It is common knowledge that wide angle lenses are used to capture “everything” especially in vast subjects such as landscapes. However, in doing so, everything being packed in one image makes elements minuscule, leaving nothing standing out. This is not bad in itself, especially if the intent of the photographer is to capture vast subjects, BUT you can use wide lenses in a lot more creative ways.
Wide angle lenses can be used to add dramatic effects in subjects. It enables the photographer to get closer to the subject, giving great emphasis on the subject making it look bigger, capturing every detail and thus adding drama. The effects of wide angle lenses are of course to be played by the photographer.
Portraiture for example is a type of photography wherein arguably wide angle lenses are discouraged as they distort the person’s features. However, some photographers opt to use wide angle lenses for added dramatic effect. Wide angle lenses enables the subject to look bigger, taller or closer, thus making it stand out as opposed to being lost in a vast or busy background. Wide angle lenses enables a photographer to capture a vast and detailed background, while still giving focus to the subject. This technique may be commonly seen in high fashion photo shoots wherein while the main element is the clothes, the environment is also part of the entire art direction. Even for the clothes themselves, when the subject is shot quite close, the details are exaggerated and thus quite ideal to be played with.
Wide angle lenses are must haves for photographers regardless of their subject preference. It is always really handy to have a really good mid to wide angle zoom lens so you know that you have the capability to zoom out and do wide angle crops as an option when you feel like it.
All images © Lindsay Adler and used with permission.