A few months ago, Thomas Heaton suggested that it was “time to break out the long lenses” as a means of escaping the crowds when it comes to landscape photography. In this short video, photographer Chris Sale sets himself a challenge and takes his 70-200mm f/4 lens for a walk through the English hills.
The staple of most landscape photographers is a chunky wide angle lens that often allows you to create leading lines, perhaps through the foreground, and to put together balanced compositions using the space that the lens offers. If you’re in a creative rut when it comes to your landscape work or fancy giving yourself a proper challenge, try leaving the 14mm at home and see what you can produce using a telephoto lens.
The compression offered by longer lenses presents the opportunity to bring distant subjects much closer, isolate certain elements, and give a greater focus on small details. The first two often work hand in hand, and, as Chris discovers, capturing detail can mean ignoring the broader landscape and picking out individual textures.
Equally important in this video is the idea of heading out when conditions are far from ideal in order to practice. There are lessons to be learned even when you’re not creating your best images, not to mention the fact that the weather in the hills and mountains can often take you by surprise, regardless of the forecast.