“Landscape photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features or disturbances of landscapes.” – Wikipedia
Landscape photographers are adventurers who know no limits and push their photo-hunting, wanderlusting souls to extremes so they can capture the drama in nature.
That’s not me. I’m a landscape artist who spends time on the ground pushing my macro lens kit into the next scrubby undergrowth of grass and leaves trying to find what’s hidden among the grass or leaves.
Yet, I do have a hankering for trying to get dramatic shots of nature in the area around my home in Pennsylvania. And, I was on the beach in Miami a few years ago with my 50mm lens wishing I had something with a more robust range of view than the narrow 50mm can afford.
So, I did some research on which lenses are best for nature & wide angle shots for my Canon camera and decided to give the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens a go.
It’s a solid lens, has a great hand feel and doesn’t feel cheap. The angle of view gives me all the drama I want and need when I’m photographing landscapes or even taking photos inside real estate for sale.
For a non-Canon lens, you can’t go wrong with this one. You’ll be able to capture a lot of the foreground and background clearly.
What I really like about it is the amount of scenery I can get in a shot. It lets me get a wide and sweeping view of the scene, but it won’t let me zoom in and really get a close-up.
If you are wanting a lens to focus on an object and not a sweeping view or the ability to get a lot of the foreground and background in a shot, you’ll want to find a lens that has a pretty good zoom capability as well as a fairly wide range of view.
Your kit lens like the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens isn’t a bad lens to use for most landscape shots if you are on a budget. The only drawback is the f-stop range being limited.
The Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 has a better opportunity to get shots in low light – especially when you are using a tripod.
My landscape photography inspiration is Andrew Wyeth, the painter. His landscape work has the depth of field and imagery I aspire to in my photography. To see some of his paintings, you can find his work here.
You don’t have to try to be like the next great landscape photographer… you see on Instagram. You can find inspiration from painters and other creatives as well.
To be an artist, which I think photographers are, you can draw upon all the genres of art to see how they deal with lighting, mood, creativity in their scenes and so on.
Study your favorite shots in movies – in drawing & sketches – on television – to see what inspires you to make better photos.
These photos are a few of the photos I’ve taken with my Tokina lens on my Canon 50D ( I think… it may have been my 7D).
Pick up a wide-angle lens like the Tokina and head out into nature. Try your hand at different vantage points in your environment… head to a river or water fall and take sweeping shots of the water cascading over the rocks or winding off into the distance.
You’ll love how a wide angle lens like the Tokina 11-16mm lets you set up your shots for a more dramatic view of the landscape!
To buy the Tokina Wide Angle lens for landscape photography, pick it up on Amazon:
Need help mastering landscape photography? Go from average to master with direction from Rob Sheppard.