Landscape photographers tend to head out in the field with a bunch of gear—everything from filters and a sturdy tripod to an assortment of lenses. The challenge often occurs when you come upon a beautiful scene and can’t quite decide on which lens to pull out of your bag to get the best shot available.
For many photographers, the first consideration often involves how a specific focal range matches up with a composition you already have in mind. But in the video below, an accomplished landscape and travel photographer discusses other important considerations, including the differing imaging characteristics inherent to lenses in various categories.
Based in Lisbon, Andy Mumford has traveled the globe capturing beautiful travel, nature, and landscape images. He’s also a passionate instructor, and in this episode he discusses the relative merits of wide-range lenses, mid-range lenses, and telephoto lenses for outdoor photography. As you’ll see, a lot goes into the proper choice besides magnification.
Rather than settling on a composition and then picking a lens to use, Mumford often does the opposite. He explains that, “The lens you choose will have the biggest influence on the way you compose a scene.” If this sounds different from the approach you typically take, maybe it’s time to reevaluate the process.
Upon arriving at a location Mumford resists the urge to pull out a lens and immediately start shooting. Instead, he carefully studies the scene to determine the many possibilities it offers. Only then does he mount a lens on his camera, at which point a great composition often revels itself.
To help you make the right decision Mumford runs through the strengths and weakness of wide-angle, midrange, and telephoto optics. Considerations include depth of field, low-light capability, an ability to compress perspective, and a few other key variables.
So take a look, and you’re more likely to make wise choices in the future and come home with images that really hit the mark. You can find more helpful tips on Mumford’s You Tube channel so be sure and take a look.
You may also want to check out another tutorial we posted recently, with five unusual ways to improve your landscape photography.