Tips on Using a Wide-Angle Lens for Landscape Photography

Every landscape photographer needs a good wide-angle lens. Popular YouTuber Thomas Heaton discusses his new Canon 16-35 f/4 lens and offers some tips on the best way to use an ultra-wide-angle lens.

Heaton discusses his decision to go with the f/4 version of this lens over the f/2.8. As he doesn't do astrophotography, he chose to purchase the f/4 for the cost savings. Most landscape images aren't shot wide open (f/8 or f/11 being a more common aperture to ensure sharpness throughout the image) so it makes sense to get the f/4 and save some money.

Heaton envisions using his new ultra-wide-angle lens not necessarily to capture wide vistas, but to create compositions with interesting foreground elements, emphasizing those elements and stretching them into the distance by placing the camera closer to the ground. To demonstrate, he takes us to a beautiful, moody beach location on the northeast coast of England.

With the aid of a Lee polarizer to remove glare on the rocks and water, a 2-stop ND filter to avoid overexposing the sky, and wide-angle filter adapter (used so that the filters sit closer to the lens for reduced vignetting), Heaton takes us through the set up and capture stages of the image.

One note: placing the wide-angle lens right in front of an object for exaggerated interest will not result in a sharp image from foreground through background. Heaton solves this problem by focus stacking three separate exposures (focusing on foreground, midground, and background, respectively in each) and blending them together in post.

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11 Comments

Paul Elliott's picture

Nice dude. I like your workflow.

Elan Govan's picture

North East of England.....it is possible to get stunning images even on a dull day up there.

Simon Patterson's picture

True. But no wonder he's not into astrophotography! 😀

I wonder, though, if they get as tired of dark, moody skies as some of us of sunny skies with puffy clouds. :-)

Elan Govan's picture

The British do like talking about the weather....it is a safe non controversial subject to chat about with a total stranger. Photo....good weather visiting the British Isles.

Michael Holst's picture

It's a similar custom to talk about the weather here in Minnesota don-cha-know

Elan Govan's picture

Another Holst, ...... well if you are are relative of Holst, then you bound to talk about the weather. As I am sure you are aware American English is an imported language, including some of the other stuff that got shipped off to the New World. Don cha know.

Michael Holst's picture

I'm afraid I don't know you mean by "another Holst"

Elan Govan's picture

Gustav Holst, famous English composer. Wikipedia...will give you all the accurate information. Enjoy your day.

Michael Holst's picture

Ah, that Holst. I thought it was a photographer you were talking about.

Interesting video, thanks! And I think we have the same camera backpack!