Are you guilty of only using a wide angle lens for landscape photography? If that is the case or you just want some confirmation that both a standard zoom and a telephoto lens also work, you might want to check out this video.
My main view and perspective of my landscape photography since I started has been that of the typical wide shot with a strong foreground element leading up and into the scene, where an epic mountain or waterfall made up the focal point. It is a powerful and attention-grabbing view and indeed still a perspective I enjoy in many cases, but recently, I have found myself drawn towards the longer focal lengths. There are several reasons to use longer focal lengths in landscape photography.
I mention in the video that by using a longer focal length, it is easier to give a sense of the massive scales we are trying to capture in landscape photography. No matter whether you use a wide or a long lens, it is essential to have contrasting elements of different sizes within the photo. It can be a human against a glacier, a tree against a mountain wall, or a car against a big desert dune. However, by using the long lens and moving away from the subjects of your scene, it is easier to make the compressed view where the background and foreground element looks closer together, and you thereby get a more realistic sense of the difference in scale. I show this effect with several different examples.
One might ask if you compromise the sense of depth by “compressing” the scene, but worry not! There are also ways to create a strong sense of depth with the standard zoom and telephoto lens. I cover this too in the video above. Check it out and let me know how you feel about using longer focal lengths for landscape photography.