Thank you for asking. (I was so excited by last week’s topic I kept on writing. As a prelude to this week’s blog, it makes sense to go back and look at last week’s effort before you go on. That’s OK. I can wait here until you get back. OK, let’s move on.) I prefer use the shorter focal lengths because they create photographs with a very distinct look about them. The short focal length creates the illusion of three-dimensionality in a photograph. Two of the characteristics of the short focal length that I find useful are the near/far distortion and the depth of field. By proper placement of the camera in relation to major compositional elements, you can lead the viewer “through the photograph,” foreground to background with all the elements of the photograph in focus.
I spend a lot of time photographing buildings, inside and out. Many times the buildings are old and small. Having a wide angle lens allows me to photograph a large section, or a complete room at one time while having everything in the room in sharp focus. You can only back up so far in a small room. The only other way to increase your field of view is to use a wide angle lens.
And then there is, of course, the grand landscape. The way to show the landscape is grand to show lots of it with a wide angle lens. I like to work with simple compositions of foreground, background and sky. When the sky is beautiful, a wide angle lens will make it even more so. Add to the composition the near/far distortion with depth of field and that’s a good start toward making a great landscape photograph.