Is This the Toughest Focal Length for Landscape Photography?

Landscape photography generally embraces extremes of focal length, but somewhere in between is a middle zone that can be tremendously challenging. 

Coming to you from Gavin Hardcastle fototripper, this compelling video not only shares his personal struggles with a 55mm prime lens but also encourages viewers to embrace the difficulties associated with this "Hell Zone." The discussion centers around the idea that although this focal length can be infuriatingly challenging, leading to a high rate of perceived failure, it also offers the opportunity for exceptional growth and unique composition when mastered. Hardcastle's candid admission of his own challenges and failures makes a strong case for pushing through discomfort to achieve artistic growth. This perspective is particularly important for photographers looking to move beyond the relative comfort and ease of wide angle or telephoto lenses, which tend to offer more straightforward compositional opportunities.

Moreover, the video illustrates how conquering the "Hell Zone" can lead to a more natural perspective in photographs, avoiding the distortion of wide angle lenses and the unnatural viewpoints of telephotos. This middle ground, though fraught with frustration and failure, can yield images that closely mirror human vision, creating a more relatable and immersive experience for the viewer. Hardcastle's journey from frustration to occasional success with the 55mm lens serves as a metaphor for the broader process of artistic development, emphasizing that growth often comes from confronting and overcoming challenges. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out our latest tutorial, "Photographing the World: Japan With Elia Locardi!" 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

Log in or register to post comments