Many landscape photographers prefer using wide angle lenses. However, it’s sometimes tricky to get a captivating photo when shooting wide. Photographer Toma Bonciu shares five tips that will help you get the best out of your wide angle landscape photos. He uses images from five photographers as examples, so let’s see what we can learn from them.
When you shoot with a wide-angle lens, many elements show in your photo. What you want to achieve is a balance between foreground and background elements, and avoid making the photo too cluttered. Here are Tom’s lessons and the examples.
The first example Tom shares is by photographer David Brookover. The point of interest is close to the photographer and not too big, the background is faded and foggy, which creates separation and gives simplicity to the background. So, when you shoot in the fog, you can use a wide angle lens to get close to your point of interest and let the fog create separation from the background.
The second example is a photo by Guy Tal. He uses a wide angle lens to include both a foreground and a background element in the shot. The elements are lined diagonally, so he leads the eye of the viewer from the front to the back.
When you include the foreground element in the shot, it shouldn’t draw the viewer away from the subject in the background. It should be there to complete the story and lead the eye to the main element of the composition.
The third example comes from Bruce Percy. He used a wide angle lens to photograph a river that serves as a leading line. In Percy’s case, this line is in a zig-zag shape, it’s the dominant element of the image and leads the viewer through the photo. When you use a wide angle lens for a landscape photo, you can include the leading line that takes your view from one side of the photo to the other.
The fourth example shows the use of a wide-angle lens to capture the reflection of a landscape. You can capture the reflection in the water and include some foreground in the photo. This creates a sense of mystery and makes the viewer think about what’s beyond the reflection. The example Tom gives is by photographer Takeshi Mizukoshi.
The final example is by Franco Fontana. It shows you that you can use layers of color to create depth in the image even without a foreground and the background element. You can include a simple element in the photo and use lines and colors to create a dynamic, layered image.
These are only some of the tips for improving your landscape photography. This of them when using a wide-angle lens, and check out more fantastic composition tips here. And if the wide angle lens isn’t your number one choice, you can try shooting landscapes with a telephoto lens as well.