While most landscapes seem to be photographed with pretty wide lenses and is often the key selling point of wide and ultrawide lenses, they don’t have to be. You can shoot landscapes with just about any lens, and they can be particularly interesting when you use a long telephoto.
But shooting landscapes with telephoto lenses isn’t always straightforward. It’s easy to mess things up and ruin your composition. One particularly common mistake is what Mark Denney calls “scene stuffing”, and in this video, he explains what it is and how to avoid it.
With wide lenses, it’s a lot easier to present a degree of depth and scale into your image, as the very nature of a short focal length with a wide field of view exaggerates scale and distance. But when you’re shooting a telephoto lens, because you’re cropped into a very tight section of a landscape, you face the issue commonly known as compression.
It means that distance isn’t as obvious, and two objects within a scene that look like a short walk apart can actually be several miles away from each other. So they can easily get confusing to the viewer. Mark’s video offers several excellent tips for using longer telephoto focal lengths when shooting landscapes that can help you to overcome this issue by using that tight field of view to your advantage to highlight specific features in the environment.
It’s a great video, and well worth a watch if you’ve been struggling with long-lens landscapes or if you’ve been thinking about trying them.