Wide Angle Landscape Composition Tips & Tricks

If you’re into landscape photography, you know how important wide-angle lenses are. Using a short focal length allows you to capture a larger portion of the vista in front of you and provide a greater context. However, these things are easier said than done, as there are a lot of challenges that come with using a wide-angle lens. In today’s video, landscape photographer Nigel Danson takes you through how he uses a wide-angle lens to get the most out of a scene and optimize the foreground effectively.

By the very definition, wide-angle lenses have a wide field of view. While this is convenient, there are a few things you should be very careful about. To start with, chances are high that unnecessary and distracting elements will creep into your scene. You will also realize that the elements in the foreground get exaggerated a lot. And if you’re not careful, the element in the background can appear small and lose its impact.

A useful trick that you can use with wide-angle photography is to look for an interesting foregrounds. By doing so, your foreground won’t appear dull and will balance the image well. However, as Danson rightly suggests, make sure that the foreground element is not distracting. You need the foreground to lead the viewers into the scene towards your main landscape.

When you’re working with short focal lengths like 14mm, you can use the foreground to your advantage by getting very close to it. This trick is especially useful where you want the foreground to be dominant, as this emphasizes the foreground. As you can watch in the video, Danson makes a small stream appear like a raging river using this technique.

“The tricky thing with any type of wide-angle photography is the midground.”

Another important tip Danson shares is to make sure that the midground does not abruptly stop viewers. You need to compose your shot in a way that connects the foreground with the background and maintain a flow. In the video, you can see how Danson works his ways to make the midground less distracting.

Be sure to watch the complete video, as Danson shares more of such interesting tips with some practical examples. You will get to learn a great deal from his demonstrations.

Which one is your favorite landscape photography tip using wide-angle lenses? Let us know in the comments.

For further training: Infinite Exposures Photography Course

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