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Shooting with different focal lengths presents certain challenges and certain opportunities. A wide angle lens can help you create dramatic landscape shots and unique portraits. So whether you're considering getting a wide angle lens or you already have one and you're looking to get the most out of it, here are some fundamental rules that will help you create more engaging photos:
Get Close & Personal
When shooting with a wide lens, you have to get in closer than normal to get the same amount of detail in a photo. Shooting people up close with a wide angle can give you the advantage of creating a sense of place. With most portraits, it's normal for the background to be out of focus. Since wide angles have a larger depth-of-field and wider field of view, you can capture the person and the place in one photo.
Look for Foreground
Setting a foreground, middle ground, and background can benefit any photo, but this is particularly the case in landscape photography which is what many photographers will buy a wide angle lens for. Too often, beginning photographers will focus too much on the background of the scene: the mountains, a city skyline, a sunset on the ocean. And they forget to about the foreground. Foreground can add depth to a photo, giving the viewer a reason to look across then entire image and not just one spot.
Watch Horizon Lines
Crooked horizon lines can make any photo look bad, but since wide angles are often used for landscapes it's an important issue to watch for. Besides being careful to frame a straight horizon line, you should also be mindful of the horizon's vertical position. Placing a horizon in the center of the frame does not usually work well composition wise. Often it is placed on the top one-third or bottom one-third of the frame.
Use Leading Lines
As with a compositionally balanced foreground, leading lines can be used to engage your viewer and draw their eyes across the photograph. Leading lines are objects that start in the foreground and converge towards the center of the frame. For example, bridges are often photographed at an angle where the beginning of the bridge is in the top-right corner of the frame and the end is around the center or bottom-left corner. This is great way to add depth to a two-dimensional medium.
Frame Your Subject
At times, your subject may be too far away to see in much detail, and snapping a photo would produce a fairly unengaging amateur shot. To solve this, you must find a way to draw your viewer's focus to the subject. A good way to achieve this is by framing the subject. To do this, find some kind of physical object in your scene that can act as a kind of frame around your subject. For instance, a window or door can be used. If your subject is walking down the street, try using a wall or other object to block off part of your frame.
Also See: How to clean your camera efficiently
Image credit: boule13 / 123RF Stock Photo
Written by Spencer Seastrom