Willem Jonkers: The Fisheye Master Of Street Photography

 Technique  Comments Off on Willem Jonkers: The Fisheye Master Of Street Photography
Jul 092015


I started out with a 23mm and a 14mm prime, but quickly came to the conclusion that those lenses pushed me too far back from my subjects and my frames were like the many we see all the time. About a year ago I met Steven Gonzalez on Facebook who was using an 8mm fisheye on the streets and thought it was very interesting. This inspiration enabled me to take my urge to get closer to the extreme.


Nowadays I feel at one with that lens. It gives my subjects the stage I think they should have and how I envision them in the final photographs. By shooting at distances of sometimes less than one foot, my subjects fill the frame completely, but still with a good sense of the surroundings they are moving around in because of the wideness of the lens. The intended distortion of a fisheye lens makes that framing possible.


Very often I photograph just right in front of someone’s feet from a very low angle and you’ll get that “Gulliver” effect which gives my subject that ‘greatness’ in my frames. On the subject of gear, it’s my opinion that gear will not make you a photographer. Vision does. Gear is a tool to make you display that vision. It has nothing to do with expensive cameras or lenses. My camera is a Fuji X-T1. It can handle very high ISO values, which I need in order to use very fast shutter speeds and still keep a high quality RAW file without too much noise.

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