Shooting with a Wide Angle lens

Wells Fargo Center

The day I got my new wide-angle lens I headed downtown to try it out. It takes a bit of getting used to a really wide-angle lens; at 14mm(eq.) the camera sees about the same field of view as I do rather than a cropped version of what we see. The positive side of this is that the images look a lot like you saw with your own eyes, the drawback is that distant objects are tiny on the image you get.

Also with a wide-angle lens the perspective is close to natural perception and the image seems to have more depth as opposed to telephoto where the image seems flat and distant objects are closer to foreground elements. Taken to extremes with a fish-eye lens this can cause odd distortion making objects in the cnter of the image larger (like a glass peephole on a door).

However in a city this effect is great looking up at buildings as they seem to stretch higher into the sky. To get the full effect of a wide-angle lens it helps to have have some foreground or element that pulls away from the camera towards the background to emphasize the depth of the image, a simple corner of a building starting an the ground and reaching up works great.

This particular shot was under the foot bridge at the Wells Fargo building. From the side it’s interesting with the lights, the glass enclosure, and the circular shape of the supports. But standing right under it the curve of the supports become more sweeping and contrasts well with the sharp lines of the building behind it.

I was kneeling down shooting up at the building but if I had been willing to lay down I probably could have included the very bottom of the curved support beam and had less emphasis on sidewalk and road below.


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