Photography Tips: How To Use Ultra-Wide Lenses

There are plenty of sites that offer photography tips. One tip that is worth reading about is how to properly use an ultra wide angle lens. Many amateur photographers assume that using a wide angle lens will create better shots by grabbing more in the photo. This misconception can lead to many disappointing photographs. An ultra wide angle lens is beneficial, and can create spectacular photos when used properly.

What You'll Need:

  • Digital Camera
  • Ultra Wide Lens

Step 1: Get in Close

Instead of standing back and trying to get more of the landscape in to the picture, get up close to the subject. The wide angle lens will allow you photograph more of the background that can give a photo great texture. An ultra wide lens will create interesting photos since it will capture more of the background surrounding the subject, giving the photo another layer of interest without taking away from the subject itself. The idea is to bring the person viewing the photo into the shot, so you can never get too close when shooting with an ultra wide angle lens.

Step 2: Get Low

The best landscape photos taken with ultra wide angle lenses are those in which the camera is very low to the ground when the shot is taken. Most professionals will tell you to not allow the horizon to take up more than the top 1/3rd of the frame. Since the ultra wide lens is going to pull in more detail than you would get with other lenses, you can afford to have the camera very low. The photo will be stunning, give an interesting perspective, and create a stunning backdrop.

Step 3: Be Aware of Distractions

Photography is an art. The photographer will be able to choose what does and does not make it in to a photo. Ultimately, the photographer is the one who decides what the photo will look like. In a perfect world, you wouldn't have to worry about the surroundings when you take a photo. In the real world, however, distractions are a real problem. With an ultra wide lens, this becomes more of a concern. Remember when you are using these wide lenses that sloppily parked cars, dead trees and running children will end up in the shot if they are near the frame of the photo. Becoming aware of your area and the shooting conditions will help you to eliminate surprises in the photo later. With some practice, this becomes much easier to deal with.

Step 4: Understand Distortion

One of the reasons photographers love ultra wide angle lenses is the same reason many beginners have a hard time with them. The ultra wide lens will exaggerate everything. The nature of the wide angle lens is to create an expanded depth. This means if you place two objects in proximity of each other, the wide angle will create a more exaggerated distance. Corners in rooms will be more drawn out, and angles will be sharper. This can create excellent pictures, but it will also showcase any misalignment with framing the photo. With some practice, this will eventually work to your advantage.