How to Use a Wide-Angle Lens: Landscape Photography Tips from Thomas Heaton

Giving up on a favorite lens is almost like breaking up with a loved one – yes, photographers are a weird bunch – but if it’s ever happened to you, you know the feeling can be oddly similar. “I used to love this lens but, for some reason, it just doesn’t do it for me anymore.”

That’s what happened to photographer Thomas Heaton who parted ways with his Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon after a long and fruitful “relationship” filled with many travel and landscape images from around the world. In its place, Heaton has chosen something a little more versatile: the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens.

In the below video, Heaton explains the reasons why he sold his Zeiss and bought the Canon, and then takes his new wide-angle glass out for his first landscape shoot with it. During the shoot with the new Canon 16-35mm, he explains how to use a wide-angle lens for landscape photography including composition tips, choices of filters, and how to focus stack images.

The video was shot near Heaton’s home on the gorgeous northeast coast of England, so there are plenty of opportunities for dramatic images of the open skies over the North Sea. The video is part photo travelogue and part how-to on the rudiments of using a wide-angle lens.

Check it out below and then visit Heaton’s YouTube channel for more helpful video content. If you want to see a different take on using a wide -angle lens for landscape photography, look no further than Heaton’s own contrarian take, titled “Throw Away Your Wide-Angle Lens.”