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Shooting Scenery With Long Lenses

Wonderful views over the Little Karoo at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Canon 5DsR and 100-400mm lens. ISO100. 1/800 sec at f5.

Wonderful views over the Little Karoo at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Canon 5DsR and 100-400mm lens. ISO100. 1/800 sec at f5.

Talk landscape and scenic photography and immediately thoughts turn to wide angle lenses – the wider the better – let’s get everything in the frame. Mmmmm – not always..

The problem with wide angle lenses is that they make everything beyond the mid-ground disappear, often removing the drama and magnificence from the pic. Not so with telephoto lenses. They do the opposite – they have the characteristic of compressing the image, making the background seem closer than it actually is – enhancing the drama.

This pic is a stitch of 6 images shot on the Canon 5DsR and EF100 – 400mm IS II and the shallow depth of field (a result of shooting with the lens wide open) adds to the effect, really isolating the subjects from the background.

Wonderful views over the Little Karoo at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Canon 5DsR and 100-400mm lens. ISO100. 1/800 sec at f5.

Wonderful views over the Little Karoo at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Canon 5DsR and 100-400mm lens. ISO100. 1/800 sec at f5.

Two little take-aways from this then:

  1. You don’t always have to use wide angle lenses for scenery – try something different for a change.
  2. Not always does everything in the photograph have to be in focus – use out of focus areas to separate your subject from the background

Roger de la Harpe

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