Taking a wide-angle photo is a great way to establish the setting of the story you are trying to capture through photos. Emphasize the mountains towering over your subject, make the sky and clouds appear more ominous, or give your neighborhood street the nostalgic vastness that resembles the way our minds remember them from our childhoods — larger than they actually are.
It’s easy to do. But before I tell you how, let’s look at the difference it makes in terms of telling the story…
Not A Wide-Angle Shot
This photo of my kids is not a wide-angle shot, though it’s still beautiful. Both of the above pictures show the natural surroundings, but the emphasis of each picture is different.
- First Photo – the mountain and the clouds tower in the distance. It isn’t just a picture of my husband and me with our hands in each others’ pockets. It’s a story about the height of the mountains in the distance, and the possibilities ahead.
- Second Photo – this shows all the lush Missouri green around the pond at my parents’ farm. But this photo is not as much about the pond as it is about my two kids pausing to look at it.
So how easy is it to get these mood-establishing shots that emphasize setting? It takes one step . . .
1) Zoom out.
That’s it! When you zoom way out, you will start to get this slight distortion, because in order to get wider coverage, your camera will curve the view.
Of course, it requires the ability to zoom out in the first place. Distances will stretch and the proportions of items will increase as you shorten the focal length — for example from 35 mm, to 28 mm, to 24 mm, etc. The wider you go, the more distortion you get.
Here are a few more examples of how I established mood, or emphasized larger-than-life surroundings with slight wide-angle shots . . .
Tubing At Canyon Lake
Our Park: The Morning After Rain
Next time you’re photographing something significant outside, try zooming all the way out to get a nostalgic setting shot.
- Paperclipping Video Tutorial – Watch for it on Monday! (This is the one I previously mentioned about a method to help you finish your minibooks.) It’ll be a Member’s Only episode. If you want to read about our membership before it releases, please go here.
- Paperclipping Live! – This live scrapbooking show is every Tuesday at 6:30pm PST. Are you free?
- The Paperclipping August Challenge
Summer is almost over! You’ve probably taken vacation and holiday photos. Have you documented the every day of summer time? I have, and I’m excited to share it with you as part of Monday’s video tutorial.