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

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
richard stone Veteran Member • Posts: 3,248
Re: Spent a rainy day researching wide lens characteristics

DMillier wrote:

And made a list:

  • Unwanted things outside subject of interest get included at edges causing distraction
  • Only subjects close to the lens render larger - further away items shrink
  • Tend to get a lot of unwanted foreground if not close enough to subject


  • Subjects close to lens exaggerated in size compared to mid-ground and background
  • Steep perspective to vanishing points as a result
  • Objects near edges and corners pulled out of shape
  • If camera tilted up or down, verticals lean inwards or outwards

How do people who are good with wide lenses, make use of these for effect/minimise the negatives?

I like this list/summary. But my point would be...

The problem is with the label "unwanted." If you don't want that "unwanted" stuff in the image you need to do something different. Like use another lens. Or reconsider what the image is about.

As I see it, there has to be a reason to use the WA lens, and that reason would be that you like or want to show the foreground more than the background, or show it more than you usually do. In the river picture posted earlier in this thread, with the boat in the corner... Who would do that? Where is the rule of thirds...Etc? Except it really works out well, as I see it. There is a very nice diagonal shoreline, matched/echoed by the angle of the boat.

Another way to think about this is to reconsider your ideas of composition. Standard lenses and telephotos are one thing. WA can be something else. The images can sometimes be unsettling.

And it can be fun, too.

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