Lenses for landscapes
Chris Rutter shows how you can use different viewpoints to dramatically change the perspective of your images
Find out how changing your lens can change your perspective
It’s often said that lenses change the perspective of your shots, with wide-angle lenses exaggerating perspective and telephoto lenses compressing it. That’s not actually the case. While it’s true that you need to change the focal length of your lens to achieve different types of images, the lens doesn’t actually affect the perspective of your images. All the lens does is determine how much, or little, of the subject you include in your image. To change the perspective you need to change the position from where you actually take your shot, moving to one side or another, shooting from higher up or lower down, or by moving further away.
The confusion lies in that once you have chosen the point to view the subject from, you then need to use different focal length lenses in order to fit all the elements in the scene
All the lens does is determine how much, or how little, of the subject you include in your image. If you want to change the perspective you need to change your position
that you wish to include into your shot. So, if you are close to the foreground subject you need to use a wide-angle lens to get everything into your shot, while if you are shooting from a distance you need to use a longer focal length so you can fill the frame with the subject.
When you’re shooting landscapes, moving towards or away from your subjects can make a radical difference to the sort of shot you’re able to take. Changing your distance from your subjects also means you need to choose different lenses in order to fit everything into the frame. Let’s see how it works…