Welcome to my new eBook, Long Lens Landscapes. Telephoto lenses are the most underutilized tool in the kit of a landscape photographer. In this eBook, I will explore the different themes and techniques that will push your creative pursuits to new heights with long lens photography. With each new technique, I share a group of sample images to illustrate each point, finally culminating in the combination of themes to make dynamic imagery. I also share the techniques in the world of architectural photography, as telephoto lenses can be used well beyond the world of landscapes. In addition, I have included a shopping guide so you can select the right telephoto lens for your chosen system. I’m excited to share my passion for the more intimate side of landscape photography. Enjoy the journey!
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Compression is a technique in photography to make objects appear closer to each other than they really are. The method in which to accomplish this goal is in the use of a telephoto lens. The longer the lens reach, the more compression that takes place. At a focal length of 35mm, the image will most resemble what your eye sees. As the focal length grows, the elements within the scene will get pulled closer and closer to each other.
This opens up a whole new world of photographic possibilities that you must train yourself “to see”.
My image, “Vermillion’s Shore” is a classic example as to what compression can accomplish. While scouting the Vermillion Lakes in Banff National Park I took this image with a wide-angle lens. The image is unedited and is only for scouting purposes.
You can clearly see the distance between the elements within the scene. In fact, because we’ve decreased the focal length below 35mm we’ve actually accomplished the opposite of compression. The elements within the scene appear further apart then they really are. I love to photographic layers of color and light and I was instantly drawn to the brown grasses, red bushes, evergreen trees, layered one by one, with snow-covered peaks as a backdrop.
I used a Canon 70-300mm lens, at 105mm on a cropped sensor body for an effective focal length of 168mm to achieve proper compression. I also studied the location for the best light and photographed the scene shortly after sunrise.
Here is the final result. Isn’t it incredible how different it appears than the image taken with a wide-angle lens? Get that telephoto out of your bag, put it on your lens, and start compressing the scene!