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Long lens landscape shooting: specifically where to focus!


BillyGoatGruff 14 191 199 England
20 Apr 2011 6:45PM
Cheers Leftforum - bought the mag on the way home. Although quite informative, wasn't quite what I was looking for. Helpful nevertheless!

Useful advice/knowledge Pete, thanks.
As the image is a 2d representation with the bottom being closest and the top being farthest away, I always thought that a third up from the bottom approximates to a third of the way into the scene in termas of distance. Which, I suppose, is coincidentally on the rule of thirds compositional line! The question wasn't really related to composition, rather where to focus within the frame to maximise DoF for relatively distant subjects where it's next to impossible to estimate distance or use the rather inadequate distance scales on modern lenses.
As you say: it's easier with wide-angles! Hence the topic! Grin

Interesting subject!

All views on this have been very thought-provoking and helpful - keep 'em coming guys and gals!
User_Removed 11 4.6k 1 Scotland
20 Apr 2011 10:14PM
OK - here's another thought.

We all know that when shooting landscapes with wide-angle glass, we have to angle the camera downwards so that the horizon (or land/sky divide) is above the centre of the image (OK - I know that all generalisations are dangerous Wink ).

What I have found when shooting landscapes with a longer-than-standard lens is that I instinctively seem to ignore this "rule" and have to very deliberately invoke it. As many landscapes do not include a natural horizon (e.g. in any sort of hilly terrain), I have to try to visualise where the horizon would be behind the hills and then angle the camera to a few degrees below that level.

Just like the "rule of thirds", it's a convention I like to break once in a while but, in general terms, do others find the same delinquent streak emerging when they use a lens of more than, say, 50mm for landscapes?
Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
20 Apr 2011 10:28PM

Quote:I always thought that a third up from the bottom approximates to a third of the way into the scene in terms of distance. Which, I suppose, is coincidentally on the rule of thirds compositional line!

No that's not correct. So it was useful to understand that as it could be partly where you're not understanding the focus point. if for example the landscape is shot from a low viewpoint and there's a rock in the foreground taking up two thirds of the image. The bottom of the rock is not much further away from the top on the plane of focus but in your description would be two thirds into the distance.
If the part you want in focus is so far away you cant focus accurately on it it will generally be covered by the lens' depth of field anyway. It's usually the closer stuff you struggle with. On a long lens it magnifies the subject through the viewfinder so focus is improved at longer distances.
BillyGoatGruff 14 191 199 England
20 Apr 2011 11:09PM
Well gosh, guys!

Thanks for the amazing input! Grin
That's a lot to take in at this time of night...I feel my bed calling, but will resume tomorrow when I've had four cups of coffee and my brain is actually working again!
It's been a very busy day.
Catch up tomorrow...Wink

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