How to take wide-angle photos

Portrait of a couple on their wedding day in nature

 

Panoramas. Wide formats. You can take a great wide-angle photo any way you look at it. Here’s a little guide to making that wide-angle photo look great.

What you need: a wide-angle lens

Teenage girl hiker standing on a mountain summit overlooking a panoramic vista of green valleys and rocky peaks high in the picturesque natural landscape of the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, UK. ProPhoto RGB profile for maximum color fidelity and gamut.

Specifically, a lens with a focal distance between 16 and 35 mm for a full frame camera. Or 10 to 18 mm for an APS-C camera. To create depth, raise the f-number. The higher the f-number, the lower the relative aperture.

Taking a good wide-angle photo isn’t just about having a good lens. Read on to see our top tips for the perfect wide-angle photo.

Four opportunities for a wide-angle photo

Sunrise in Tuscany

Opportunity 1: A 180° landscape 

The first reason that comes to mind is that you might want to capture a landscape. Capturing the outdoors is what it’s all about! The wide-angle is, well, wide. It lets you get more of a view. In fact, you can see more through a wide-angle lens than you can with your own eyes. So next time you’re out in nature and you want to remember that beautiful view, think wide angle.

Opportunity 2: Taking photos in small spaces

Let’s say you want to take a picture of lots of people in a tight space. You might not be able to fit everyone in the photo. A wide-angle shot will help you do this.

Opportunity 3: Play with perspective

An ultra-wide-angle lens can adjust the perspective of your photograph. Get up close to your subject. Try being further away. Somewhere in the middle? Be confident and play with scales.

Opportunity 4: Capturing the starry sky

Want to capture the stars like a pro? Combine that wide-angle lens with a tripod and long exposure. Take lots of shots so you can choose the best ones.

8 tips for a perfect wide-angle photo

Here are our top tips on how to make the most of your wide angle lens.

Tip 1:
As we mentioned, the higher the f-number, the better the depth of field.

Tip 2:
Try out a tripod: it’s the best way to keep your pictures from getting blurry. Handy at the golden hours of dawn and dusk.

Tip 3:
Lower the ISO: this will get rid of any graininess and make your snaps crystal-clear. Especially when the sun is bright.

Tip 4:
Choose an interesting focal point, or your wide-angle photo might fall flat. Find a foreground that flatters the background and depth of field. Don’t pack too much into the photo. Less is more.

Tip 5:
If there is a subject, apply the rule of thirds. Don’t put your subject right in the middle.

Tip 6:
Pay attention to the vanishing line (any natural directions happening in your subject matter). It guides the eye and leads it through the image.

Tip 7:
Keep your camera horizontal. Otherwise any parallel vertical lines will appear to “lean” in or out of the photo.

Tip 8:
Focus on the foreground, not the background.

Now you’re set to print wide-format photos of your wide-angle shots; check out the panoramic Canvas options on our website.

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