The Spirit of Ecstasy. Berlin, 2019 #rollsroyce

How to Shoot Photography with a 21mm Lens

Currently shooting with RICOH GR III and 21mm adapter. I’m having SO MUCH FUN! Some ideas on shooting with a 21mm lens:

1. Get very close and fill the frame

Whatever you’re shooting, get super-close. Fill the frame with the elements you find interesting.

2. Minimalism

For the most part, when you’re shooting with a 21mm lens, you have this tricky job:

How to make an interesting photograph without zooming on a certain spot of interest.

For example this silhouette of the statue — I framed the photograph to put the subject to the extreme bottom of the frame.

Berlin, 2019

3. Architecture

Shoot architecture. Go to the downtown area, and get close to the buildings and SHOOT UP!

Also a tip — to make your photos more dynamic, tilt your camera (dutch angle).

Berlin, 2019

4. Unusual perspectives

The most fun thing about 21mm:

Being able to make very strange, unusual perspectives in your photos.

For example, get very close to the side of a building, and look STRAIGHT UP (bend your back backwards, like yoga, and shoot straight up). This can allow you to capture very unusual compositions.

5. Photograph your own feet


Look down and photograph your own legs. I really like these photos, because they (literally) put the viewer into your shoes!

6. Photograph while walking (embrace blur)

Make photos while walking. I think the ultra-wide angle of 21mm, while walking produces interesting blur effects, which really makes you feel like you’re moving.

blur road

7. Put yourself in the image

Shoot random snapshots of yourself, when you’re at the coffee shop, or doing anything. Get your hands, your stuff, coffee cups, etc into your images.

coffee shop iPad

I really encourage this type of photography because the photos are incredibly personal. The more personal your photos, the better.

8. Work the scene

I’m still learning how to shoot with a 21mm. It seems the best way to figure out what the best composition is this:

Keep working the scene (shoot a lot of photos of the same scene), and while you’re shooting, keep shooting, tilt your camera, adjust your framing and compositions.

Then later review your photos, and choose your 1 favorite image.

For example when sitting outside at a coffee shop, I kept shooting this man next to me, and caught the ‘decisive moment‘ of the man putting his hand on his face.

Berlin, 2019

CONCLUSION: Just keep experimenting

There is no right or wrong way to approach photography. I would simply suggest:

Keep experimenting with your photography, compositions, and perspectives.

Keep photography fun and interesting to you, and NEVER STOP!


Wide-Angle Lenses

The best focal lengths/lenses for street photography:

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