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Viewing Doane from a different angle

After spending three years on campus walking by the same buildings and scenery, it all starts to blur together.  As a freshman, I used to be caught by Doane’s beauty throughout the day, leading to more than a few tardies and eventually my love of photography. (Luckily once I could take a picture, I wasn’t late anymore.  My parents were very happy).  

During tours, potential students constantly remark on how beautiful the campus is, and you can see freshmen staring up at Merrill Tower like tourists in New York City.  When did I stop being affected this way?  

I started to wonder if campus was less beautiful than I remember, or if I just stopped seeing it.  I was determined to find this inspiration that Doane’s campus used to give me by changing my perspective, and as I photographer, I was going to capture this on film (so to speak).

Enter the fisheye lens.  Normally when I take pictures I’m trying to zoom in to get closer.  This lens does the opposite. The photo it takes is so wide, you have to make sure your feet aren’t in the photo.  The lens also starts to curve straight lines into a circular pattern, and lets you get closer to whatever you're taking a picture of.  All of that combined means a fisheye definitely gives you a different view of the world.

Off I went, camera in hand, to capture Doane’s beautiful campus in ways not normally viewed.  I climbed fences and the bell tower.  I laid on the ground and raised the camera over my head.  I even spent a good amount of time walking around while looking through the camera, a very disorientating activity given you don’t often see half of your body while walking.  At the end of it, I loaded them on the computer, picked the best and tweaked the color. I was left with a good handful of photos that remind me of my first year walking down the path, mouth almost open, taking in the the beauty of Doane.  

So now, because half of the fun of photography is sharing, you can look through and see what I did through the lens, and maybe you, too, can be reminded as well.

PHOTO: Nate Knobel '14