Wide vs. Tele, Part I: Western US


This is the first entry in a new series of blog posts featuring photos I have taken of locations around the world with both a wide angle and telephoto lens.  In this first post, I will share photos I've taken around the western United States.

Let me start off by saying I didn't set out to create this series.  It's just that I take so many photos that I ended up with hundreds of examples of this phenomenon.  It's fun to see how a different field of few can affect a scene so much.

When I give a full frame equivalent focal length in parentheses, that means the photo was taken on a camera with an APS-C sized sensor.  Since focal lengths are most commonly given in 35mm or full frame sensor equivalents, I have converted them to make them uniform with the rest of the photos in the post, which were taken on a full frame camera.




This first set features the infamous Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.  In the top photo, I was approaching the island on a boat, and was fairly close.  The 10mm (16mm full frame equivalent) focal length gives the scene a more angular and distorted look.  The bottom shot was taken from a great distance at 218mm (349mm full frame equivalent) focal length compresses everything and makes it look a lot flatter.



This next set was taken at Pier 39 in San Francisco.  The top photo is a close up of some seals relaxing on the pier, taken from a great distance at 270mm (432mm full frame equivalent.  The bottom photo was actually taken at the exact same location, but it is a panorama of several 10mm (16mm full frame equivalent) shots stitched together, giving an almost fisheye perspective.  Do you see the seals?  Click here to order a print of the telephoto shot and click here to order a print of the wide shot.



I used a fisheye lens to capture a wide field of view in the top photo of Swiftcurrent Lake at Glacier National Park in Montana.   In the bottom photo, I used a 105mm focal length to zoom in on those sun rays from the exact same spot.  Click here to order a print of the fisheye photo and click here to order a print of the telephoto photo.




I took the top photo above of the Crown Point Vista House on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon at 226mm (362mm full frame equivalent).  At this distance, there is a lot of scenery visible in the background.  In the bottom photo, taken close up at 24mm, there is a little bit of distortion but you can see the details of the building better.



I took both of the above photos of Mt. Jefferson in Oregon from the famed Timberline Lodge.  The top one was taken at 600mm, which really focuses in on the mountain.  The bottom photo was taken at 50mm, which allows for more of the surroundings to make it into the shot.  Click here to order a print of the top photo and click here to order a print of the bottom photo.



I took the two above photos from the same spot at Rowena Crest Overlook on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.  The top photo was taken at 600mm (960mm full frame equivalent), so it is zoomed in on a very far away area.  The bottom photo was taken at 40mm, and actually includes two states (Washington on the left and Oregon on the right) in one shot!  Click here to order a print of the top photo and click here to order a print of the bottom photo.




The two above photos of the Seattle Space Needle were taken from two different locations.  The top photo was taken from a great distance at 500mm.  The Space Needle fills the frame because the focal length is so long.  The bottom photo was taken at 24mm.  There is a lot more distortion in this photo and the perspective is quite different because I was right underneath it.




The deactivated lighthouse captured in the two above photos, Tillamook Rock Light, located off the coast of Cannon Beach, OR, has the nickname of Terrible Tilly.  The top photo, captured at 600mm (960mm full frame equivalent), allows the lighthouse to fill up a large portion of the frame.  In the bottom photo, taken at 105mm (which is not a wide angle, but surely is in comparison to 960mm!), it can barely be seen among the barnacle-covered rocks which appear in the foreground.




The two above photos are of the Peter Iredale Shipwreck in Oregon.  For the first photo, I waded into the water and took 3 vertical photos at 24mm, for a final focal length equivalent that is actually much wider.  For the second photo, I took it at from a distance at 105mm.




I took the above photos of Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon, from the Stephanie Inn.  I took the top photo at 150mm, allowing the rock to fill the frame.  I took the bottom photo at 34mm, which allows the hotel balcony and the beach to make up part of the composition as well.




I took the above photos from North Window Arch at Arches National Park in Utah.  The top one was taken at 16mm.  The bottom one was taken at 250mm.  Can you see what part of the top photo it is zoomed in on?  Click here to order a print of the top photo and click here to order a print of the bottom photo.




These two photos were also taken at Arches National Park (this time of Double Arch), but in this case, not from the same spot.  The top photo was taken from a great distance at 200mm, and the bottom one from close up at 16mm.  Click here to order a print of the top photo and click here to order a print of the bottom photo.




The two above photos were taken of the Balcony House cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.  The top one was taken at 98mm, which is hardly a wide angle, but it does allow the whole cliff dwelling to make it into the photo.  The bottom one was taken at a much longer 500mm, zooming in on a specific portion.  Click here to order a print of the top photo and click here to order a print of the bottom photo.




The two above photos were taken at night from The View Hotel in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.  The top photo was taken at 105mm, allowing the West Mitten Butte to fill, the frame.  The bottom photo was taken at a much wider 16mm, allowing all three of the famous buttes to appear in the frame.  Click here to order a print of the top photo and click here to order a print of the bottom photo.




This final set was taken on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  The top photo was taken at 16mm, capturing the sunrise.  The bottom photo, taken at 60mm, looks down further into the canyon.  Click here to order a print of the top photo, and click here to order a print of the bottom photo.

To see more of my photography, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.


All photos in this post © Samantha Decker and may not be reused without permission.


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