Compose Digital Photographs Using a Wide-Angle Lens

Taking a picture with a wide-angle lens nets a huge amount of real estate in the frame — sometimes too much real estate. When you review images photographed with a wide-angle lens on your camera LCD monitor, you may think you nailed the shot.

However, viewing an image on your computer can help you determine if you have a lot of information in the image, yet nothing for your viewers to latch onto. When you photograph with a wide-angle lens, make sure you have something to draw the viewer’s attention and make him spend some time with the image.

If the features in the scene are all the same size, move around until you find something that will function as your center of interest. Then get close until the subject looms large in the final image. Compose the photo so that the center of interest is positioned a third of the way in from the left or right side of the image.

You can also find a subject, such as this dead tree branch, move in close, and then compose the image in such a manner that the curved wood draws the viewer through the image.

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Check the edges of the frame: Some photographers make sure their subject is composed perfectly, but then they forget to look all around the viewfinder. If you’re taking a picture of a beautiful landscape with bright foliage at the edge of the frame, this will distract your viewer’s attention. You can rectify the problem by changing your vantage point.

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