Vacation Photo Tip: Long Lens can compress the scene

Nikon D4, 28-300mm [56mm], ISO 100, ƒ/10, 1/80

We were on our quest to get a good photo of the Hollywood sign by going up the road to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. After parking we immediately took our first attempt here.

Nikon D4, 28-300mm [68mm], ISO 280, ƒ/29, 1/60

Now we move up the road to the observatory. Here the photo is a little better. Had there not been cars and road right behind me I might have backed up a little and used a longer lens. While I like the photo, I still feel that the Hollywood sign is just too far away.

Nikon D4, 28-300mm [190mm], ISO 280, ƒ/29, 1/60

To get the last photo we went further up the mountain. I used a longer focal length and to be sure the Hollywood sign was readable I stopped down to ƒ/29. I like this photo so much I did another one of my wife alone.

Nikon D4, 28-300mm [280mm], ISO 280, ƒ/29, 1/60

One last thing about that latest photo, notice how I zoomed in even more to 280mm focal length. The sign is even closer in feel and based on this if I had shot this with a 600mm it would appear even closer.

Just a couple of posts ago here I recommended composing the background first. This is still the case, but sometime You need to consider bringing the background closer.

Remember this is just the opposite of what they are doing when they shoot TV sitcoms. They are trying to make the most of the small space they often work in and therefore are using moderate to wide angles to expand the set.