A Foggy Landscape Shot With an Unconventional Focal Length

What happens when one photographer wanders through a foggy scene with only a prime lens that we don't typically associate with landscapes? If this was you, do you think you'd be successful or frustrated using this particular prime in this scene?

Host Toma Bonciu brings us a challenge-style video: find and shoot some great images using a focal length far more often found in portrait work than in landscape work. First of all, let's take a moment and appreciate the scene that he found for the video (oh my gosh the fog is so beautiful). I don't know about you, but there is something magical about a forest scene filled with dense fog, what a treat it must have been to wander around that morning. 

For anyone who is used to using prime lenses, you know that your choices for composition most often involve either moving with your feet or accepting that you're going to crop the image. As someone who most often shoots at the 85mm focal length (for portraits), I can appreciate some of the challenging aspects that this lens would bring to a shoot like this one. I imagine myself either desperately wanting a wider angle or wishing I had something more telephoto like a 200mm. That being said, the 85mm can provide some beautiful background blur allowing you to draw focus right where you'd like to. 

Toma's appreciation for the magic and mystery that a forest scene can offer is really wonderful and definitely shows in his work. He captures the fairy tale emotions that a scene like this one reminds me of. What does the fog make you think of? If this was you wandering through the forest with your 85mm, are there any shots that you know you'd try to get? What about any shots that you don't think you could using this focal length?

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7 Comments

Vincent Alongi's picture

Very peaceful look. I would bet shooting with a prime in a forest setting must be an unbelievably rewarding experience, as you need to really work on your composition using your feet... the essence of taking a hike. Not being aided by zoom also gets you back to basics of sort.

Something to try... thanks, Toma.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

I think that any lens make great images in that forest and fog, it is nice work but an 85 is not that radical when it comes to focal lengths. Shooting with a 200mm-300mm or 15mm in the forest would be a challenge!

Evan Kane's picture

Haha, I agree it's hard to go wrong in such a foggy scene as this one and you're definitely right about a 200 or 300mm, wow that would be difficult!

Nice shots!! However, there is nothing “unconventiona”l about 85mm lens, really.

Evan Kane's picture

I think in the context of landscape photography or nature photography, the 85mm focal length is usually not one of the lenses that people immediately think of so I think unconventional applies in this scenario :)

Chris Rogers's picture

Pardon my french but holy shit that forrest is ethereal and gorgeous.

Evan Kane's picture

I know right?! I was so jealous watching Toma's video, I wish I could shoot in a similar setting :)