Why I am I so bad composing with wide angle lenses?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 14,045
Re: Ok. Some photos to illustrate...

DMillier wrote:

Dark slide wrote:

Taking your style into account Lea Tippett on this forum produces many wide-angle with rocks by the sea type photos like Bruce Percy as noted by you. Tippett often uses filters, NiSi is his favoured brand, to work with very long exposures in daylight. Looking at Percy's work there is nothing difficult in there. Your current problem is that despite knowing what you want you either (a) cannot see it when it is there or (b) you do have a mental block. Have you thought of going on one of Mr. Percy's courses? Or Mr. Tippett's?If they stand you somewhere and say, "Shoot that," you will at least have a memory of something guaranteed to work as defined by the master. It could kickstart you. That and Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop and how to straighten verticals (known as keystoning) plus the methods for making the subtle tone and colour contrasts as in the Percy or Tippett work.

I've been out shooting with Lea before. He has a secret weapon - wellington boots. Gets you to all sorts of places you wouldn't otherwise expect to be

I've followed the refinements in Lea's work over the years. There's an art to it alright and it takes a while to get it right.

Here's one of mine from earlier this year (shot with a superzoom):

This is Kilve Beach, in Somerset, a few miles from my father's home (and a stamping ground of Lea's - we've been there together).

It's OK, to my mind. Has a Percy-like monochrome colour, an interesting "wide-angle" style foreground, leading lines suggesting depth, low shooting position, downwards tilt etc. Most of the common elements of this kind of shot. But it's still not right to me. There are too many distracting messy elements, the middle ground is ugly, somehow it is missing the clean, concentrated goodness of a quality wide angle landscape.

I wonder if you just haven't gone wide enough to be happy with the wide-angle look. I think a lot of realy wide-angle landscape shots look cool because of how wide the view really is. I have no master wide-angle shots myself, but this is one really wide-angle shot I like, and I think that's mostly because of how wide it is:

To get it right, I should have spent a lot more time, set up my tripod, waited for the sky to look right, been more careful about the composition, etc. This was a quick "snapshot" I made, while on location for a fashion shoot. Still, I like the look - very alien. With some editing (maybe starting with the raw file), even this shot might be salvageable, but I don't really like the sky. To shoot this place right, I think it would take a lot more time, which I just didn't have.

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Scott Barton Kennelly

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