Five Helpful Tips for Better Wide Angle Landscape Photos

Every focal length has its own challenges, and when it comes to wide angle lenses, creating effective compositions can be particularly difficult. This helpful video will give you five tips for creating more compelling wide angle shots.

Coming to you from Photo Tom, this great video examines the usage of wide angle lenses by five different landscape photographers and what we can learn from their examples. Wide angle lenses are a challenge to shoot with not only because they let so much of a scene in, but because of how they render it, particularly since they tend to push the background away. As a result, it's important to have a strong foreground element not only to balance the composition and give the image dimension, but to direct the viewer's eye across the image. Nonetheless, this foreground element can't be just anything; its relative size and how it interacts with the background elements are crucial to creating balance. It can be very tempting to think of a wide angle lens simply as a way to include more in an image, but I think to truly create a successful shot, one has to consider the subtle compositional nuances they come with. 

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6 Comments

Look at the work of David Muench. Get a view camera and learn to use back tilt to control the plane of sharpness and so your foreground objects will loom larger in the image.
If you are talking wide angle landscape work - there is no one better.

I went to his website but, while I thought his work very good, it didn't stand out *to me* as "no one better." You might have the same opinion of my favorites, though.

I liked them all, save the last one. The symmetry highlights the idea of isolation and loneliness, which I don't like. A lone element in an open canvas is okay if it has somewhere to go or something to do, metaphorically speaking of course.

William Howell's picture

Alex Cooke posts another article that is super relevant to me, as I am saving up for a 24mm PCE Nikkor lens, mainly just for landscape. Almost got the money, too!

I love to shoot landscape and have had a 24mm PCE for years but have never used it for that (exclusively architectural and industrial situations). I've never had the need. There've only been a few times it would have been useful, to me.

A lot of words to say a picture's elements need to be coherent.