How To Use a Wide Angle Lens Properly

By: Robert Lowdon


Wide angle and super wide angle lenses have become incredibly popular among many photographers. A wide angle lens can produce some very dramatic results and help out in tight spaces. Unfortunately, they are often used incorrectly by most people. Here are some tips to improve your wide angle photography.


Verticals Should be Straight

Posts, walls, and pretty much everything else should be straight as they are in real life. You need to make sure that your camera is level both horizontally and vertically to reproduce accurate results. The slightest degree of pitch or yaw can cause extreme distortions on a wide angle lens. Also, be mindful of barrel distortion.


Beware of the Corners

Try to keep important areas of the image off the corners of the image plain. The distortion is often most extreme in these areas so try to fill them with negative space.


Use Distortion to Your Advantage

Keep in mind that a wide angle will make objects close to you appear gigantic and objects in the distance appear quite small. A slight down pitch in a landscape photograph can create a long drawn out perspective, and give very dramatic results.


Do not Photograph People

Just don’t the results are terrible and the images are ghastly.


Watch the Height at Which You Are Shooting From

Always be mindful that wide angle lenses and most importantly super wide angle lenses are incredibly unforgiving. Even an inch higher or lower in your shooting perspective can result in great changes to the final image. If you’re shooting a commercial interior for example you will want to be higher compared to a residential property (relevant to the ceiling height of course).


Hopefully these tips will help you to shoot better photographs. If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom.