As a landscape photographer, when you aim to capture the magnificence of a vista, it usually requires the use of a wide angle lens. However, working with the lenses on the shorter side of the focal length spectrum is definitely challenging. That’s particularly because they capture so much in the frame that a weak composition will leave the viewer stranded. In this video, landscape photographer Nigel Danson shares 7 tips to help you make better use of wide angle lenses and improve your photography:
When working with wide angle lenses, distant objects appear pretty small. The key is thus to include interesting foreground in you composition. Keep an eye out for interesting foreground elements and tilt your camera slightly downwards. Include something that’s really engaging and powerful in the foreground, and that’ll instantly draw the viewers into your image.
“A lot of the time, I’m finding something that’s really interesting in the foreground to make the most use of the perspective that the wide-angle lens gives you, which is just fantastic.”
Next, aim to complete a good foreground with an engaging background. And whenever possible, link the foreground to the background by using some elements as a mid-ground. To include more of the mid-ground visible, a good idea is to lift the camera a bit higher.
When looking for the perfect composition, don’t get rooted. Be mobile. Movement is essential to see how your composition changes. Notice the changes by simply moving the camera around first and then setting it up on a tripod. Since a wide angle lens captures a lot in the frame, keep and eye out for dead space. Avoid them in your composition. It makes the viewers lose interest.
It’s not always necessary that you stick to a wide angle for landscape photography. Know when not to use your wide angle lens. If something looks good zoomed in, go for it. If there’s a good distance between you and the landscape, a good vista shot will still be possible while using a longer focal length.
And, remember that people work really well in wide angle landscape shots. They can add drama and direct how the viewers will look at your image. Just be sure not to place them too close to the edges. Wide angle distortion will make them appear tilted.
How do you like to take your landscape shots: zoomed in or wide? Let us know.
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