I would photograph landscapes, primarily sunsets at the beach. Another low POV type of photography but instead of straight up it was low to the ground filling the foreground with reflections of light and water. Either of these scenarios were not the most comfortable of positions. With landscapes at the beach staying dry was not an option but I tried to avoid at all costs sitting or laying down on wet sand. That was always hard to do with the low point of views I wanted to capture. Architecture has its own pain staking, back breaking issues. Imagine or just set up your tripod with out the legs fully extended. Now take your camera and point it straight up. Now try to look in the view finder or even the live view on screen…how is that working for you? Either of these made shooting not pleasurable, but these are the things you must do to get the interesting compositions. Well that is where this little beauty (Canon Angle Finder or like piece) makes your life easier and your photographs and by photographs I mean your compositions better.
I know traditional wisdom to make your photos better for some is to:
1st buy a better camera because the more money you spend on your camera the better your photographs are going to come out…right? I shoot with a Canon 5D mark II and I find no need to go purchase the next latest and greatest camera body and spend more money that I don’t have.
2nd buy better glass because the more money you spend on your lenses the better your photographs are going to come out….right? Buying better glass has some merits when it comes to removing distortion, chromatic abbreviation, vignetting at the edges and getting sharper photo’s.
So lets just say you have done 1 & 2 but now how do you make your compositions better from there, because all the above isn’t worth a plug nickel if your compositions don’t capture attention.
Your equipment can make all the difference in the world and it is the little things in your kit that can be overlooked and taken for granted if you don’t have them.
Sturdy tripod and ball head, Cable release, neutral density filters and yes the 90 Degree Angle finder.
These items are not the buy all/cure all to better photography, but as you photograph you learn that neither is the newest camera and lenses.
The Angle finder is one of those pieces in my kit that has improved my experience and my compositions. I no longer need to lay on the ground looking into my camera to get the angle I want (1 knee will do). I can get such a different POV on buildings, cityscapes, landscapes that it adds another dimension to my thought process with out limitations and speeds up my shooting process (you can’t speed up a 2-6 minute exposure but you surely can make it less awkward which speeds up the process). The choice to spend $170 on another piece of equipment didn’t come easy but neither did the choice on the 16 stop Firecrest ND filter and that is one of my favorite filter as well as the Angle finder. One of the deciding factors on all of this equipment is to read what others are using and why, others whose photography you admire and have already done the hard work of trial and error. Within my own experience I follow others through blogs and emails to get there take on equipment. This has greatly helped my photography and my kit has transformed with a 24mm Tilt shift lens, 16 stop ND filter and the 90 degree angle finder along with better remote trigger release.
Take a long hard look at your own photography and what you are passionate about to photograph (Architecture, Macro, Landscape, Commercial, portraits…etc). Each element or category of photography needs certain special equipment.
It does start with the lens (Wide Angle, Macro, Tilt Shift, telephoto….) but from there it moves to the above mentioned tripod, ball head, cable release, neutral density filters, flashes and yes the angle finder. All of these have slowly found there way into my kit along with wide angle and tilt shift lenses. I have painstakingly done without, purchased the wrong or cheaper equipment because I had to have what I thought would be cool instead of what I needed. But in the end it is the steady thought of what is needed and researching those things that has improved my experience during the photographing process which in turn has improved my photography.
Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or like me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tony-DeSantis-Photography/1545548855729592?fref=nf) to ask any questions about my kit or my style of shooting.