How To Shoot Wide Angle Shots In Cities And Towns
Photo by Joshua Waller
Take a short walk through your town and you’ll find a thousand and one things to photograph but instead of walking around for hours photographing trees, postboxes and buildings one at a time try getting your wide angle lens out to capture and emphasis a wider area of the town.
A lens which is 18mm or wider is a good choice if you’re working with a camera that isn’t full-frame. If you want to have the option of changing your focal length take along a zoom lens which will give you the option of shooting a variety of perspectives.
As your foreground objects will be quite close to your lens the smallest movement from your camera can make a huge difference to your photo so take a tripod out with you. You may also have trouble with lens flare so pack a lens hood and take a lint-free cloth to wipe away any spots on your lens.
The problem with wide angle lenses is that objects can appear small so it’s easy for your shots to look empty. Or, if there are lots of objects filling the scene your photo will look overly busy and the viewer won’t have anything to focus on. The best way to deal with this is to have foreground interest that will give your image scale and also give you a focus point.
If you want to use this technique to its full potential, to give your image as much impact as possible, you need to get as close as you can to your foreground object.
Photo by Joshua Waller
Look out for objects you can use to lead the eye through the image as long paths and roads give the impression they stretch on for miles when shot with a wide angle lens which pulls the viewer right through the photo. Just watch out for unwanted items such as your own shadow creeping into the shot.
You need to have the eye-catching foreground interest filling enough of the frame while still retaining enough background detail to make the photograph interesting. To do this, you’ll need to make sure everything from front to back is sharp. A small aperture is a good place to start. Don’t be tempted to focus on your foreground interest as this will leave too much of your foreground in focus and not enough background detail will be sharp. Instead, focus just beyond what’s in your foreground, around a third in, or if you can, use the hyperfocal focus point.
If there’s nothing of real interest in your foreground get down low to the ground and just emphasise the scale of the entire scene. If you have a few clouds in the sky they will streak out around your scene and as they curve towards the edge of the frame, it gives them a sense of motion which can add interest to your shot
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