Simple tips for capturing better landscape photos with your telephoto lens


posted Monday, July 1, 2019 at 1:00 PM EDT


Landscape photographer Nigel Danson is back in the Faroe Islands. Having taken many wide-angle shots at iconic locations in the Faroes, Danson decided it was time to mix things up a bit and attach a longer lens to his camera, such as a 50-140mm on an APS-C camera or a 70-200mm on full-frame. If you ever find yourself struggling to find a nice landscape composition with a wide lens, evaluating the same scene with a telephoto lens will often help.

In the video below, Danson is shooting primarily with his Fujifilm X-T3 and XF 50-140mm f/2.8 lens. Of course, shooting with a longer lens is different, so what are some ways you can get the most of your telephoto lens when capturing landscape photos? "The thing to remember when you're shooting with a long lens is that it allows you to simplify the scene." This is especially helpful when you are trying to capture a scene that either doesn't have an interesting foreground or much of the area close to your camera is too cluttered to make a coherent composition. By using a longer focal length, you can eliminate these types of distractions from the frame altogether and zero in on something more interesting.

When Danson is using a long lens, what he does is evaluate the more distant areas where he's shooting to find an interesting subject. If you are using a long lens to photograph something distant, a nice bonus is that you don't often have to worry too much about having a lot of depth of field because everything in the frame will be really far away. This means you don't need to stop down your lens as much, which will render handheld photography more viable. Danson states that "f/5.6-f/8 is generally good."

As you saw in the video above, Danson particularly enjoys shooting clouds when doing telephoto landscape photography. They can be interesting subjects in and of themselves, but they also can do a lot of work for you compositionally when trying to balance a scene or move the viewer's eyes through the frame. Readers, do you have any tips and tricks for doing long lens landscape photography? Do you have a favorite non-traditional landscape lens or focal length of your own? Let us know in the comments below.

To view more of Nigel Danson's work, be sure to visit his website and follow him on Instagram.

(Via Nigel Danson