I was recently in Austin and did some night shooting with my good friends Brian and Alex. Brian, Alex, and I have been shooting together since the early 1980s when we all attended Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts together.
We decided to do some night photography and I wanted to go to the Texas Capitol to play with my fisheye lens. I decided to try an old trick I learned from a Leica representative from back when I was selling cameras. You place the camera on the floor and use a remote release or self-timer to set it off. I use the trick a lot in churches and it seemed like a good fit for the space.
Lining things up at the Capitol was actually aided by the fact that dead center on the floor is a star so centering things was a lot easier. Getting the angle right was a little trickier but this particular technique is enhanced by digital since you can check your results. The one final thing that you have to watch out for when taking pictures this way is getting out of the shot. I’ve shot quite a few pictures where I thought I was clear of the lens and it turned out I wasn’t. This is a particular problem with superwides like my Tokina 12-24 and, especially, the 10.5mm fisheye.