I love using wide-angle lenses for architecture. However, as wide angle lenses can cause distortion, especially at the edges of an image, shooting very wide can result in challenges both in composition and in post processing. In most situations, photographers (including myself) want to eliminate any distortion in their image. However, I find there are times when this distortion can be used creatively and with interesting effects.
This is Hasenbergl Station in Munich…flipped upside down. That long fang-shaped thing coming at you is actually the ceiling that forms a canopy over the platform below.
By positioning myself at the end of the canopy and angling my lens upward at its widest setting, I was able to make the tip of the canopy appear much longer and narrower than it actually is. Additionally, the rest of the station is pushed further away from the viewer, making the space look larger than reality. Of course with this amount of intentional distortion, keeping straight lines straight becomes challenging. Through a bit of trial and error and careful positioning, I was able to minimize distortion on the straight lines on the ceiling and platform to my satisfaction.
In the end, this was a difficult image to compose and capture, but also an incredibly fun challenge at the same time. I suspect the people who walked passed me in the station that afternoon were wondering what the heck I was trying to do…adjusting and re-adjusting my camera position pointed at the ceiling. Fortunately, this station is near the end of a line, so it is never very busy. As a result, getting the final shot without people was the easiest part.
If you are curious what the station really looks like right side up, the picture below shows the station from the stairs leading down to the platform.