Want Amazing Wide Angle Images? Try This

Wide angle photography is synonymous with landscape photography, but it isn't the most intuitive focal range to shoot. There can be so much to capture in a single frame that building a stunning portfolio image feels daunting. These workflow tips will help develop your technique and take your images to the next level.

Many photographers start their landscape journey with the purchase of a wide or super-wide angle lens. It makes sense intuitively; you walk up to a scene and want to capture everything within your field of view. It isn't that easy, though, and you quickly learn that what you see in person never quite translates to your images. The wider you shoot, the more you have to manage in your image, all while struggling to keep your subject proportional to what exists in real life.

In this video, I break down my approach to composing scenes with wide-angle lenses. The basic structure is as follows:

  1. Find a subject
  2. Build around the subject
    1. Fill the bottom part of the frame with something interesting
    2. Manage "dead space or distractions" within your image
    3. Decide the edges of your framing
    4. Follow the light

This is a really simplified workflow, and there's definitely more to it than just these few steps, which I go into more detail within the video. That being said, this is a great foundation and linear process to approach wide angle compositions, especially if you're struggling to process scenes and information in a cohesive way.

The latter half of the video goes into depth about how getting lower in a scene can completely change the perspective of your super-wide angle images. This, to me, is the epitome of taking beautifully composed wide angle shots. Putting subjects on the edges of your frame that are typically close to the lens, all while getting lower to compress the background to the foreground, is a great technique in landscape photography. So, check out the video and let me know what you learned or continue to struggle with down in the comments below.

Alex Armitage's picture

Alex Armitage has traveled the world to photograph and film some of the most beautiful places it has to offer. No matter the location, perfecting it's presentation to those absent in the moment is always the goal; hopefully to transmute the feeling of being there into a visual medium.

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