Dramatic Perspectives

The Baltic Sea coast in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany) has many faces. Sometimes it is rough and stormy, while at others it is soft and peaceful. Timm Allrich (28), a radiologist from state capital Schwerin, uses every moment of his free time to capture the natural beauty of the region.  As part of the prestigious international photography festival in Zingst in early June, he gave a workshop called Horizons 2012 about landscape photography at sunrise and sunset. Carl Zeiss gave Allrich two lenses for use during the workshop: the Distagon T* 3,5/18 and the new  super wide angle Distagon T* 2,8/15.

Ferryman - Moritzdorf near Sellin on the island of Rügen (Distagon T* 3,5/18; F/10; 1 Sek; ISO-50)
Ferryman - Moritzdorf near Sellin on the island of Rügen.

It is four o’clock in the morning. Tim Allrich loves this time of day most because he can observe animal and plant life slowly awakening. This photo shows a natural harbor on a small lake on the island of Rügen. The early-morning mist is hovering above the water and there is not a soul in sight. Even the ferryman is still asleep. Day after day, the ferryman takes the many tourists and their bicycles to the other side of the lake with his boat. The ZEISS super wide angle Distagon T* 3,5/18 lens has created a tension-filled image structure with maximum depth of field: the jetty is positioned prominently in the foreground, while the boats float calmly on the water’s perfectly plane surface, topped by impressive clouds.

Fischland-Darß – waves roll around the groins on Zingst beach (Distagon T* 3,5/18; F/10; 0.6 sec; ISO-50)
Fischland-Darß – waves roll around the groins on Zingst beach.

A stormy morning at around 4:30 a.m. To take this shot, Allrich chose a deep perspective right above the water’s surface so that the waves seem to almost flow right into the camera. The photographer has captured the dynamism and power of the waves by purposely depicting them in blurred motion. The somber light and threatening clouds on the horizon accentuate the harsh sea. “With photographs like this, there’s always the challenge of finding the right exposure. If it is too long, the surf becomes a white uniform mass. If it is too short, you capture the mood of the waves, but you lose their movement and personality,” Allrich explains.

Ocean with groins – pier in Zingst (Distagon T* 3,5/18; F/22; 6 sec; ISO-50)
Ocean with groins – pier in Zingst.

This photograph was also taken in the early morning hours. Thanks to the longer exposure, Allrich has photographed what he calls a ”blurred ocean” in which the soft foam of the seawater can still be recognized in part. This picture is an excellent example of the importance of focal length for achieving an interesting perspective: the impression of distance combined with proximity, and in this case the pier is a medium for the foreground. The Distagon T* 3,5/18 has placed everything in brilliant focus all the way into the four corners of the image, despite the difficult light conditions.

Seagulls – pier in Zingst (Distagon T* 2,8/15; F/10, 1/1000 sec, ISO-250)
Seagulls – pier in Zingst.

This image was taken from the Zingst pier at around 11 a.m. It is an attractive example of a photographer’s possibilities to compose an image with the extreme angular view of the new ZEISS Distagon T* 2,8/15: The sun is high, the seagulls are circling over the photograph, almost passing him, and yet Allrich is able to create a connection to the surroundings by cropping the water and the beach. In the background you can see the exhibition Seamore by Betty Schoener, which was shown concurrently with the photography festival Horizons 2012 in Zingst. Here the ZEISS lens reproduces the rich colors and strong sun impressively.

Canopied beach chairs on Zingst beach (Distagon T* 3,5/18; F/10; 3.2 sec; ISO-50)
Canopied beach chairs on Zingst beach.

Another shot at 4:30 a.m. It is June and the temperature has dropped to 5⁰ Celsius. A strong storm with wind force 10 sweeps over the beach here at Zingst and topples many of the canopied beach chairs. Timm Allrich protected his camera from the swirling sand with a plastic bag so that only the lens was looking out. He was rewarded for enduring the sand in his eyes and pain in his face: the Distagon T* 3,5/18 created a beautifully sharp and detail-rich shot, from the first grain of sand in the foreground to the horizon, despite a 3.2-second exposure and the challenging lighting conditions.

Groins at sunset – beach at Zingst (Distagon T* 3,5/18; F/13; 1 sec; ISO-50)
Groins at sunset – beach at Zingst.

It is evening, at around 9:30 p.m. For this shot Tim Allrich paid special attention to creating a connection between the fore- and background. The groins, which emphasize the vastness of the ocean, pull the viewer into the picture. In this shot, too, everything is focus, from the foreground to the horizon. The setting sun, peering out from below the black clouds, creates an appealing mood. By using motion blur for the water, the photographer has created a sense of action. The Distagon T* 3,5/18 masters the difficult back light and, despite the richness in detail in the foreground, manages to produce a picture that does not exaggerate the brighter areas of the image.

Darß forest near Prerow (Distagon T* 3,5/18; F/13; 30 sec; ISO-50)
Darß forest near Prerow.

Darß forest at night. In early summer, the ferns have an incredibly rich green color. Allrich took this shot in the late evening after dusk. It was rainy and moist that day so that the colors were gleaming more than usual. The cloud cover produces an even light and creates a calm and appealing mood, which generates the picture’s special aesthetic effect. The grey graduated filter in the top half of the image further accentuates the gleaming effect of the ferns. In an image like this, the Distagon T* 3,5/18 is in its element: It has no trouble capturing the clear, sober lines of nature, in this case the uniform-growing trees, with no distortion or vignetting.




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  1. This is a wonderful demonstration of what the 15 and 18 lenses can do and the compositions are perfect. I especially like the gulls. While I have the ZF.2 21 rather than either of these 2 lenses, it makes me want to get out and shoot wide.

  2. André Schade

    Besides the great lenses I'm enthusiastic about the photographer and his good eye for the beauty of nature and his skills to capture it!

  3. Louisianaman

    Awesome photos. I too use Zeiss lenses but they are the older style Contax Zeiss lenses. Just as sharp and we know Zeiss is the best in the world.

  4. Ramesh Gangale

    These photographs are the best by any proffessional photos take,Great work thru the lenses.

  5. Koen Bazelmans

    Timm Allrich is demonstrating how beautiful extreme wide angle photography can be. Great photos. I love to shoot wide angle. I get excellent results with the Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8. I am looking forward to the day that my camera will be equipped with the new Zeiss 15mm.

    1. ZEISS Camera Lenses

      Hi Charles,
      We already answered your private message on Facebook.
      Best regards,
      Your ZEISS Lenses Team


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