Lenses for Nature and Landscape Photos
So let's talk about lens is obviously very important in the first aspect I want to talk about on lenses is the focal length of the lens. What do you see from side to side? And so, as we were just talking about, how do you measure these corner to corner side to sign top to bottom? I'm thinking, as you hold the camera in the normal horizontal position, what do you see from side to side? And so a 50 millimeter lands, of course, is your normal lens. But if you have a crop frame sensor like a Nikon that has a 1. crop, the 35 gets you the exact same angle of you because you have a different sign sensor. If all of this is confusing, check out my class fundamentals of digital photography. So landscape photographers win. Shooting landscapes are often shooting wide angles because they want to show the larger environment. You are going to want a lens that gets down to the equivalent of 24 millimeter lenses of a 24 millimeter lands. It's about 16 on a crop frame camera. If you don't, you're going ...
to be really struggling to try to get everything in there. And to be honest with you, if you're really into this, you should have something that gets down to the equivalent of a 16 millimeter lands. Every professional landscape photographer out there has a lens that gets down to 16 that I have ever met. It's just part of the tools of the equipment that you're going to use. It's also very valuable having a telephoto lens so that you can isolate individual subjects. A short telephoto lens around 100 you're gonna want at least up to a 200 millimeter lands. You're probably not going to need anything further than that. And that's one of the great things about shooting nature and landscape is you don't need to carry around a huge honkin lens unless you also want to shoot wildlife. That goes into that separate category that we're not gonna talk about. Every once in a while, though, it is kind of nice to pull out that 400 millimeter lens and shoot a shot. That's just it's got a different look and I'll show you some examples here, so let's just kind of go through these seven different examples starting with the very wide angle lens. So ah, degrees from side to side. It's what we've called in ultra wide lands. 16 millimeter lands. Why would you use this? Well, you find yourself in certain environments that are very, very tight. You can't back up. This is false. Kiva in Canyon lands. It's not a very well publicized, but it's well known among photographers, and it's essentially just a little cave and my back. Well, actually, my back is up against the wall, but my camera is practically up against the wall. This is as far back as I can get with a 16 millimeter lands, and I didn't want to do any stitching. I mean, I could have done some stitching, but this is just one basic shot. So you working in very tight environments from time to time. One of the main reasons that people use this wide angle lands is for a four shortening effect, and this basically means you're exaggerating the size of the foreground in relationship to something that's in the background. And so this little purple plant is much, much smaller than Mount Hood in Oregon. We all know that, but by getting very close with a wide angle lens. I can make them about the same size, so they're there now of equal importance in my photograph. So we're gonna use this not quite for macro photography, but we are photographing subjects that are very close to us in the slot canyons. Having that wide angle lens is very, very helpful to accentuate the lines in the walls, enabling us to see as much as possible from side to side. And so having a good wide angle lands, I think, is kind of one of the key camera purchases that you're gonna want to look into if you don't have that ultra wide lands. Most cameras come supplied with a moderately wide lands of around 28 millimeters on full frame or 18 millimeters. The 18 to 55 kit lenses, the most popular kit lands. But I think having something a little bit wider is something that I prefer and you'll find as you get to know your photography better that you'll have certain favorite focal focal links that really see the world the way that you do. And I really like 24 millimeter lands as much as I like using that ultra wide. I kind of like something that's not quite so exaggerated. It's more of a natural wide angle lands. I can still get that for shortening effect, where I'm using it with subjects in the foreground, drawing a relationship between them and what's going on in the background. And, yes, our title slide that chose for the title of this whole program was with a 24 which is one of my favorite, which just makes me feel good that I'm choosing the right stuff. millimeter lands In that case, next up is what I would call the moderately wide lands. And very seldom does the nature photographer say Get me that 35 millimeter lands. That's the lens that I want. It's usually the lens that you need to use, because that's just where life has put you, and that's where you have to have the lens in order to get the shot. If you're out on a boat shooting an iceberg, you sometimes just got it. Zoom it to wherever you need to be in order to get the shot, and so it's valuable. The have that 16 to 35 lens 16 to 35 millimeter lens that Canon, Nikon, Sony and so many other manufacturers have that ultra wide zoom is just really a very valuable tool for the nature and landscape photographer. Probably the least used lands. Well, I shouldn't say probably. I know this for a fact. The least used lens that I have for doing this type of work is the millimeter lands. It works out in some situations because you're forced into shooting something from a particular location. You zoom back and forth that you put the lens on and you say This is the content that I want to have in the photograph in the 50 millimeter happens to be the right lands. Generally, it's not the case. Usually you're trying to shoot something wider angle. Sometimes you want to shoot more telephoto, but sometimes you just don't have much control. And one would think that when you're not in the studio and you're out in the free world, you can go anywhere you want and shoot pictures. And the fact of the matter is, is that you're you're on a trail and you're not allowed to walk into the wild flowers or you're on the top of a ridge, and you clearly don't want to walk on either side of that ridge and you are forced into shooting into very few positions, which is one of those reasons I would love to fly so I could just hover over and do, uh, let's be right over here to get that shot. And that's why having some zoom lenses are very, very valuable. The short telephoto lens is not. What the Amateur thinks about is being a valuable lens for nature photography, but it's actually an extraordinarily valuable lance. This is where you get toe isolate subjects. OK, maybe the entire scene of everything you're looking in front of you is not the greatest image in the world, but a portion of the images. This is also where you were going to find macro lenses, and we'll talk a little bit about macro lenses in an upcoming section, but isolating details, pulling details from the environment around you, and because these details could be at various distances. This is where the 72 200 lands and shooting it at 200 becomes very, very valuable. This is the longest lens that most people really need to carry around with them. If I have a 72 200 I know that I'm good to go on the long end. And so shooting from a boat up in Alaska, pulling off some details of the fog and forest, we're starting to get into the effect of compression, compressing various subjects that I'm shooting together. A group of trees down in Portland, Oregon, were just outside of Portland, Oregon, compressing the little hoodoos at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. And it's nice to have these air kind of. These are the cool lenses, these the lenses, that your friends think. You are a great photographer because you have this big 400 millimeter lands, and these can be helpful from time to time when you have very distant scenes that you want to get up close to. But there's really no physical way to get that close up to it. So this is El Cap. Well, I all right, Yosemite National Park or Oregon painted hills, using that compression effect to kind of take all those rolling hills and compress them all together in one image, working up in Alaska, shooting an iceberg that's far off from the boat being ableto reach out and grab that and fill the frame is very, very nice to be able to do with that Long lands with the lenses We can kind of divide them into two categories. The primes and the zooms. So the fixed lenses in general, they're sharper there faster, and they're smaller, and those all sound like pretty good things. But the zooms have one thing going for it. Versatility, and you'll find that in landscape photography. As I just mentioned, it's really hard to put yourself in the right place, and having that zoom is very, very valuable. And when I say the primes air sharper, most of that is going to be noticed when you shoot them wide open and you don't shoot wide open in nature and landscape photography. Ah, high percentage of the time. And by the time you stop either of these lenses down, you're going to find the sharpness to be virtually identical. And so most photographers doing this type of work are gonna work with a couple or three zoom lenses on theirs. There are reasons for prime lenses, but for the most part, if I carry a couple of zoom lenses, I'm really set to go