Going short and going crazy Part II
It seems like forever since I did the first post on this subject, learning how to more effectively use my shorter lenses and/or get better landscape photos. To refresh people’s memory, my eyesight runs towards excellent vision at distances, but with less angle of view than the average person’s vision. That, and having never owned very wide-angle lenses in the past, are my excuses for not getting good images while using my shorter lenses. 😉
Anyway, this post will have a few more fall color photos shot from around home here as I tried to get better using those short lenses, along with birds, flowers, etc.
But, before the I get to the photos, a short review of what I’ve been learning. One of those things has been how much going from a wide-angle focal length to even a short telephoto focal length changes the apparent distances between objects in an image. Towards the end of this exercise of using my shorter lenses, I did something that I should have done long ago, and probably should do every now and then as a reminder.
Remember, I’m used to shooting at 420 mm (300 mm prime plus 1.4 X tele-converter) or 500 mm with the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) when shooting birds and wildlife.
So, I put the 15-85 mm lens on my camera one day, set at 15 mm, and picked out a brush pile in the woods that looked to be way off in the distance when looking through the viewfinder. I snapped a photo, which I won’t bore you with, then, zoomed to just 35 mm. Wow, that brush pile sure got closer in a hurry! I shot that photo, then went to 50 mm, and the brush pile dominated the scene. At 85 mm, I couldn’t get the entire brush pile in the viewfinder.
Then, I went the other way around, I picked out an object at 85 mm that looked to be off in the distance, then zoomed out step by step, stopping at more focal lengths on the way down. I saved the images that I shot, and look at the often to remind myself just how much a small change in focal length can make big differences in what a scene looks like in an image, lesson learned, I hope. 😉 It isn’t just how close or far an object in a scene is to the camera, it’s also all the distances in the scene. As an example, trees that look to be two feet apart at 85 mm look to be 10 feet apart or more at 15 mm.
I know that a few of the people reading this will think that I’m a complete dope, especially since I have said in the past that I absolutely love the 15-85 mm lens because of the zoom range of that lens makes it the lens that’s the most fun for me to play with. But, I have also said that I need to play with it more, and that still applies.
That said, only a few of the fall color photos in this post were shot with the 15-85 mm lens, I shot far more with each the 10-18 mm lens, to open up small scenes, or the 70-200 mm lens, to get just the foliage that looked the best in an image.
I’m going to start with a HDR image that’s an epic fail, as I tried to get too much in an image.
I like the yellow off to the left, but the main part of the scene that I liked were these parts, shot a day or two later.
Here’s a scene that I shot fairly well at first.
But, then I messed up by taking a few steps back and zooming out to get a small, brightly colored tree in the foreground.
Just because a tree has good colors doesn’t mean that it should be included in a photo. In fact, I’m learning that smaller trees do not photograph well no matter how beautifully they are colored.
I do kind of like the first one of those, but the rest were rather disappointing, other than the colors.
Parts of a larger tree seem to make better subjects.
But then, I’m a sucker for backlighting, or any lighting on leaves like these.
I’m a bit frustrated right now, for one thing, I’m tired of posting crappy photos, and for another, some of the true landscape photographers whose blogs I follow have been posting images that are true works of art.
It’s no surprise that the scenery in a suburban county park in southern Michigan doesn’t measure up to the Canadian Rockies, but I feel like a fool posting even my best images from around here.
If you’d like to see some truly spectacular photography of one of the most beautiful areas on the face of the Earth, than I would suggest that you check out Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog!
As for me, I’m better sticking to things that I’m half-way good at…
…which includes sneaking up on unsuspecting critters….
…and catching their reactions…
…and finding beauty on a smaller scale.
So I have deleted all the “what not to do” photos that I had saved for this post, and I’ll post these instead.
I wouldn’t normally post this next one, as I have far better photos of hawks in flight, but I wanted to record this, as it is the second of two hawks.
The first had landed in a tree that was really out of range of what I would normally shoot.
But when the one in the tree began calling, and the second hawk flew over to respond to the calls of the first one, I had to shoot them both. Then, I shot this scene…
…and the hawk flew over to see what I was up to.
I’ll still be playing with all my lenses to try different things, here’s a mushroom at 200 mm…
…and the same one at 35 mm, and a lower angle.
All the images of the heron have been of Keith, the grasshopper hunting heron, but as you saw above, he’s not fussy about what he eats. He’s also the only heron I have ever come across that regularly lets me get this close to him.
Maybe I should combine fall foliage images with wildlife images?
Those were a double test of a sort, seeing if I could resist zooming in on a squirrel, and seeing how the same scene looked here in my blog in both landscape and portrait orientation.
I’ve still much to learn about using my short lenses effectively, but that doesn’t mean that I have to prattle on about it, or post the poor images here. And speaking of short lenses, while the Tokina 100 mm macro lens is a short telephoto, I think that I should begin using it on birds now and then.
So, that about wraps up this post, I’ll have several better posts from Muskegon and Pickerel Lake coming up soon. But, I’ve been busy, I had to do a driving test, drug test, and take a physical for my new job that I start next Monday. I’ve also been visiting the dentist, using up the benefits from the dental insurance I have for now.
Just in case you missed the link I put in this post earlier, here it is again.
I would suggest that you check out Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog! You’ll be glad you did!
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!