For Creatively Dramatic Photos, Go Wide!

Wide-Angle Lenses Offer a Unique and Eye-Catching Perspective

by Jim Zuckerman

Wide-Angle Scene in Mexico
Wide-Angle Scene in Mexico
© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
Students ask me all the time what lenses they should have on my various photo tours. After asking them what they already have, I often find they are missing a good wide-angle lens. When I say 'good', what I really mean is a lens less than 18mm on a full-frame camera, or 10mm to 12mm on a cropped-sensor camera.

I took the picture of a bed-and-breakfast establishment in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with a 16mm wide angle, and it created a wonderful perspective. Wide angles exaggerate perspective artistically, they have extensive depth of field, and they make the foreground seem like it is disproportionately large when compared to the background. All of these things make wide angles very important to have.

would say that at least 40 percent of all my pictures are taken with a wide-angle lens. For maximum drama and visual impact, the wider the better.

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Jim Z is a top pro who teaches for's online photography school, including these courses: Eight Steps to More Dramatic Photography, Techniques of Natural Light Photography, and Developing Your Creative Artistic Vision.

Also, he contributed to Jim Miotke and Kerry Drager's books: The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light and The BetterPhoto Guide to Creative Digital Photography.

Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at