Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The Essential Zoom
Venerable. Indispensable. Classic. Timeless. For a nature photographer, there just isn’t one word that expresses the true value of a fast, constant-aperture 70-200mm lens.
Rock Creek Canyon, 10,000 feet, mid-September
In Rock Creek Canyon, the first color comes to the aspens above 10,000 feet in the Eastern Sierras in mid-September. The autumn change appears as the dominating green chlorophyll pigments degrade, leaving the always-present yellow and red pigments to show their colors. There's a specific beauty to this early turn, as some leaves opt for a change to red, while others turn a more traditional yellow, and others, still, retain their soft hues of green. The compression of a moderate zoom setting, here, 113mm, draws together the planes of focus from the foreground aspens to the background conifers, creating the effect of a flat canvas. The abundance of needle-and-leaf detail is artfully gathered by the SP (Super Performance) glass in this high-quality lens. Also important in these conditions of bright leaves and dark needles is an overcast sky that serves to soften the light and retain detail down to the tree trunks.
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