Stop It: Ultra-Wide Angles

 This image could have easily been shot with a normal focal length lens like a 24-70mm.

This image could have easily been shot with a normal focal length lens like a 24-70mm.

    The biggest lie in landscape photography is that you need a wide angle lens. I was deceived by the allure of a wider perspective that captured more than everything I could see. It demonstrated that a lens distorts the natural world in the most bizarre of way that can be very compelling at first, but it is also deceptive in nature creating a horribly wrong way of photographing the world around us.

    Don’t get me wrong, a wide angle lens is an incredible tool. I use a 16-35mm for much of my landscape work, but I don’t use it at its widest for most of my images. It is far too distorted at 16+mm emphasizing the foreground and diminishing the impressiveness of the background. I use it for the middle range most of the time around 20mm at the widest to 28mm for telephoto. I use a Fuji for my normal focal lengths shooting from 16-50mm on a crop sensor that creates stunning results.

    I am a firm believer that you need to adapt the lens and focal length choice to the scene especially after forcing myself to try forcing a scene to a focal length for years. Not every location you go to is going to look great at either 14mm or 50mm, but It might suit itself very well to 28mm which is why I think having a wide, normal, and telephoto zoom on hand is useful as a landscape photographer. 

    I find myself shooting many scenes in a more telephoto format anyways because it allows me to pick out the aspects of the scene that are most compelling.

 This image was shot at 50mm

This image was shot at 50mm

 This image was shot at 110mm.

This image was shot at 110mm.