Long Lenses for Landscapes?

You bet and it is one of my favorite landscape techniques.  In this particular photograph, we had just returned to Mara Plains Camp after spending the entire day on the Masai Mara Plains.  As we approached the camp, I noticed that big ole African sun about the break the cloud bank.  I yelled at everyone to bring their telephotos and pods and get to the front of the camp as fast as they could.  As everyone was setting up their tripods, I could be heard saying things like, shoot at f8 and ramp up your ISO to decrease the impacts of any shutter shake, turn off your VR, Auto ISO if you have it, as so on.  I ended up saying, the meter is stupid in these situations – just shoot this way, as I belted out the exposure recipe.

Technical notes to remember:  When facing the sun, ALWAYS shoot at f8 to get the round globe.  Anything other than f8, and you will end up with an oblong sun.  It will look sort of cool until you realize it is just not right.  Unless you have a VR lens that has a tripod mode, kick VR off.  Otherwise, the VR will fight the stability of the tripod.  Remember, in VR, the lens wants to detect motion to defeat it (yes, I know……).  If you have one, use a cable shutter release.

Three Wildebeest Crossing a Mara Sunset

Nikon D3s, 200-400 f/4.o at 400mm, f/8, ISO 200 at 1/125 sec,

tripod mounted.

If you have Google Earth, this image was taken HERE.

Cheers and don’t forget to use your longer lenses for landscapes!