Get 6 Months of ShootQ Free With Any Workshop Purchase!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Tips & Tricks

Composition Theory – Shooting Wide, Very Wide

By Pye Jirsa on November 2nd 2008

The photojournalist in us never wants to miss the moment, that laugh, that tear, that hug, that kiss. However, the 200mm close ups come out so nice that we sometimes forget that the moment also involves the surroundings and the environment.Sometimes the best picture isn’t the subject perfectly cropped in the scene; or even slightly zoomed out. Sometimes, the best picture is wide…. big… and fully zoomed out. This seems like an obvious thought, and it is, but I think it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that these beautiful backgrounds are all around us. As Ernst Haas once said, “Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ah-ha.”

Here are some examples:

Justin & Yvette – Getty Museum Engagement Shoot

Shot at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA with a Canon EOS 40Dwith a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L at 100 ISO f/5.6 1/125

Clint and Jessica – Point Fermin Park Engagement Shoot

Shot at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, CA with a Canon EOS 40D with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM at 250 ISO, f/6.3, and 1/200

Tom & Heather – Getty Museum Engagement Shoot

Shot at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA with a Canon EOS 40D with a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L at 100 ISO, f/8.0, and 1/200

Jack & Mikki – Laguna Beach Engagement Shoot

Shot at Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach, CA with a Canon EOS 40D with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM at 100 ISO, f/4.0, and 1/100

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.
About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Brad Harberts

    ah ha! I love it. I try to challenge myself to shoot primarily with a prime lens. I love the exercise I get when I have to move back or move closer to the object I am shooting. Thank you for the post.

    | |
  2. Jessica Vieira

    That was a really useful tip for a beginner like me. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas.

    | |
  3. David Oak-Parsons

    I also love how shooting wide like this imbues the subjects with a sense of privacy, that we are somehow stealing a moment. In a good way of course!

    | |
  4. Kurk Rouse

    I actually love to shoot wide and also telephoto, it’s some where in the middle that i have challenges with .

    | |
  5. Claro Calingasan

    I have gone over heaps of photography websites for many years now and yours is by far the most informative, easy to understand website for an enthusiast like me. Thank you vey much for sharing your expertise!!!

    | |