How Do You Choose the Right Lens for Landscape Photos?

Focal length is one of the most crucial choices in making a landscape photo and can drastically alter the look of the final image. How do you choose the right focal length for a given scene? This excellent video the importance of foreground elements and how to create a balanced composition through the correct choice of focal length.

Coming to you from Adam Gibbs, this great video discusses the choice of focal length in landscape photography, particularly when it comes to balancing foreground and background elements. The majority of landscape work is done with wide angle lenses. Wider focal lengths tend to push the background away, and without a foreground element, the frame can feel empty and without something to lead the viewer's eye into the photo. This is why a foreground element is so crucial, as it gives the viewer a natural entry point and a way to move through the image. However, balancing the foreground and background is crucial for having a pleasing composition that naturally emphasizes the right things. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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2 Comments

Ter Ess's picture

The lens choice is not a one size fits all. Wide angle for landscapes is nice if it gives you the look that you're looking for, but it limits your options to the scene. I more often go with a range between 24 to 400mm. In landscapes, there are many scenes within wonderful vistas that you would never get with just a wide angle lens.The attached image was taken with a 200mm lens.

Zack Schindler's picture

For me it "depends". In looking at my shots most were done at 50mm plus.

The was shot at the equivalent of 155mm and second at 35mm. I use whatever is appropriate for the shot and am not locked into any preconceptions.