Smaller Than It Looks
You’re checking out this cool house online. The pictures look great – plenty of room, big bright, airy spaces, huge yards. But when you get there, it’s a little tiny place with small rooms and no yard!
It’s easy to make any space look huge with an ultra wide-angle lens. Just get close to any prominent foreground feature, zoom out, and presto! Infinite space.
Wide-angle reality distortion is a common problem, but it can be cured.
Avoid the kitchen sink
First, look at the architecture.
Will half a kiva or view through a doorway suggest the rest of the structure, or do a better job of telling your story? In general, choose one main subject and include enough important detail without cluttering up the frame. Breaking things up will reduce clutter, and help your viewer focus on one aspect at a time. Once you decide which ‘piece’ to emphasize, you can mount a 24mm or 28mm lens and isolate that piece.
Another possibility is to pick a vantage point where you’re far enough away from foreground features to avoid space distortion. Just standing up may solve the problem. Again, choose one main subject and include enough important detail without cluttering up the frame.
Do It On Purpose – Sparingly
Sometimes it doesn’t matter – you may want to enhance the sense of space for impact. But everything in your frame needs a reason to be there. I include other features for a sense of scale, especially foreground masonry curving into the frame and drawing the viewer’s eye into the picture.
And that’s a good thing – you want to invite your viewer to ‘step inside’ the image.