Monday, 8 November 2010

Its just a long shot...

... but what about using a telephoto lens for landscapes?

It goes against common sense, but a telephoto lens is just what you need if your landscape shots seem dull and lifeless. If you shoot the surrounding hills from the valley you will find the compressed perspective will make them look higher and steeper and a great deal more impressive. Naturally, you would get more into the picture using a wide angle but for me the advantages the long lens gives outweigh its limited field of view.

Here are some examples:


This view was taken from the centre of Keswick if I recall correctly. This used a 300mm equivalent lens and emphasises the local landscape to make quite an arresting image. In this case I am looking upwards towards the scene.

In this next image I am looking down onto southern England from the South Downs.

Devil's Dyke

Here the medium telephoto has given me a sweep of countryside reaching right up to the distant horizon. It seems to contain all that England in summer should be. I even managed to get a cricket match in the frame.

Here's another example from the Lakes. This long and winding road is quite a challenge for locals as it is very steep. This long shot has compressed the turns and twists into a single image and this keeps the attention focused.

Here is a final example of a long lens used for landscape. In this case it is a midsummer sunrise in west Berkshire taken from the north Hampshire downs, near Coombe Gibbet. The early morning mist lies in the valleys and is back lit by the dawn. The long lens (400mm equivalent) provides the compressed perspective and emphasises the receding lines of trees perfectly.

So, keep the wide angle lens for close ups and around town. Use the long lens for landscapes. It all seem the wrong way round doesn't it?

Just wait until I sound off about the use of flash!

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