22/10/2013 | by Oli Walker
One favourite lens for filming in snowboarding is the ultra-wide angle or fisheye lens. It’s been used in skateboarding for years, features on the modern day GoPro (and other portable cameras) and is arguably one of the most important lenses to have in your quiver. Jesse Butner, director of the ultra-innovative Think Thank movies, would certainly agree.
Fish-eyes are great for getting the viewer straight right into the action by exaggerating the foreground and making the background seem further away, and as such are often used to shoot skate-style jibbing. But they need to used properly. Tip number 3 from the first article in this series (How to Use a GoPro Properly) gives you some ideas on how to get the most out of fisheye lenses.
Basically what you need to know is that they distort the edges of the picture and create a bulging effect, hence the name. They were made popular in 90s skate films where they were known as death lenses as they were often smashed as a result of how close cameramen would get to capture the action.
You could also opt for an ordinary wide-angled lens. While this won’t get your viewer as close to the action, they provide a much less distorted picture. As with the cameras themselves, there is a huge range to choose from; again, the best way of choosing is doing your own research and finding the lens that fits both your needs and your price range.