It’s hard to imagine shooting landscapes, cityscapes or architecture without wide-angle lenses. Of course, photographers of many other genres use them as well. However, it’s easy to make mistakes with a wide-angle lens that will make your photos, well, less than impressive. In this video, Spencer Cox of Photography Life guides you through some tips for mastering wide-angle lenses and using them to make the best out of your shots.
The first thing to have in mind is that wide-angle lenses capture a lot of negative space. You can embrace it if it works for the story, or choose a different composition. One of the mistakes people often make is leaving too much empty space. But instead of leaving these large empty areas in your images, rather fill them with your subject.
Another potential mistake is using a wide-angle lens to “fit everything in.” In other words, you may want to cram the entire beautiful scene into a single photo. Sometimes it works, for example, if you’re capturing rainbows or the Milky Way. But other times, this can include too many elements in the shot, creating plenty of distractions and a “chaotic” image.
What you should also have in mind when using wide-angle lenses is perspective distortion. When shooting close to the subject, it can look unnatural. This is especially the case when photographing people, but also animals, trees and buildings. You’ll end up with exaggerated foreground and tiny background, and it’s probably not what you want. Still, this distorted look can sometimes be a creative choice, but be mindful about it.
Finally, you should be aware that wide-angle lenses are not really suitable for isolating a subject. The best time to use a wide-angle lens is when you have an important element in the foreground that you want to emphasize, and the background isn’t that important. Also, use them when there aren’t any distractions to take away from your subject.
Make sure to watch the video for more advice and for some great examples from Spencer. And if you have some tips of your own to share, feel free to write them in the comments below.
[How to Use Wide Angle Lenses |Photography Life]