Common Wide Angle Lens Mistakes in Landscape Photography

When it comes to landscape photography lens choices, the default choice is almost always a wide angle lens. Making successful photographs with one is tricky, however. This great video tutorial discusses some of the challenges and pitfalls of shooting with them and what you can do to improve your work when using one.

Coming to you from Mads Peter Iversen, this awesome video tutorial discusses common mistakes landscape photographers make with wide angle lenses and how to fix them. By far, one of the most common mistakes I see is not including a proper foreground element. The problem is that wide angle lenses tend to push anything in the background away from the lens and make it look smaller, and when you do not have something compelling in the foreground, the resulting image can feel like it has a lot of empty space. A good leading line or foreground element can do a lot to balance out the composition and make a more interesting image. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Iversen.

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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2 Comments

EDWIN GENAUX's picture

Great! Covering most major problems. A lone lighthouse is great to see what distance does, he was closer than you think! The biggest thing to remember is wide or ultra wide is not about getting it all in, think like this both your eyes are focused at approx. 50-55mm in front but we have peripheral vision out of focus but the eyes see it, like hold your hands out to your sides with thumbs up look forward and move till so can see the thumbs but not focused on the thumbs. Than is what we see when out and about so we know what is happening on around us and even deer can see back to their tail but still not in focus. All that is seen are minds think should be captured because we can see it all, but not all is focused to the eyes. Wide is like a 3:2 panorama fast without gear that can be cropped top and bottom later.
Also set your f/# to the sharpest setting, normally 2 stops above widest, to get near and far in focus. Big, Big thing keep level always. Also the earth is round not flat so a shot at the beach out to the ocean the horizon will curve the wider you go but a true pano when stitched will be flat (go figure) but the effect on the horizon when wide will be seen even in a forest covered landscape like a bowl effect. To see it in motion watch a timelapse of the Milky Way notice the sides move faster than the center, it is because of lens light curve on a flat sensor - like being in a fishbowl with even the sky being rounded. But what wide does if a shot is of indoors, doors or windows at the sides are wider than if pointed straight on, it is normal for lenses trying to get things in a peripheral vision in focus and seen clearly. In a bad lens you will get elongated stars in both upper corners with even the fastest shutter speeds and even the best of lenses will have the pincushion effect, Capture One has a pincushion correction where you will see the stars go pinpoint but the foreground will be distorted. I used a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 in my first MW captures and the stars where a problem pinpoint in the center but elongated on the sides but recently I processed in C1 and got a MW arc when corrected. This is why panos with wides are done to not use the sides but center of the lens. Even indoors a pano will look better than a wide shot.

Saajan Manuvel's picture

Aha...now that I know how to get over one of the obstacles always encountered desperately, the clutter, thanks a lot for the great TIPS!