When to use wide angle lens is fully depends on your knowledge on the points of optical properties of a wide angle lens. It is not just so simple lens. Wide Angle Lens, as you know; are used to take pictures of landscapes or maybe they are to be used in confined spaces and for larger groups of people. You agreed, right? But actually that is not so simple, for that reason this article is on When to use wide angle lens and most importantly, when not to use.
When to Use Wide Angle Lens
As we have said many times, lens of different focal lengths not only serve the purpose to approach or move away from the subject; in other words, enlarge them and shrink them. Know what are the real effects of a particular lens on an image of a particular focal length ha, it is essential to choose a lens rightly. This is the other important point. In this article, we will explain then what the fundamental effects of a wide-angle lens is useful. We will explain other benefits which itself give you the answer to the question when to use wide angle lens and things not to do with a wide angle lens. This knowledge is necessary if you want to overcome the status of a beginner.
You might want to read the basic article – Wide Angle Lens in Digital Photography.
Expansion of the distances by Wide Angle Lens
Without a doubt, the most important thing to know is that, the wide-angle lenses do perceive objects as if they were more distant from us, compared to how we see them. But above all, the total distances between objects are increased. This fact has two major consequence on the aesthetics of the photos taken with a wide angle lens.
First of all, the perspective effect is emphasized. Who wants to be picky will tell you that it is not the focal length but the distance from the subject that changes the perspective. It is true, but here we make a perceptual comment we do not try to be scientifically accurate. That said, the perspective effect, as you know, is what makes us feel closer objects larger than farther away, even if it does not correspond to the reality.
Think for example what is the highest a person standing next to you with respect to a mountain on the horizon. The expansion of the distances obtained through the short focal emphasizes this effect and then it perceive the nearby objects even larger than those further away. Moreover, they are also more distance between them. You can use this phenomenon in various ways within a photo.
First, can you give more importance to the closer objects, because as elements move away from the camera, they will definitely shrunk. The first floor will seem exaggerated compared to the top floor and therefore will have a strong predominance within the composition. To take advantage of this effect, better you use a wide angle lens, when much closer to your subject.
Even in a landscape photography where you do not have a main subject to get closer to the ground in the foreground, it will give a lot more depth to the shot. Second, the oblique lines, which are typically a very strong tool to lead the viewer’s eye across the frame, they become even more effective and easy to add into the scene with a wide angle lens.
Because of the perspective effect, the lines which are not parallel to the objective are directed to the vanishing points. The reduced focal length accentuate this effect and therefore make oblique lines more powerful in giving depth to the picture and lead the viewer’s eye. Think for instance to the vertical lines of a building that frames from the bottom up with a wide angle lens. They become easily oblique and converging towards the same point.
This can also be a problem, especially when you want the vertical lines to remain vertical. If you want that to happen, you must make sure that the vertical lines are parallel to the sensor plane, in other words; to the front of the lens.
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