The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.Henry Ward Beecher
Patti Moed of pilotfishblog.com offers the topic for this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge: Going Wide. Her post and the delightful shots taken both with wide-angle lenses and a cellphone follow the advice she gives:
- Before you shoot, identify a subject of interest.
- Include features in the foreground to help the viewer get a sense of the distance between the camera and the subject
- Try varying your perspective by shooting upward or downward.
Even though I’m only now reading this excellent advice, I may have had an inkling of it when I snapped away, mostly with my iPhone since I’ve never owned a wide-angle lens. Here are some photos — some I love, some not so much — that go wide.
First, the Temple of Poseidon (shown at top) at Cape Sounio in Greece. I took the shot when we first arrived in order for the whole of this ancient temple to fit into a photograph, and, without realizing this at the time, I was standing at a lower level shooting upward.
Second: a landscape outside Staunton, Virginia. Perhaps not an award-winning photo, but a scene that enticed us to pull over and revel in the summer colors.
On this same trip through Virginia I used Patti’s third suggested technique — “shoot upward or downward” — as well as her second one: “include features in the foreground.” I like the dominant shot of green in front with a side view of the red barn, but I’m thinking that if I had stooped a bit lower, the photo might be more interesting. Of course, there’s also the chance I’d tip over!!
In this shot below, taken in Rockland, Maine, I could have used a wide-angle lens to best advantage. With a 2-mile granite block walkway, the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse barely fits into a photo — no matter what lens you attach. Unique, interesting, and well-visited, this lighthouse would be fun to photograph at a variety of distances.
To photograph the entryway to Wormsloe Historic Site in Savannah, Georgia, I tried to position myself squarely in the middle of the elegant trees. Then I waited until the long line of cars dwindled to just one in the distance before snapping the picture.
Finally, a shot I hope to repeat this fall when we again visit the Blue Ridge Parkway near Culhowee, North Carolina. It might be the best time of all to whip out a special lens, but look how pretty those colors are, even with a mere iPhone Xs. Except for my not getting down or standing on a ladder for height, I’m pretty sure this photo meets Patti’s other two requirements: have a subject of interest and include features in the foreground.
Thanks for the advice, Patti, and for the opportunity to evaluate my work. Here’s my advice to readers of this post: Try going wide, no matter what camera you use.
And be sure to visit Patti Moed’s blog for more entries on this week’s topic.
Rusha & Bert