Using a Wide Angle Lens to Exaggerate Perspective

The are many, many ways to compose a photo and part of being a great photographer is knowing which one of those compositions is the best choice and understanding how to go about executing it. In this quick primer, Mark Wallace shows us a useful way to use a wide angle lens to exaggerate perspective:

Exaggerating a perspective is as easy as moving in closer or zooming tighter into the subject of the photo. This makes the subject appear larger. For example, take a look at these two sample shots from Wallace’s shoot.

photography composition tips

In the photo shot at 57mm, it is much more obvious that the woman’s thumb is the subject of the photograph. It appears larger than when shot at 24mm, which makes it much more dominant; the eye is automatically drawn to it.

While making your subject’s thumb might not be the most flatting look, you can use the same technique to distort perspective for dramatic effect, as in these ocean photos:


A wide angle lens makes the rocks appear larger.

“The second image with the wide angle lens, I think, looks better because it leads our eye into the image and it really forces that perspective to make the rocks appear larger.”

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