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General Blog

Telephoto Landscapes (In Bhutan)

Trongsa ridgeline, Bhutan.
200mm lens, 1/1250 second @ f4, ISO 100

Photographers often ask what's the best lens to shoot landscapes with and the obvious answer is a wide-angle lens because 'you can fit it all in'. However, what happens when we use wide-angles? Everything is reduced in size and so those magnificent mountains in the distance become small and insignificant between a huge sky and an expansive foreground. Is this what you saw and felt when you were standing there with your camera?

The panorama landscape is generally shot with a wide-angle lens, but the format crops off unwanted sky and foreground so the eye can focus in on the more important part of the landscape. The way we create panoramas with digital equipment is to crop the image, or possibly stitch a series of images together. The resulting composition is the same and, often, an improved landscape.

However, if wide-angles are (sometimes) making our landscape subjects look insignificant, is there another way? Sometimes a telephoto lens will produce a better result. Note, a telephoto will struggle to give you a sense of wide open spaces, but it can certainly help you create mood and  atmosphere.

I've chosen some telephoto landscapes shot in Bhutan for this week's newsletter - and if you're interested in visiting Bhutan later this year with David Oliver and me, we'd love to have you along. Click the Read More link to see another couple of telephoto landscapes and to read why you should visit Bhutan this year - before it changes even more!

Shot with an 85mm telephoto.

You don't need a long telephoto necessarily - this is with a 200mm.

And so is this - an abstract created of rice fields with a 200mm lens. 

So what is it about Bhutan that is so special? Unlike China, Nepal and Tibet, Bhutan is a democracy with a monarchy, a bit like Australia. Unlike China, Nepal and Tibet, it is a 'tidy town' and very 'authentic'. Tourism is its second largest source of income, so the government encourages its people to continue wearing traditional dress. It means that as you drive around the countryside, you feel like you are stepping back 50 or 100 years in time. There are few places left in the world where you can feel like this.

And you're in the foothills of the Himalayas! The areas of Bhutan we visit are well below the snowline and while it can be cool in the morning, it is very pleasant. Early mists and late afternoon sunsets will inspire keen landscape photographers, although I confess that I visit Bhutan as much for the culture and the people.

This will be my third visit to Bhutan. I was so impressed with Bhutan that last time, I took my whole family with me. And this time my wife Kathie is coming along as well because she won't let me go without her! So the November 2016 tour is booked and we are definitely going, but we still have some seats available.

Our tour is in comfortable 4WD vehicles and we stay in clean 4-star hotels. Our drivers and guides are very accommodating and we deal with a family-owned business. And they look after all the visa requirements - all you have to do is get yourself to Bangkok for the flight into Bhutan.

For more information, please click here to see our brochure. The price is US $8490 and if you're interested, email me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Kim Valenti (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).



Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses

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