Wide Angle Photography Tips

Wide angle photography has its own set of challenges and can be a bit tricky. It's true that wide angle lenses are able to capture more of the scene, but sometimes less is more. If you're not familiar with how to utilize your wide angle, your images will come off looking dull or flat. Here are a few wide angle photography tips to help you get great shots!

wide angle photography tips | IUPUI campus | Indianapolis Architecture | Indiana Architectural Photographer

The Aftermath

  1. Foreground Interest

    Wide-angle lenses allow you to get really close to something in the foreground, which will emphasize it and make it look larger and more important than the background elements. Although you don't need to include a foreground in every wide-angle shot you take, you'll find that foregrounds add considerable depth to your compositions and help lead the viewer's eye into the scene.

    wide angle photography tips | Soldiers & Sailors Monument Christmas lights | Xmas Indianapolis | Image By Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

    Christmas in Indy

    Learn how to take better architecture images by viewing my post 10 Helpful Tips for Striking Architectural Photography.

  2. Use Leading Lines

    Lines are a powerful compositional tool. The lines in your images will take the viewer’s eye from the front of the image to the back. Or the lines can lead around the image directly to your subject. Training yourself to look for lines, and incorporating them in your photos with a wide-angle lens will help you create more dramatic images.

    wide angle photography tips | Indy night | Indianapolis at Night | Indianapolis Nightscapes | Indianapolis Architecture | Train Bridge | Image By Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

    A Moonlit Path

    Night photography is one of my favorite types of photography. I feel like the lack of natural light causes me to get a bit more creative with the image. If you've never tried shooting nightscapes, then read my post 5 Reasons to Start Shooting Night Photography | Nightscapes.

    Also please view my most recent nightscape images at my post Night Scenes.

  3. The Art of Inclusion

    One of the many challenges of working with a wide-angle lens is excluding elements that don't contribute to the composition. Since wide-angle lenses include a lot in the frame, you’ll need to be extra vigilant to make sure there are no distractions. Everything that is in the frame should have a purpose.

    wide angle photography tips | Havana Cuba | Image by Indiana architectural photographer Jason Humbracht

    Something Old Something New

  4. Shoot vertical

    There is a tendency when shooting wide-angle to shoot horizontal, but interesting results can occur when shooting vertically. Achieve a feet-to-sky perspective while still capturing a building in its entirety, as seen in the image below. Shooting vertical allowed me to include the puddle reflecting the parked car, while still capturing the stunning sky. 

    wide angle photography tips | Old Havana, Cuba | Cuba Architecture | Image By Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

    Cathedral Color

  5. Take Advantage of the Sky

    Similar to using an interesting foreground, you can also use the wide-angle lens to take advantage of an interesting sky. Put the horizon at the bottom third of your frame and let the clouds be your subject. When interesting clouds fill the sky is my favorite time to shoot with a wide angle lens.

    wide angle photography tips | Smoky Mountains Sunrise | Newfound Gap | Image By Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

    First Light

  6. Shoot Low

    By setting up low to the ground, you can include much of the ground in front of you to guide the viewer up to the subject. Shooting low can provide an interesting subject that can lead the viewer back to the horizon. Frame your shot by laying on the ground, or kneeling, and putting your lens directly behind something of interest.

    wide angle photography tips | Indy at night | Indy architecture | Indianapolis architecture | Indianapolis at night | night photography | nightscapes | Indiana nightscape | Indianapolis nightscape | long exposure | image by Indianapolis architectural photographer Jason Humbracht

    Puddle Parking

Once you get the handle on it, a wide-angle lens can provide stunning results that cannot be captured otherwise. I never leave home without it!

These tips work for interior architecture photography as well...except for taking advantage of the sky... You can learn to shoot better interiors by going to my post Interior Real Estate Photography: 5 Tips for Better Results.



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