Most people associate wide angle lenses with sweeping scenic landscapes, but their use may also lend some fun and quirky characteristics to photographing our canine companions. These lenses generally have a focal length from 10mm to 27 mm on most SLR cameras that use interchangeable lenses. Some point and shoot cameras even have wide angle options, so be sure to check the manual. For a reference point, a 50mm focal length is considered about equivalent to what is seen through normal vision, so going wide creates a definitively unique perspective.
Keep in mind that more of the image will be in sharp focus as opposed to using a telephoto lens which tends to produce those lovely blurred backgrounds, so it is important to keep the entire image free of undesired objects. Stepping back from the subject will allow for nice environmental-style portraits that create a sense of place. These types of images are especially nice when traveling with your dog to scenic destinations.
Getting up close to your subject with a wide angle is where the fun begins. Most of us have seen those quirky images of dogs with really big eyes, long noses, giant heads, and tiny bodies. These effects are achieved through the use of wide angles, focusing on a point that is extremely close to the camera lens. Though practice is required, using these lenses can be very entertaining way to photograph your dogs and create interesting and sometimes comical images. Wide angle lens kits are even available to clip onto your camera phone! Enjoy these fun shots below and start to practice on your own seeing things through many perspectives.
Photos and Text by Mel Hammonds of Fetching Images Photography.