That’s a wrap

No no, no fear, I am not stopping this blog. I am, instead, talking about the “wraparound” effect a wide angle lens can give you. Wide, like 10mm on a crop camera or 16mm on a full-frame camera. That angle looks like this (Timmins Airport, the Bob Marley mausoleum in Jamaica, and Philipsburg in St Maarten, respectively):

As you see, the picture seems to wrap around you, giving an effect of “being there” and of perspective and depth. That’s why so much photojournalism, and so many National Geographic images, are made this way.

But to really get this effect, you need to have a few things in place.

  • You need a wide lens, zoomed out (10mm/16mm as said);
  • You need to be close to something, like the ground in this case;
  • And also – and this took me years to figure out – this effect depends to a large extent on lines converging. That means you need some kind of pattern or texture or parallel lines in the close-by area so you see the lines converging.

The stones here seem to wrap around; without stones, no wrapping:

And the lines are clearly converging, leading to the same – and again, without lines, no wrapping:

So if you like that look, now you know how to get it.


Oakville “Flash” Courses 9/10 November: EDIT: Saturday Nov 9 is AVAILABLE, but Sunday Nov 10 is FULL. I am limiting the number of students in each class to no more than 4-5, so do get there first.  See the syllabus here, and book via the link at the bottom of that page – indicate your desired date!


2 thoughts on “That’s a wrap

  1. Michael,

    Can you talk a little about the wide angle lens and depth of field in relation to the aperture as I am a bit confused.


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