Grazing Before The Storm

Grazing Before The Storm, French Alps

Is it just me, or is there something special about the sound of cow bells ringing through the mountains? It immediately puts a smile on my face. So I was a pretty happy chap when I came across this field of grazing cows on my way back down from Pointe de la Rochette near Annecy.

What struck me most in this scene was the contrast. Not only do the white, leafless trees really stand out against the backdrop of evergreen firs, but the sunlight bathing the field in light provides no warning of the stormy clouds approaching.

I quickly switched out my wide angle lens for a trusty 50-200mm telephoto to snap this shot. It’s not something I use very often, but I’m slowly learning how best to take advantage of it. Do you like to use a zoom lens for landscape photography? Maybe you have some tips? I’d love to hear from you!


6 thoughts on “Grazing Before The Storm

    1. SPFischer

      As a relatively new photographer (or at least one who is beginning to really devote time to getting better), I can in no way offer you any tips. But I do want to thank you for teaching me, through your wonderful photos, the art of effective composition and point of view. This is such a stunning image, for all the reasons you state: the white trees, the sunlit foreground, the threatening clouds.

      (I do have a 35mm prime lens, but for the most part I rely on my 18-200 mm zoom as I like the versatility. Once I feel competent enough with that, a wide angle (and good tripod) are next on my wish list.)

      1. Ben Post author

        Thanks Stacy, you’re too kind! I’m happy you can find something educational in my photos 🙂 I know I spend an awful lot of time looking at other people’s work too, apart from actually being out there with a camera I think it’s one of the best ways to learn.

        An 18-200mm sounds great for flexibility, I sometimes wish I had a lens with that range!

  1. nancy merrill

    I sometimes use a zoom for landscapes; it depends on what I’m trying to capture. I love using zoom in the mountains so I can get nice closeups of the mountain tops (I have a great 75-300mm). When I want a picture of a full Salt Lake Valley, I usually stay with my trusty 25-85mm. It’s nice, because I can zoom in and out pretty quickly with it to get just the picture I want. The more zoom you use, the more shaking will affect your focus. If you can, use a tripod for landscapes (not always possible to get the shot you want). This is a great picture, btw! Love the colors and contrast with the white trees.

    1. Ben Post author

      Can’t believe I missed this comment Nancy, I’m so sorry! Yes, I absolutely agree a zoom lens is great in the mountains and I have been experimenting more and more recently. Fantastic for capturing detail, and there is so much of it in those peaks. A 25-85mm sounds good, although for me I’m not sure it’s wide or long enough! I normally carry two lenses and switch between them a few times. I have started taking my tripod on hikes a bit more often although it can be a pain to carry it up a mountains! It was the contrast between the foreground trees and the background that really caught my eye. Thanks for stopping by and apologies again for not replying sooner!


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