Home Photography Composition 6 Composition Tips for Using Wide-Angle Lenses for Better Landscape Photos

6 Composition Tips for Using Wide-Angle Lenses for Better Landscape Photos

7 min read

If you’re interested in landscape photography you’ll eventually find yourself purchasing a dedicated wide-angle lens.

The best options for this type of photography are 24mm and lower as they’ll allow you to capture natural landscapes.

However, just having a wide-angle lens won’t do you any good unless you know how to best use it!

In this tutorial, we’ll share some of the most effective composition tips for using this lens in landscape photography.


Wide-Angle Tips Landscape


The closer the better

Even though you’re using a wide-angle lens, you should still get close to the scene or the image could appear too small.

Get as close as you can, especially if you’re using a 14mm lens.

Find an interesting foreground for the composition

The most important aspect of a wide-angle landscape photo is actually the foreground.

This is because a wide-angle photograph will capture and emphasize objects in the foreground and it will need to be interesting to result in an effective photography composition.

The image from a wide-angle lens should feature a broad vista as well as intimate detail of the scene. Remember, when taking a wide shot, try to find some interesting foreground to combine with the background (rocks, flowers, trees, etc.) Objects such as these help to draw the viewer into the photo more.

If you don’t feel the foreground is interesting enough, you could use a longer lens as it will enable you to leave the foreground out of the shot.

Be aware of verticals

One problem with wide-angle lenses is that they can distort and bend vertical shots.

When composing a photography, some people like this effect and others don’t. As long as you’re aware of it you can then decide for yourself.

If you’re not pleased with this effect, you can correct it on a photo-editing program later on.

One way to try and avoid this effect is to compose the image so there’s just one obvious vertical subject. You can also try using a tilt-shift lens as well as the lens distort filter in Photoshop.

Composition lines

When it comes to composition in a photo, you’ll find that things such as railroad tracks, rivers and streams can attract a viewer’s eye when it leads from one of the image’s bottom corners and makes its way to the center of the photo.

This can make for a pleasing and interesting image on the eye and can create a wonderful sense of depth.

Look for natural objects that form curves or diagonal lines to include within your landscape photo.

Polarizer problems

If you’re taking wide-angle photos you may find it difficult to use a polarizer.

This is because when using one with a blue sky the scene often looks quite unnatural. The polarizer works better without a blue sky.

Another problem could be a screw-in filter and it’s a better idea to use those that have a wide-angle filter holder.

Easy focusing

Focusing a wide-angle lens is relatively easy and enjoyable.

When using increasingly wider focal lengths you’ll find the depth-of-field in a specific aperture will become deeper and deeper.

Because of this you can take advantage of the hyper focal distance concept.  This means the nearest distance that you can focus a specific lens at a specific aperture and result in good focus.

For example, at 24mm, if you focus approximately six feet away from your camera you will be able to capture everything in the scene in focus from approximately three feet all the way to infinity even if you’re at f/11. Also, at 17mm, if you focus at the correct point at f/11 you’ll be able to focus from infinity all the way down to a distance of 17 inches away.

We hope you enjoyed these tips on composition using a wide-angle lens for landscape photography. Please share this post for others to enjoy and leave a comment below telling us which tip was your favorite.

One Comment


    September 11, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Interesting to know about hyper focus method in landscape photography. Thank you.

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