View life through a wide angle lens attitude and see your horizons broaden.― Stephen Richards
When we travel, I always take my favorite lens (18 to 55mm), which gives me a range of shooting options, including wide angle images. What’s a wide angle lens? It’s any lens that is below 35 mm on a crop-sensor camera or 50 mm on a full frame. The wide-angle view is perfect for capturing a broad vista like a landscape, seascape, or cityscape.
On a recent trip to Vancouver Island, I captured this wide-angle harbor view in Tofino, a pretty seaside town. My eye was drawn to the red boat and buildings and the amazing mountain views. The benefit of a wide-angle lens is that it keeps everything in focus within the frame, so the foreground (the water), the mid-ground (the pier, boat, and buildings) and the background (the mountains) are all in focus.
Sometimes when I leave my Fuji camera at home, I pull out my Google Pixel phone, which takes decent photos. Many smartphones have sophisticated features and capabilities like shooting panoramas. I captured this expansive 180 degree view of Vancouver harbor from our friends’ apartment window. The ability to shoot panoramas opens up many possibilities.
As I’m experimenting with wide angle photography, I’m picking up a few tips from the experts.
- Before you shoot, identify a subject of interest. In the photo below, I was fascinated by the rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park and wanted to highlight them.
- Include features in the foreground to help the viewer get a sense of the distance between the camera and the subject. In this same photo, I included some oddly-shaped trees in the foreground to give the viewer a sense of place (the desert) , a sense of scale (the relative size of the massive rock), and a sense of distance between the camera, the trees, and the rock.
- Try varying your perspective by shooting upward or downward. This may open up other details that you hadn’t noticed before.
For example, in my final image, I shot upwards, capturing the architectural details of the Sydney Opera House as well as bits of cloud and sky. I believe this skyward view adds depth and interest to the photo. Do you agree?
For this week’s LAPC #165, we invite you to go wide and “broaden” your photographic horizons. We’re looking forward to seeing your wide-angle views of people, places, and objects taken on your camera or smartphone. Most of all, have fun “going wide!”
Last week, Sofia’s Up/Down challenge gave us a wonderful chance to change our perspective and share images captured while looking up and down. A special thanks to Sofia for her creative and inspiring theme and for hosting the challenge!
Next week, it’s Ann-Christine’s turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to stop by her site for some terrific inspiration.
In closing, I’d like to share few lines from a poem by John Donne as we mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic 9/11 bombings in New York City.
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; … any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.John Donne, Meditation XVII
Be well, be safe and have an inspiring week.