Friday, April 9, 2010

The Long Landscape

  A couple days ago I had the chance to once again shoot up in Rocky Mountain National Park. Naturally I jumped at the chance at being able to visit one of my favorite photo destinations. What awaited was a display of Winter battling Spring in full force, with snow showers, full on snow storms, combined with sunlight at times, making for just very dramatic atmosphere. I really love the time of the year in the Rockies of Colorado.

  It got me thinking though as I was shooting around Hallet Peak, as I shot with my 400mm surveying things, panning for interesting detail and composition. Today I thought that i would take a few minutes and write my thoughts down and share some examples of this photo shoot with you about the title of this blog post "The Long Landscape"....

  How many of you own a lens that is 300mm or greater? Usually we think of such lenses for shooting things like Birds, Wildlife, etc...but how many of you have actually tried shooting a landscape with it? Zoomed all the way in at max focal length? In a sense it is kind of like macro photography, how the goal is to capture things which the human eye often can't see, only this time we can sometimes see it but we don't have the ability to really notice the fine details and intimacy with the human eye. It is literally like shooting a whole other world, noticing things we would have missed otherwise.

  When I was looking through the viewfinder while shooting, I kept saying out loud "wow...just wow!" because of the things I was seeing that I couldn't see without a long lens. The trails from the snow tumbling down the mountainside, the Pine trees completely untouched by man, sitting at 12,000 feet high, and how thyey are battling the early Spring snowstorm. The light as it reflected against the falling snow....the finer details.

  Often times shots like this can give an excellent sense of emotion, atmosphere, and as I said, intimacy. I often find that compositions in shots that are done in this style can be stronger and also more powerful. The ability to get in close and really work the scene with a ling lens, studying it, taking your time, and really examining it, can be incredibly rewarding.

  So next time you are out shooting a scene, try it and see what you get! You may very well be shocked at what you find when looking through a long lens! Here are a few examples that I recently took using this technique. Focal length was between 300 & 400mm using a Tamron 200-400mm on my Sony a550.

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  1. Beautiful shots! I, unfortunately, do not own a lens that good.

    I really should update my equipment... The DSLR that I have has no real compatible lenses for it...

    El sucko...

    But I still love it... I've abused the heck out of it.

    Maybe Christmas. :D

    Those shots are breathtaking, though, truly. It makes me want to go up to the mountains somewhere and get some nice shots.
    Maybe I'll make it to North Georgia sometime. I love it there! :)

  2. I love these! It's always fun to experiment with different lenses on something you have become accustomed to certain methods. You got great rewards for it :D