Three Tips for Using a Wide Angle Lens: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace


In this episode I’m going to show you
three things you can do to get the most out of your wide angle lens. AdoramaTV presents Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace. Hi everybody, welcome to this episode of
Exploring Photography right here on AdoramaTV, I’m Mark Wallace coming to you from a very hot and noisy Hanoi street
here in Vietnam. Well one the most challenging things for
any photographer is shooting with a wide angle lens. Now the reason for that is we
tend to think of wide angle lenses as lenses that can get everything in the
shot and that’s fantastic, but one of the problems with that is when we get everything in the shot
sometimes, and a lot of the times actually. We just don’t have any subjects so we just have
everything in and really nothing draws our eye into the photo so
in this episode I’m going to give you three tips to get the most out of your wide-angle
lens and first I’m going to show you some photos I’ve shot with a couple wide angle lenses. And then we are gonna put it into practice I’m going to be
walking the streets and shooting with my 21mm lens right here. Well first we will take a look at a few shots
and walk through the three things that you can do to get the most out of your lens. The first thing is to make sure you have
a dominant or predominant subject in your photo.
Now one of my favorite wide-angle lenses is the Canon 16-35mm lens
and I’ve shot all over the world with that. I shot this image of Machu Picchu
with that lens and notice that Machu Picchu is
obviously the subject of this photo but using a wide angle lens, I get everything in that shot. I also was
able to take that to the Amazon rainforest and I shot this image.
A couple of images of a River but notice I don’t just have the
entire river I haven’t anchor to those photos those are the boats that are on the shore, so I’m
anchoring that wide angle shot with a dominant subject. The boats. Now I’m also able to use this shot in a very
busy, commercial complex in downtown
Bangkok and noticed this street we have this sort of
a three-dimensional effect the wide angle lens is one of the reasons we use
wide angle lens is it pulls our eye into that subject, but the
shopping center is definitely the dominant subject in this photo. Well that’s the first thing you need to
do, the second thing we need to do is to get closer to our subject. Now if there is anything I’d like you to take
away from this video that’s it when you’re using a wide angle lens it’s
really an up close len’s after using a mirrorless
camera like my Leica here, or a Sony A7 or many of the mirrorless cameras, you can’t
get too close with the wide angle lens. If you’re using a DSLR though with the
lens like the 16-35 you can get inches away from your subject on these
pictures that I shot I was very very close in fact on Lake Titicaca I shot this picture of this boat. The boat is our
dominant subject. I was about maybe 12 inches from the front
of that boat. Really, really close. But because that lens is so wide you can’t
really see it. Now I met with two amazing photographers
in Argentina this is at Mag and Martin, Mag Alvarez and Martin Epelde. They are the inspiration for me to go and
shoot Patagonia. They taught me all this stuff
about where to go and what to do. This shot of them was taken with my
21mm lens at about a foot and a half maybe two
feet away from them. Here’s Mags signing her book that she did on New York City – it really is
an amazing shot, I was extremely close and you can see the shot of some people
I shot on the subway. I was just about a foot and a half maybe two
feet from these people are falling asleep on the subway so get close, get close, get close when you are using a wide angle lens and if nothing else hear me say get close and this third thing you can do
with a wide angle lens, because it gives you that 3D feel. It’s
pulling you in leading lines, those lines that lead us into
photos can be used to our advantage, so when you’re framing your shot try to frame
your shots so that lines are leading us into our image. All right now we know those three
things what we want to do is head out here in Hanoi and put
them all into practice so let’s do that next. Alright one of the advantages of using a
wide angle lens, and you’ll have to pardon the music that’s being blasted down the streets, we’re not sure why. But evidently it’s a public feature here in Hanoi, but one of the wide angle lens features is that you get extreme field of sharpness, you have everything in focus from the beginning to the end, of this very nice lady here, who has allowed me
to take pictures of her vegetable stand. I shot some images earlier and I was able to get the vegetables right in front of the lens all the way to her totally in focus and using the steps
as the leading lines to point us from the
vegetables to the owner of the shop I really like this
picture and it uses all of the three things that we
talked about earlier getting close, having a predominant feature or subject
in our frame and using leading lines.Well Hanoi has
all kinds very interesting little alleyways like this one know what I
could do and I have done is to stand back. Use my wide angle lens to get this
entire entryway and the alley, you see
everything, I got everything in the shot but it doesn’t really pull us into the scene so what I can do is use two of those things I talked about earlier getting closer and using leading lines
to pull me into the subject. So this sign right here
– If I really fill the frame with this, this is my dominant
subject or my foreground interest I can also use these lines right here to pull the viewer into the scene and point
their eyes to the back of the alley and I’ll do just that. But I really want to
stop this lens down to about 5.6. The sun’s going down here and it’ss really sort
of dark so to shoot it 5.6 and still have a shutter speed of
about 1/60 of a second. I’ve increased my ISO, to ISO 800 a lot of
people ask me why do you increase your ISO, it looks great. On video looks
like it’s nice and bright but in reality it’s sorta dark right now, we have about
half an hour before the sun goes down so now you know why the ISO is pumped up. So lets take a shot of this. I’ll get close, I’ll compose the leading lines and I’ll show you the difference, so let’s
just take a look at this. Get right up there, there we go I love
that. That looks so much better. Now we can compare the wide angle shot
to the closer shot with the leading lines and I think you’ll agree that the closer
shot wins. Well I got permission to take some pictures are these roles and bamboo
shoots here. Now first I am going to do this the way
that’s the wrong way, I’m going to take a wide angle shot of these rolls here and you can see that it’s just a street scene
there’s not much to it. I need to get closer and show that as close as I can, so I’m going to get right in there. About like that and now you can really frame the shot up the way I want. Ah you see it now, this is the predominant
thing in our shot, you can see that getting close is the better option. Well there you have
it using a wide angle lens. Remember have a predominant subject get close to
your subject and use leading lines and you really get much better images
and if nothing else please hear me say get close, get close, get close. A wide angle lenses is for close up
photography. Not I to remind you that Exploring Photography is brought to you by Adorama, it’s the camera store that you
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joining me and I will see you again next time. Do you want great-looking prints at low-cost. Be sure to visit our easy to
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16 Replies to “Three Tips for Using a Wide Angle Lens: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace”

  1. thank you for this! it's the 2nd excellent vid on wide angle shooting. just bought my 1st wide angle lens and had no idea of the points made. i just thought, "get a whole lot of a view in there". now i'm a bit nervous of taking it out! 🙂

  2. Thank you very much for the tips. I think the same tips work well for ultra wide angles such the Samyang 12mm for Sony E.

  3. Hello! Thanks for your video 🙂 I Have a question.
    «Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L III USM» (third version) is newest then «f/2.8L II USM» (second version)? Or maybe the second version is better?
    Thanks!

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