Common Challenges in Wide-Angle Photography

Wide-angle lenses are the best choice you can make for landscape photography. Their wider field of view allows you to get more beautiful scenery and compose a better photograph. But this is easier said than done. If you’re not used to working with wide-angle lenses, and you pick one up, you’ll soon realize that they come with certain challenges of their own. In today’s video, photographer James Popsys goes out with his new 16-35mm wide-angle lens and shares the challenges that he faced in the process:

The obvious challenge you will face is the lens’s natural distortion. Wide-angle lenses are more prone to perspective distortion, flares and aberrations. You need to be aware of their effects and factor them in when composing your images. For instance, you can notice that any elements toward the edges of your frame will appear distorted. So refrain from placing important elements there. Also, tilting a wide-angle lens will introduce a good amount of perspective distortion which you may want to avoid—or use creatively in your images.

Also, due to the nature of the wide-angle lenses, objects that are closer to the lens appear bigger. Whereas objects that are farther away appear diminished. Basically, wide-angle lenses exaggerate things. As Popsys demonstrates, this can lead to the image appear hollow with a blob of nothingness in the center. So it’s a good idea to include something interesting in the middle of your composition to make the image stronger.

Have you faced these challenges when using a wide-angle lens? What other challenges have you faced? And if you have any useful tips for wide-angle photography, feel free to share them in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

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