As we stand on the cusp of summer in the northern hemisphere, a season full of breathtaking panoramas are waiting on the horizon to be immortalized on film.
There’s a trick to capturing the beauty you see, though, or in the case of Digital Photography School‘s Joe Decker, six of them.
1. Get Close!
Because wide-angle lenses take in a bigger angle-of-view than other lenses, using a wide-angle lens at the same distance from your subject will render that subject smaller than it would otherwise. To compensate for this, you’ll have to move closer to your subject. Don’t be bashful about getting close, particularly with super-wides&mash;it’s almost impossible to get “too close” to your subject with a 14mm lens. This emphasis in size that wide-angle lenses give nearby objects means that …
2. It’s All about the Foreground
Contrary to what you might expect, this means that the most important element of your wide-angle landscapes is the foreground. While wide-angle lenses do capture the wider landscape, they also (almost inevitably, because of their wide field-of-view) capture quite a bit of foreground as well, and this foreground is emphasized by the wide-angle perspective. As a result, if your foreground isn’t interesting, your photograph won’t be interesting. This leads us naturally to the Josef Muench idea of the near-far composition, an image which uses a wide-angle lens to not only show a broad vista, but also to show one detail of that landscape in an up-close, intimate way. When you’re photographing wide, be sure to spend some time looking for the most interesting foreground available to combine with your grand vista. (If there isn’t an interesting foreground, you might want to consider using a longer lens to leave out that less interesting foreground.)
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