Can I see some good wide-angle images, please?

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Promit, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    I'm having a lot of trouble composing wide view images that I like. Longer FLs give you a lot of options in terms of isolation and composition that I feel like I'm really missing in the wide shots. My wides come out more like "here is a bunch of things in front of my camera". Show me stuff, ideally in the 12-18 (24-35mm) range, that is really nice work from an artistic composition perspective.

    And for the love of god, no fisheyes.
  2. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    ^ Why I don't shoot wide ... the only wide shots I've taken that I like are architecture or landscape shots that are (typically) devoid of people. Otherwise I feel like they are too cluttered.

    <a href="" title="Seagulls and Clouds in Matsushima Bay by debit72, on Flickr">[​IMG]"640" height="480" alt="Seagulls and Clouds in Matsushima Bay"></a>

    <a href="" title="Union Station Lobby - Distortion Corrected? by debit72, on Flickr">[​IMG]"640" height="494" alt="Union Station Lobby - Distortion Corrected?"></a>

    <a href="" title="December Sunset in Pasadena, with Crescent Moon by debit72, on Flickr">[​IMG]"427" height="640" alt="December Sunset in Pasadena, with Crescent Moon"></a>
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  3. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Shooting wide into a three-dimensional scene is a lot about managing the effects of perspective distortion and relationship of the size of near and far objects. The wider you go the more pronounced the effect becomes. To a large extent this governs composition when shooting at these focal lengths. Often the most effective wide-angle shots involve a relatively short distance to subject, rather than the generally held view that wide-angle lenses are "landscape lenses".
  4. jcurious

    jcurious Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 14, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    First rule of wide angle is "get close" :)

    Get really close to your subject and use the "wideness" to show the subject within the context of it's surroundings. (think opposite of traditional macro photography where you just try to have the subject with a blurry background).

    I don't think you need to shoot landscape/architectural shots without people. In fact people help provide scale to the picture.

    Most of my public good wide angle shots are fish eye, so I'll avoid posting for your sanity. :)

    Anyways, here are a couple of short wide angle composition guides:
    Using Wide Angle Lenses
    How to Use Ultra-Wide Lenses
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  5. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I just got an Oly 9-18mm. Timely thread! :smile:
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    Try the 9-18mm image thread. Everything there. Good, bad, cliche, ...
  7. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Real Name:
    Wide angle images I find really enjoyable to look at, but...are not something I find easy to do ! I find it's just that bit trickier to compose well, bringing in the right elements into the frame and working around the distortion effectively. More so than with any other focal length, it's the wide/ultra wides that take the longest time to compose and release the shutter...I certainly can't shoot it the way I would a standard focal length. I'm hoping that with time, practice and better understanding it may become a little more natural.

    Here is a shot of mine I took this past winter at Revelstoke mountain resort in BC....not sure if it's very artistic, or even very good for that matter, but it's one of my wide angle shots that I like most !

  8. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    I know Rockwell is generally poorly received on this forum, but this is how I got my start in learning how to use an ultrawide: How to Use Ultra-Wide Lenses

    Here are a few of my favorite UWAs with the Panasonic 7-14 parked at 7 and mostly on the GF1:





    • Like Like x 4
  9. DaveL

    DaveL Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2012
    Rhode Island
    FWIW- I think putting just a wide angle or a wa zoom on your camera and going out to shoot is a great way to improve how you see and how you shoot- although you may miss some shots you would have otherwise:eek:
    I use to do this because I started shooting B/W film with a Leica m4 and lenses were so expensive that when I bought my first WA, I just left it on the camera. Anyway the more you shoot, the more you start to realize how a very small change of POV can completely change an image. I think shooting wa also helped me to "loosen up." the shot at Luxembourg gardens with the coffee cups was shot wide open, heavily vignetted and somewhat soft. So I put it in the "accidents" pile and almost didn't print it but i kept coming back to it- there was something that drew me to the image- even though it was a disaster, technically, In the end i ended up exaggerating the vignetting, softness etc when i printed it. I guess what I'm saying is that with wa, there's so much info that you never really see the image while you're shooting- so later you often have surprises, accidents etc.

    Attached Files:

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  10. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
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  11. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Real Name:
    Awesome shots mate !

    For what it's worth, in my limited experience I've found UWA landscape shots to be a little easier to compose than urban-architectural shooting with an UWA ( not that it makes those images any less spectacular or interesting ) The abundance of clearly distinguishable lines and patterns, often perfectly square and parallel that are common in cityscapes provide quite the challenge !

    But despite the difficulty, I think shooting UWA is a skill worth learning because man those shots look amazing when nailed right.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    In a tighter urban or street environment it helps to include a strong "anchor" in the image, be it horizontal or vertical. Unless you are shooting totally straight towards your subject the perspective distortion starts to twist the image and gives the impression of it not being level. If need be I'll apply some perspective correction in post processing to reduce this effect.

    I think we may have wandered into ultra-wide territory when the original question was about wide-angle (24-35mm).

  13. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Doh! got all excited about the wide-angle nature of the post, ADD'd it and didn't read all the way through. Most of the same principles apply, UWA is just more extreme, fun (IMO), requires more nitpicky attention to where exactly your camera is, and has cool distortion that you don't get with regular WA. Architecture is an easy one to start on - anything big with lots of lines will usually wide or ultrawide well. Landscapes are better with regular wide than ultra unless you're in an extreme environment like the salt flats or something. People are really tricky with both unless you have distortion correction SW. Sculptures are totally fun to shoot with WA/UWA.
  14. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011

    It's just a different way of thinking and takes lots of practice. The edges along the sides of this photo were only about an inch tall but they appear as large banks. Some of you have seen this, sorry, its the only one I had available at the moment.

    <a href="">[​IMG]"Venusian Solace by Dan Cassat (dcassat) on" border="0" style="margin: 0 0 5px 0;"></a><br/><font style="font-size: 120%;"><a href="">Venusian Solace</a> by <a href="">Dan Cassat</a></font>
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  15. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
  16. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Real Name:
    Dauvit Alexander
    I have to confess to liking the perspective distortion UW can give and frequently shoot to emphasise it, often in quite a claustrophobic way:

    <a href="" title="Orc by the justified sinner, on Flickr">[​IMG]"500" height="376" alt="Orc"></a>​

    For landscapes or urban photographs, I like to keep the images very simple and uncluttered:

    <a href="" title="Beach Scene by the justified sinner, on Flickr">[​IMG]"376" height="500" alt="Beach Scene"></a>​
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  17. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    This is a wide-angle shot taken with 28mm on the Nikon F3 (which corresponds to the angle-of-view of 14mm on MFT), it's one of my favourites.

  18. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011