When shooting landscapes, many photographers reach for their wide-angle lens. A wide-angle lens is often a good choice in those situations where you are trying to capture a large area in front of you. However, sometimes there is only a small section of that area that is photographically interesting and using a wide-angle lens does not emphasize the subject. At such times, a telephoto lens can be the answer, especially when moving closer to the subject isn’t possible. That was exactly the situation I faced when I photographed the image above.
I was driving through the Ouachita National Forest one autumn afternoon when I came across a somewhat distant hill that was partially covered in fall foliage. Although the peak time for fall foliage had already passed, there were still some patchy areas of color that was I hoping to capture. So, when I saw this hill, I had to stop. I shot several images using a wide-angle lens, but I wasn’t satisfied with the results. The section of colorful trees was small and was getting lost in the surrounding past-peak foliage. I really wanted to draw attention to the color that originally caught my eye, so I pulled out a 400mm telephoto lens to isolate the area of color from the rest of the scene and get the image I had envisioned when I happened upon the scene.
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 400mm, 1/160 sec, f/11