After being inspired by a YouTube video, I decided to go hiking with a longer lens and focus on shooting details instead of wide vistas. By longer lens I am talking about a 70-200mm telephoto zoom rather than the 16-35mm lens that I would usually walk around with. I also wanted to go hiking with full afternoon sun rather than hiking near sunset like I usually do. So, hiking I went at one of my usual locations. It was a clear and sunny Sunday afternoon and the place was quite busy with hikers.
One of my first targets was some old fence posts with a coil of rusty barbed wire. There are a bunch of fuzzy grasses in the field so I knelt down and tried to get a lot this grass blurred in the foreground. The below photo was shot at 200mm. In editing I tried to capture the golden-straw color of the grasses that were lit by full sun.
Below is a close-up of one of these fuzzy weeds. I don’t know what they’re called, but they are everywhere on the lower part of this hiking area. I decided that they looked best backlit by the sun for maximum contrast.
Walking around amid the cactus at the high portion of the hiking trail, I took a photo of the distant hills at maximum focal length to maximize the hills in the distance. I thought that the hills lined up well in the distance and had nice contrast being lit from one side. The foreground trees let me hide a couple of building in the distance to the right.
The below photo was taken looking down at the main trail. I mainly just wanted to focus on the curves of the trail across the hillside, but I also got a few people on the trail in the distance. I took this photo standing on some rocks in an awkward place and did my best to shoot around the tree branches. It may look like I was close to this trail but I was quite high above it on top of the ridge and this was shot at the 200mm maximum of the lens. The long focal length allows you to sort of compress distant objects to make them appear closer together compared to how we normally see the world.
Lastly, I shot some prickly pear in the late sun. When backlit by the sun, the needles pick up a golden glow which is very hard to capture with a camera. I think that this is because I was shooting nearly into the sun and this tends to haze the lens and wash out the photo. There was row of these cactus in the grass leading off into the distance so I thought that would make for a nice effect.
So, those were some of the details I shot with a long lens. Thanks for reading and comment below if you like.