When you go out to photograph landscapes, what’s the first lens you reach for? For many of us, it’s a midrange (24-70mm) or wide (16-35mm) zoom lens. Those lenses are great, but there are lots of times when a longer focal length is ideal, even in wide-open spaces. By using something like a 70-200mm zoom, you can make some really compelling images.
Why should you use a telephoto zoom for landscape photography?
Telephoto lenses help you isolate the subject and cut out distracting elements from the scene, especially empty foreground space.
Telephoto lenses create subject isolation by softening backgrounds, especially when used with wide apertures.
Telephoto lenses compress the scene, enhancing the look of layers in a landscape and adding depth.
With all these creative benefits, it’s no wonder that my 70-200mm lens is something I find very enjoyable to use on my landscape photography trips.
Of the 55 filters in Color Efex Pro 4, one of the most versatile is “Glamour Glow.” This filter creates a softening effect with a mild glow that is most often used in portraits. However, I’ve found it to be a perfect choice for smoothing out skies in HDR images and landscapes. To get this effect, you’ll want to add the Glamour Glow filter in Color Efex Pro 4 and dial up the saturation slider a bit. Then, use Control Points to restrict the effect to just the sky. You may need to use a combination of plus (+) and minus (-) Control Points to get the look just right.
Here’s a video tutorial of how I use Glamour Glow on HDR/Landscape images:
When you shoot landscapes, keep in mind that sometimes the best light happens after the sun has already set. This image was captured about 2 minutes after sunset in Badlands National Park during my photo safari with Deborah Sandidge. High winds made a tripod mandatory, and I used mirror lock-up to prevent softness from mirror-slap. Although the original file wasn’t quite as spectacular, a quick trip to Color Efex Pro 4 brought this image to life.
My Moab photo safari last week was the first real field test of my new Nikon D4. I had absolutely no issues with it in the field, and I captured over 1500 frames (NEF). Some testing requires extended use, and with that, here are some more observations about the Nikon D4. Continue reading Nikon D4: Field testing and other notes→