Wide-angle lenses tips

Wide-angle shooting can be very practical whether you’re photographing groups of people or a natural landscape. However, because of some of the inherent distortive effects of these lenses, you’ll want to know some tips and techniques for making the most of wide-angle shooting:

■ When shooting a group of people with a wide-angle lens, allow for some margin in the shot so that no one looks distorted by being at the edge of the shot.

■ Think about a horizontal centerline in your image, and adjust how you are tilting your composition so that the center line is not bent. If the center of your image seems bent, tilt upwards or downwards (being cognizant of an increased upper or lower area in your shot).

■ When composing an image, if at all possible frame the image with nongeometric components such as sky, grass, water, and so on.

■ Remember that if you plan to use software to correct the barrel distortion, areas of your image will be cropped.

■ Think about what will appear in the foreground, and how you might be able to emphasize that for effect.

■ Beware of flare! With a wide view, you are more likely to have unwanted light intruding into your image as haze or aperture reflection. You may need to shade the light with your hand or a piece of paper, where it is still out of view.

■ If you’re using a lens hood, be sure it’s the right shape and size for your camera. Using an incorrect shade can cover some of your shot, or cause effects such as vignetting.

■ If you need to use a flash, some of the Speedlites provide a special wide-angle panel. This panel helps disperse the light over a wider area that can help your image be more fully illuminated, but it is not meant to be used with fisheye lenses.

■ If you want an interesting way to take macro photos, use a wide-angle lens on natural subjects such as plants or insects.

Wide-angle lenses have very good depth of field and can focus at a very close range.

Category: Science of Lenses

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