Here’s How to Master Your Wide-Angle Lens for Epic Landscape Photographs (VIDEO)

A good wide-angle lens is an indispensable tool for anyone serious about nature photography. But owning the right glass is only half the battle: If you want to make epic landscape photos, you have to know how to use the lens properly.

In this tutorial from British landscape photographer Nigel Danson, you’ll pick up several helpful tips and techniques for making compelling photographs when you go wide. The video is illustrated with Danson’s beautiful images, all of which were shot at the wide end of a 16-35mm zoom on a full-frame DSLR.

Danson begins with important advice about using a tripod, the other ubiquitous tool of experienced nature photographers. He warns against mounting your camera on a tripod until you “interrogate” a scene, by moving the camera around to experiment with different vantage points and settle on a composition.

Danson notes that the central field of view of our eyes is roughly equivalent to the framing of a 43mm lens—narrower than that of a wide-angle. As a result, he says the first step in this type of photography is to “open your mind up a bit.”

Danson provides numerous tips for composing images with a wide-angle lens, noting the importance of a strong foreground with uniformity that’s devoid of clutter. That could mean a single prominent object, or a series of interesting, repeating patterns.

He demonstrates how a beautiful sky and a well conceived midground interact with a strong foreground, for an image that encourages viewers to move through the scene. Then, once you find some sweet light, and know how to use it, you’ve created a winning shot. Danson show you how.

There are more great landscape photography tips on Danson’s YouTube channel, and be sure to check out his earlier tutorial with a few Lightroom tricks for organizing images and speeding up your workflow.