The vast majority of landscape photography is done with wide angle lenses. One, very common use is capturing wide and dramatic panoramas. Often, however, the scene’s grandeur and majesty doesn’t compress well into a single photograph.
After you have shot some wide-angle images, do photographically what your eyes do- zoom in on a component of the scene. There are always additional subjects within a photograph, so put on a longer focal length lens and shoot some detail. These shots will have impact since telephoto lenses tend to compress distance to record details a wide-angle lens cannot.
Use your tripod! Long focal lengths amplify any camera shake, so lock down the camera and tripod. Don’t introduce shake with your shutter finger but instead consider using a remote shutter release or self timer to trigger the shutter.
Look at the other photographers- they’re stuck on wide-angle lens and won’t get the impactful images you’re getting!
What and Why
It’s extremely rare to see a cloudless McKinley. The photograph above was taken by a Nikon D700 camera through a Nikon 70-200mm lens at 105mm (which is about two times magnified). To get maximum clarity throughout the entire distance, I set the aperture at f/22 using the aperture priority setting, plus to get the maximum detail I used a low ISO of 400. I used the pattern exposure setting with an exposure compensation of -0.7 to get more saturation. The camera selected a shutter speed of 1/180 second which, although slow, was acceptable since the camera was mounted on a Gitzo G-1410 tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head. To eliminate any possible camera movement, I tripped the shutter with a release cable that required two squeezes since I used the mirror lock up.