Use Different Focal Lengths

Michael Laubscher All Authors, Michael 1 Comment

Can you tell me what your weaknesses are when it come to your photography?

I can list mine but today I will only discuss one. This is my lack of shooting wide angles.

I often tend to zoom in as much as possible to fill my frame with my subject but this is no good. I’m sure many of you do the same?

When we look through the viewfinder we tend to get lost in the moment and to some extent forget about our surroundings.

I often have to remind myself and my guests that just for a few moments, drop the camera and not worry about the shot, the settings and just enjoy the moment, take it all in and be happy with where you are.

In doing this you don’t only get to enjoy seeing the bigger picture but you also see more of what is behind or around your subject and this could set off the spark to try photographing at a wider/tighter angle.

On this particular day in the Masai Mara we stopped to photograph a Topi standing on a mound.

As mentioned a weakness of mine is shooting wide angles, so the first camera I picked up was the 5Diii because it had the 200-400mm on. I zoomed in tight with the converter on. At this point my focal length was 533mm and created this image.

A nice looking, sharp image yes? Sadly the only story it tells us is a Topi on a mound.

After dropping my camera away from my face to enjoy the views around me, I noticed that this would create a nice wide angled image. I first tried at a focal length of 280mm and created this.

A bit more is added to the story now… I decided that the story is still not big enough and took my next image at 35mm.

Now that is a story! Not only the Topi standing on a mound any more.

The story now goes; a Topi on a mound scanning the massive wavy plains of the Mara for any sign of life around him, under the iconic gigantic skies of the Mara along with the dramatic clouds casting a dark shadow on the Oloololo escarpment in the distance.

Before taking your shot, take time to think what is you are wanting to show/tell your audience.

Wider angles do not always work and if you in a sighting were you not too sure if wide angles are a good option or not, don’t put the camera down.

In all honesty, if you don’t try you will never know!

I encourage you to try and shoot more wide-angle images because if you nail it, it makes for some amazing content for the eyes.


Until next time.


Happy Snapping




About the Author

Michael Laubscher


Haunted by the allure of spectacular wildlife and African sunsets. I am a hunter-gatherer of natural light and candid moments, an appetite whet with a taste of the unknown and the smell of home; “This Is Africa”! I look forward to sharing life long experiences with you and helping you capture them. Please feel free to go check out my Instagram account


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