Wide-Angle Lens Tips in Landscape Photography

Settings for best results:

A) Aperture Priority Mode

Whenever I conduct landscape photography, I always shoot in Aperture Priority mode. Reason being I am able to shoot with more choices of appropriate f-stops and depth of field. I normally use the optimal aperture of my lens, and that is between f/8 to f/14.

wide angle landscape photo

“Red Rock Crossing” captured by PictureSocial member DJK

B) Hyperfocal Point

When you are photographing landscapes with a wide angle lens, try this; include foreground interest and focus onto the hyperfocal point. This maximizes the depth-of-field.

Why not just focus on infinity with the smallest aperture available? Well, using the hyperfocal point enables the photographer to access a wider aperture. Other than that, a majority of lenses work better with the aperture opened up by on or two stops.

Tip #1: Try a Polarizing Filter

Polarizing filters can bring about different effects towards your landscape photography attempts. The type of effect produced differs in accordance to the angle of the sun towards the filter.

Polarizing filters can help to increase the intensity of the blue skies. It can also help reduce the reflections on water. Even if you were to use your image-editing software, there’s no way you can reproduce the effects or results a polarizing filter can give, at least not as convincing.

This fact makes the polarizing filter a must-have lens gear for landscape photographers.

Tip #2: Bug Eye View

Place your camera on the ground to photograph landscapes. Doing this creates a bug’s eye view of a landscape. The result will turn out pretty unusual, yet dramatic composition. Reason being that a photograph of a landscape taken from an angle of ground level is not something we are used to viewing from.

It will be great if you have a tripod that can go all the way to ground level to photograph a bug’s eye view of a landscape. However, when you use an ultra-wide angle lens, you will have to be extra careful as to ensure that the tripod’s legs are not shot and will not appear in the bottom of the shot.

landscape with wide angle lens

“salt flats at sundown” captured by PictureSocial member David Hobcote

Tip #3: Avoid Camera Shake

You can avoid the risk of producing blurry photographs caused by camera shake when you set your camera’s self-timer. You can also opt to use a remote release that functions to trigger the shutter.

If you have no access to utilizing a tripod, as long as your camera has Live View, you can hold your camera low to the ground and keep close to your subject.

About the Author:
This article was written by Michelle Lee Fui Jinn, tipsforphotographers dot com. It takes time to practice and improve your photography skills.

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13 responses to “Wide-Angle Lens Tips in Landscape Photography”

  1. JP says:

    Great tip about taking landscape photography putting the tripod low to the ground. I’m learning about photography, and one of the things I’m trying to develop is a better eye for it. Things like finding interesting angles or unique settings. Thanks for the tip on the aperture settings too!

  2. Kris Koeller says:

    Great tips. Definitely need to pick more filters.

  3. Steve M says:

    Back in the old days when lenses had markings which showed focus ranges, setting a shot at the hyperfocal point was easy and quick. How do you suggest doing it with a modern lens?

  4. shanvas says:

    what is hyperfocal point?

  5. clark most says:

    The author said “It will be great if you have a tripod that can go all the way to ground level”… any suggestions for a good tripod that does this?

    Also, i have a question regarding the suggestion that a polarizing lens would be a good thing. They produce a great effect, however when you are using a lense that cost 1,500 + and then put a 60.00 polarizer on it the image quality is compromised and i am frustrated with this. when i blow up images that have been shot with a polarizer the clarity of the image is poor. Does anyone have a suggestion? Are there polarizers out there that have the kind of optical quality that will maintain image integrity?

    thanks.

  6. Rob says:

    With regards to the comment on a tripod that goes down to ground level, if you put the tripod column upside down and hang the camera upside down you can get a ground level shot, all you do is turn the picture the right way up.

  7. richard cooper says:

    I do just the opposite in camera settings for landscape.
    Set my camera to manual and adjust the aperture based on how much depth of field I want.
    Next, I adjust the shutter so my camera meter reading is where I want it.
    Works great for me.

  8. Lois Bryan says:

    All good tips .. you might want to consider expanding info on the hyperfocal point in a future post … would be good info for some folks, I think. Best, Lois Bryan

    • Haydon says:

      I’m with Richard that way. I find I have more control over my exposure and depth of field in manual mode. I realize everyone is different in approach and comfort levels with settings. There are many paths to the top of the mountain.

  9. Radu says:

    Nice articol.
    None about:
    – White Balance
    – Color Space use in camera

  10. Dan says:

    Thanks for the tips.

  11. Bill Emmett says:

    About your CPL filters. When you install a CPL for landscape be sure your camera and shot is 90 degrees of the path of the sun. Then look for the tic mark at the top of the filter, and match it to the tic mark on the rotating ring of the filter. Look through the viewfinder and rotate the outer ring of the filter either right or left, while viewing the subject. When the blue sky, and standing water have no glare, and the sky is right, you’ve set the filter. Now, mount your camera to either a tripod, or mono-pod, set your exposure etc and shoot. If you are using expensive lens and feel you get crappy photos using your CPL, you to up the game with a better CPL. Depending on the lens, mainly angle of view, you may need a thin rimmed filter. The thin CPL filter almost eliminate vignetting, and a CPL with the best coating and glass will eliminate those crappy shots using $60 filter. My 82mm CPL cost in the neighborhood of $160-$200.

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