5 Tips for Better Travel & Nature Photographs with a Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

Landscape and travel photographers often prefer to shoot with wide-angle lenses—either a fast prime or a more versatile short zoom. In this tutorial you’ll see why one pro takes the later approach and learn some of his tricks.

Romanian travel and landscape photographer Toma Bonciu says one of the lenses he uses most is a 17-40mm wide-angle zoom. Whether you own a lens in that focal length or something similar, the five tips he provides in the video below will help you achieve better results.

Bonciu notes that when shooting expansive vistas with a wide-angle zoom, the way you identify the subject, compose the scene, and choose camera settings can differ significantly from the choices you’d make when using a different type of lens.

Bonciu uses a variety of beatiful images to illustrate his favorite tips, and most of his advice is equally applicable when shooting cityscapes, seascapes, and other types of outdoor images. And he proves a complete list of his equipment in the description beneath the video.

If you’ve watched other tutorials from Bonciu before you’ll likely recognize his first tip, which is to patiently and thoroughly explore a location before pulling out your gear; much in the same way experienced fly fishermen carefully study a stream before stringing up their rod and tying on a fly.

Bonciu’s other practical tips are more specific, with some involving camera settings, and others relating to composition, choosing an effective vantage point, and simplifying complicated scenes. He also provides important advice on controlling exposure with wide-angle lenses that often capture varying light levels from one portion of a scene to another.

After watching the video take a trip to Bonciu’s YouTube channel where you’ll find more tips and tricks for photographing the great outdoors. And be sure to check out another of his tutorial we posted recently, with seven pro tips for making better landscape photos.