Oh how I adore my wide angle lenses! What makes an angle “wide” you ask? Wide angle lenses are 35mm or less and I highly recommend adding at least one to your camera bag. They allow me to see more of the entire scene, rather than just a cropped version. Additionally, they have a unique way to make the viewer feel like they are really there.
Read more: 8 Perfect Times to Use a Tilt Shift Lens
There are so many reasons to love wide angle photography, but I narrowed it down to five.
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- No.01Those Skies!
Skies are one of the many things that inspire me as a photographer. They are a huge part of my work. I wouldn’t be able to capture their dramatic, colorful clouds without my wide angle lenses. The sky really puts on an amazing show night after night, and it’s one of the aspects of nature that I love to capture!
- No.02Tight Spaces
I live a short one hour drive away from Disney. So we go more than the average person and of course I love to tote my camera along with us. Disney World can be a very crowded place at times, leaving little space between my camera and my subjects. If I bring a longer lens, I have to stand too far back from my subjects in order to capture them and this can be impossible with the hundreds of people walking around us at any given time. My ultra wide fisheye has come to the rescue in these instances and has allowed me to capture so much more in the frame while standing very close to my subjects.
I used my fisheye here to capture my daughters making the extremely difficult choice of which lollipop to pick. This was a very tight space and without my ultra wide lens, I wouldn’t have been able to capture just how tall the lollipop structure was. The lens distortion adds to the fun whimsical look of the image.
I shot this in a parking lot. I had no space behind me. My back was literally popped up against a car. If I had a longer lens, I wouldn’t have had the space behind me to allow for me to capture the entire oak tree and all of the beautiful branches.
- No.03Negative Space
One thing I love to do with my wide angle is to use it to compare my subjects with the size of the landscape around them. I love showing how little my girls are compared to the massive ocean. This obviously cannot be done using a longer lens that will crop the scene around them.
Wide angle lenses can be used for so many different types of photography: landscape, wedding, portrait, urban, and even real estate photography. I’ve used mine for all of these!
- No.05You're a Part of the Action
Often times, I really like to capture images that make the viewer fell like they are right there with my subjects. I love when images can evoke feelings from the viewer! This is one of the characteristics that I feel make an image stand apart from just a snapshot.
Using my fish eye to capture my daughter’s happiness on Dumbo the Elephant makes the viewer feel like they are sitting right next to them. You can’t help but want to be on Dumbo too, laughing as they fly through the sky!
Do you have a favorite wide angle lens? Please share in the comments why you love to shoot with it!