Open Wide…

…I mean the lens angle – wide is good.

I have gone sailing the last couple of Wednesdays, and here is an image from last week:

How did I take this dramatic image?

  • I used a wide angle lens: 16mm on a full frame camera, i.e. like using a 10mm lens on a crop camera. On a 33ft boat this is essential to get it all in, but also to create depth.
  • I underexposed the background by a stop or two. Manual mode, 1/80 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100. That’s where I start, with the background. I underexposed it in order to get drama, to get my subjects to be the “bright pixels” once I light them up with flash, and to get deep, saturated colours.
  • Since 1/80th second is well below the maximum flash sync speed, I did not need to use high speed flash, and the flash has its full power output available.
  • And I used the wide angle adapter on the (on camera) flash, to ensure the light goes as wide as the lens is looking.
  • I compose to avoid unwanted shadows.
  • I also aimed up, and I tilted the lens. The latter for three reasons: for “rule of thirds” composition; to get everything in; and to get rid of stuff that does not belong in the image. Simplify, simplify, simplify!

That’s how. You too can produce dramatic images with simple equipment (you do not need a 1Dx!) once you learn how. Keep reading!

(And once you really want to put it all together, come to one of my courses, e.g. at Vistek; but also, consider some one-on-one training. Give me a call to learn how easy that is – you owe it to your photography).


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