Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens Sample Pictures

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens
Studio Portrait 2 Studio Portrait 2
The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM Lens is a great studio portrait lens - especially on a full frame body. It has the best portrait focal lengths, great image quality, image stabilization (helps greatly with accurate subject framing), has very reliable autofocus and does not flare (very helpful when studio lights are aimed toward it). This portrait was obviously taken with studio lighting - here is an overview of the lighting setup:
Just right of the camera, close to the subject and just out of the frame is the main light - an Elinchrom Digital Style 1200 RX Monolight fired into a 53" Elinchrom Rotalux Junior Octa Softbox. Just outside of the frame to the camera left is a 32" White Photoflex LiteDisc mounted to a lightstand. The reflector is bouncing light from the main strobe back into the subject - to fill the shadows.
The rim light is coming from an Elinchrom Digital Style 600 RX Monolight fired into a 20x51" Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox aligned about 180 degrees from the main light. The background is being lit by an Elinchrom Digital Style 600 RX Monolight fired into a 14x35" Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox positioned horizontally just above the floor behind the subject. A background light stand was used to hold this light. The subject is sitting on a simple kitchen stool.
The background is Savage Widetone Seamless Paper in #27 Thunder Gray (neutral color - goes with anything - can be lightened by adding more light from a strobe) held by a Manfrotto Background Support System. The strobes were triggered wirelessly using PocketWizards
The result of all of this is of course the important part - a picture that reflects the beauty of the subject. Soft lighting on the face (no harsh shadows) and nice separation from the not-competing-for-attention background results in a clean, attractive portrait. The 100mm focal length is a good choice for this portrait framing.
100mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Sunset at Mauna Kea Volcano Sunset at Mauna Kea Volcano
While Hawaii is not as well known for its snow as it is for its beaches and resorts, it is indeed a land of fire and ice. The 13,796' (4,138m) summit of Mauna Kea Volcano is spectacular at any time of the day, but especially so at sunrise and sunset. And I was treated to the results of a recent snow storm.
My time here was at sunset and my shooting was not of the setting sun itself, but of the landscape being hit with the warm light that was practically shining upward. Lighting as seen in this image does not last very long and the compositions available seemed endless - though in a more horizontal orientation.
I could have used a wide angle focal length and cropped the plain sky and less-attractive foreground from the image, but I instead shot a multi-image panorama that would give me higher resolution for cropping various compositions from later - or for printing large.
This image was shot handheld (relying on image stabilization) as I was moving fast to get as many varied shots as possible.
112mm  f/8.0  1/50s  ISO 400
Poinsettia Leaf Picture Poinsettia Leaf Picture
The 70-300 L delivers great quality close-up images. Keep in mind when shooting at short distances, especially with long lenses and/or narrow aperture settings, that DOF (Depth of Field) is going to be thin. Here I aligned the sensor plane with the primary poinsettia leaf in this frame. This allowed the entire leaf to be in good-enough focus for a good overall image. Light for this image is from mid-afternoon winter sun shining in a window. This shot was taken handheld.
300mm  f/11.0  1/125s  ISO 100
Telephoto Sunset Picture Telephoto Sunset Picture
I love wide angle photos of spectacular sunsets, but truth is, qualifying sunsets happen very infrequently. However, this does not mean that great sunset pictures cannot be taken regularly. Simply use a telephoto lens to tightly frame the specialness of the sunset that is happening today. Warning - looking into the sun with a telephoto lens can cause eye damage very fast. Make sure the sun is blocked or set low enough to not be a risk to your eyesight.
In this sunset picture, I used the dark mountain as a solid base for the image and used the dark clouds for the top. The sun is positioned about 1/3 of the way into the frame. Then add a little saturation to make the sky pop.
300mm  f/8.0  1/250s  ISO 100
Playing Dress-up Playing Dress-up
Photography and family are tightly interwoven. A great way to have fun and get some great shots of the kids is for them to play dress-up and for you to take their picture while dressed-up.
First, source the clothes and accessories. These can be from the parents' closet, but thrift stores and prom/special occasion retailer close-outs are great sources for these items.
The kids have a blast putting on and showing their outfits - and that makes great expressions easy to come by.
244mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Yosemite National Park High Country Yosemite National Park High Country
I timed my trip to Yosemite National Park with a couple of key points in mind. I wanted to go before kids got out of school as this park gets extremely crowded during peak season. I wanted to be able to get to Glacier Point and I wanted to be able to go across Tioga Pass to the east side of the park. This meant pushing the arrival date to later so that snow removal can take place.
My early June timeframe did not plan on the 200%-of-normal snowpack in 2011. My timing was partially successful, but Tioga Pass did not open for another 6 weeks or so after I arrived. Glacier Point opened on the day I arrived.
The snow banks along the road to Glacier Point were up to 15 feet high or higher. This snow pack of course took hiking the Glacier Point area off of the agenda. I was not too disappointed as the views from Glacier Point are amazing. And, the waterfalls that dry up later in the year were raging.
Here I use a telephoto lens to capture the sun shining through a snowstorm hitting the Yosemite National Park high country. The 1/400 shutter speed I used appears much faster than needed for this shot, but - I was dealing with extreme wind speeds.
135mm  f/5.6  1/400s  ISO 100
Half of a Quarter Horse Half of a Quarter Horse
Taking pictures of grazing horses can be difficult as their heads are seldom still. Even 1/250 sec exposure duration proves too long to stop the action sometimes.
This frame captures the lower "half" of a "quarter" horse. I like how the four legs are all visible but tightly aligned 1/3 of the way into the frame with the head descending into the other 1/3 position. It is hard to go wrong with a late day winter sun providing the light.
300mm  f/5.6  1/250s  ISO 200
Black-Capped Chickadee 4 Black-Capped Chickadee 4
You seldom have too much focal length when your subject is a small bird. Even 300mm on an APS-C body (frames like 480mm on a full frame body) left plenty of room for cropping in this short-distance (about 9'/3m) shot. I opted to retain the interestingly-shaped branch in this case.
300mm  f/5.6  1/250s  ISO 125
Clouds are Important for not only the Sky, Sievers Mountain, Maroon Bells Clouds are Important for not only the Sky, Sievers Mountain, Maroon Bells
Aspen trees do not all change color at the same time in the fall. This can be good or bad news. Good is that there is some flexibility in the timing of fall photo trips to aspen areas. Potentially bad is that there will likely be green or bare aspen trees in your targeted area.
In addition to leaf color, sky cover is a concern for aspen tree photography. While blue skies are beautiful, I much prefer to have photogenic clouds decorating a blue sky (with abundant amounts of sunshine coming through). My reasoning for this preference is probably obvious for images that include those clouds and the sky. But, clouds cast shadows and shadows can greatly contribute to imagery.
On the return hike from Crater Lake on this day, clouds blocked the sun just enough to shade Sievers Mountain while the foreground aspen trees glowed brightly in the sunlight. In the mid-ground was a patch of aspens with only their top-most leaves remaining (these are the last to fall). Also in the sun, these leaves appear as a flame over the trees. While it is not in the limelight, Sievers Mountain, full of character and framed in blue sky with white clouds further separating the sharpest peaks, makes this shot for me.
While a telephoto lens may not have been your first choice for a hike primarily focused on landscape photography, telephoto focal lengths are an integral part of my landscape kit. I often find composing landscape images with a telephoto zoom lens to be easier than a wide angle lens. The next time you head out to photograph the great outdoors, especially in big mountain areas, make sure that a telephoto zoom lens is in your bag.
300mm  f/9.0  1/125s  ISO 200
Snow Tubing Action Picture Snow Tubing Action Picture
Two young snow tube riders deal with very-powdery snow.
This post-sunset shot represents the near-upper boundary of the Canon EF 70-300mm L Lens' low-light action capabilities. Since the light level was even and unchanging, I used a manual exposure. AI Servo combined with the center AF point (held on the kid's mid-torsos) took care of focusing and burst drive mode gave me a range of captures for each run down the hill.
300mm  f/5.6  1/1000s  ISO 1600
Fire in the Sky Fire in the Sky
Great sunsets are one of my favorite subjects. The longer the focal length of the lens you are using, the less area of colorful sky you need to have for a great picture. In other words, a long focal length can capture a great picture of small sunset display. The sunset in this picture was incredible regardless of the focal length I used.
Here is a tip for you: If one of your borders is a solid color (preferably black or white), you can easily add to it later in post processing. Here, I framed the picture so that I had just enough black on the bottom of the frame to allow more black base to be added later in Photoshop. Thus, I get a higher resolution final image with very little work.
300mm  f/5.6  1/100s  ISO 160
Horse Mane Picture Horse Mane Picture
I liked the colored and pattern of this palomino American Quarter Horse's mane in the late-day sun. The horse's low grazing head gave me diagonal lines but allowed the main to fall straight down.
300mm  f/5.6  1/250s  ISO 100
Sun on the Giant Sequoia Sun on the Giant Sequoia
Sun hits the back edge of a Giant Sequoia tree on this snowy morning in Kings Canyon National Park.
200mm  f/8.0  1/60s  ISO 200
Head Shot-Style Portrait Head Shot-Style Portrait
If you are going to frame a person this tightly, you want to use a long focal length to retain a pleasing perspective. I used a 200mm setting for this studio head shot.
200mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Concert Lights Concert Lights
The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM Lens is not a great low light lens for venues with fast moving subjects, but that does not mean you can't get good shots at a concert with this lens. Even if it is just of the lights.
300mm  f/5.6  1/50s  ISO 1600
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur
Pfeiffer Beach is my second favorite location in Big Sur. Finding this beach is the first challenge as locals "reportedly" take down the beach signs as well as Sycamore Canyon Road signs as soon as they are installed - to keep the beach as private as possible.
To get to Pfeiffer Beach, find Sycamore Canyon Road - the only paved and un-gated road west of Highway 1 between the Big Sur post office and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The narrow, windy road is about 2 miles long and ends at the Pfeiffer Beach parking area. And your reward is a beach surrounded by cliffs and rocks - along with an arch in the water.
I timed my visit to this beach for a sunset shoot. I was unfortunately greeted by a fierce wind - so strong that using a tripod was not optional. Sand dunes were forming right in front of me. I eventually found a bit of shelter near the bottom of the cliffs toward the south end of the beach.
In this shot, I was timing the waves so they would create a diagonal line parallel to the top edge of the glowing clouds.
104mm  f/8.0  1/80s  ISO 100
The Kids The Kids
If you are planning to print/publish to a specific size, you need to be aware of how your camera's aspect ratio relates to that final size. Canon and Nikon's DSLRs currently have a 3:2 (width:height) sensor size ratio. Thus, an uncropped shot will make a perfect 4x6, 8x12, 16x24 ... (or any multiple of 3:2) print. A 5x7 print requires some cropping and an 8x10 requires even more cropping. This example crops very nicely to 5x7, but the cropping required for an 8x10 is a bit strong in my opinion.
93mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Snow, Fall Foliage, Sun, Clouds and the San Juan Mountains Snow, Fall Foliage, Sun, Clouds and the San Juan Mountains
After spending a late September day scouting from Crested Butte to Durango and back north to near Telluride with practically no pictures captured, the sun finally broke through an opening in the heavy clouds that had produced rain and the season's first snow for most of the day. This is the breathtaking scene that was presented to me.
Capturing attractive landscape images with a telephoto lens is sometimes so easy that it almost feels like cheating. I safely pulled off the road, setup and quickly shot until the sun went back behind the curtain of heavy clouds.
Looking for a fall foliage photography trip? Few locations are better than the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. The aspen trees play a starring role in this spectacular landscape.
124mm  f/11.0  1/125s  ISO 100
McWay Falls, Big Sur McWay Falls, Big Sur
McWay Falls is easily my favorite location in Big Sur, California. Unfortunately, access to this area is limited - primarily to a path around the edge of the cliffs leading to the Pacific Ocean.
After an earlier scouting visit, I came back late in the afternoon for the better lighting. Even with restricted access, there are still plenty of great compositions available through a wide range of focal lengths - and timing of the waves.
Though I had a somewhat boring clear sky on this day (and chose to frame it out of the picture), many find much worse conditions at McWay Falls - thick fog that completely obscures this view.
300mm  f/8.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Two Medicine Telephoto Sunset Two Medicine Telephoto Sunset
Long focal length lenses can make great sunset photos from even mediocre sunsets. This sunset at Two Medicine in Glacier National Park was above average and offered these interesting wavy cloud patterns.
300mm  f/8.0  1/10s  ISO 100
The Story Behind the Rainbow over Aspen The Story Behind the Rainbow over Aspen
Something that all landscape photographers need to know is that the worst weather can bring the best photo conditions. For example, without rain, there are no rainbows.
I would like to say that I had spent all day climbing to the top of some remote mountain to capture this image, but ... in this case, I was simply driving from a gas station back to the hotel. When the clouds on the western horizon broke open just enough for the sun to shine under the heavy cloud cover and into the rain, I simply pulled off the road at a safe location and started shooting. In this photo, the very warm-colored last sunlight of the day is illuminating the rain along with an aspen grove at the top of a mountain near the town of Aspen, CO.
From a compositional perspective, I would like to have moved the bright aspen grove and mountain peak to the right (or left) to about 1/3 of the way into the frame. To do that would have required me to drive to a new location. Rainbows and the sun shining through small openings in clouds are both fleeting opportunities and I was not going to chance missing the opportunity.
The leftmost rainbow was easily the most eye-catching subject, so I placed it in the 1/3 (maybe 1/4) frame position. The strong, bright rain easily balances the bright rainbow and the small, faint rainbow remains in the frame on the right. The dark land in the base of the frame works with the dark cloud at the top of the frame to bring the viewer's eye inward. The near-centered mountaintop then works for me in this case.
Without being able to significantly change perspective at this very long subject distance, a telephoto zoom lens allows flexibility in final subject framing.
I love unplanned images such as this one. The only requirement (beyond knowing how to use your gear) is being there. So, be there!
150mm  f/8.0  1/10s  ISO 100
Running Outdoors Running Outdoors
A fast-approaching subject will test your camera and lens autofocus capabilities. The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM Lens performs very well in this regard - as does the 1Ds Mark III body used behind it for this capture. Running kids usually have a great smile.
300mm  f/5.6  1/1600s  ISO 250
Young Lady Playing Dress-up Young Lady Playing Dress-up
This picture was obviously shot in the studio. The main light (camera-left) is using a 54" octagonal softbox and the back light is using a 20x51" softbox.
Seventy mm on a full frame lens makes a very nice full body portrait focal length.
70mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Foothills of Kings Canyon National Park Foothills of Kings Canyon National Park
As you enter the foothills of Kings Canyon National Park (heading toward Fresno), you find a small, rounded hill with rounded trees on top. On this day, the grass was golden, the tree were dark green and the white clouds on the blue sky somewhat mirrored the shapes on the ground.
90mm  f/8.0  1/125s  ISO 100
Waves Crashing on Rocks at Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur Waves Crashing on Rocks at Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur
Light from a setting sun casts a warm glow on the Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur cliffs while waves crash against them. Timing can be everything when shooting the surf. Impacting waves often create the most drama.
176mm  f/8.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Sunset Sky Only Sunset Sky Only
While I am usually looking for a great silhouette for a sunset picture, sometimes the sky itself is all that is needed. With a zoom lens, a huge number of compositions can be made in the short time that sunsets exist.
Tip: To make your sunset pictures pop, try adding saturation. Shoot in RAW format and then experiment with the saturation adjustment during post processing.
300mm  f/5.6  1/1000s  ISO 100
Wave on Na Pali Coast Wave on Na Pali Coast
A telephoto zoom lens is usually part of my active kit when shooting landscapes. These focal lengths work great for compressed landscapes - they keep mountains large in the frame.
Here I was spending a lot of time looking into the viewfinder watching for perfect wave impact against the Na Pali Coast in Kauai, HI. Sunset provided the color in the sky/haze.
236mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 320
Na Pali Coast Sea Cliffs Na Pali Coast Sea Cliffs
The sea cliffs on the Na Pali Coast (Kauai, HI) hold great photography potential. Getting in a position to actually see them can be the biggest challenge. Helicopters and boats work. And so does the lookout and trail at the end of the road in Kokee State Park. From this location, a telephoto lens can pull in the intriguing features of these cliffs.
Complicating photography here are the seemingly ever-present clouds. Nearby Mt Waialeale receives and average of 460" or more of rain annually. Rain means clouds. Clouds mean dim, flat light.
I was fortunate to have broken light reaching the sea cliffs on this day. This light gives the cliffs a three-dimensional look.
The 70-300 L Lens has become my most-used telephoto zoom landscape lens. It saw a lot of use on this trip.
This 1/30 second 300mm shot was captured handheld/sitting. My keeper rate for this scene was quite low due to the extreme winds being encountered on this hike.
A B+W circular polarizer was used in this capture.
300mm  f/11.0  1/30s  ISO 125
Real Zebra Pattern Real Zebra Pattern
When at the game park, finding good backgrounds can be challenging. Having enough focal length can give you another option for eliminating the background completely. Simply zoom in. In this case, the wide end of this lens' focal length range was adequate and the pattern of zebra stripes becomes the picture.
70mm  f/5.6  1/400s  ISO 100
Boca Grande Key, Florida Palm Tree Boca Grande Key, Florida Palm Tree
Boca Grande Key is a tiny, uninhabited key about 12 miles west of Key West, Florida. It has one palm tree.
70mm  f/11.0  1/100s  ISO 200
Telephoto Lenses are for Flowers Too Telephoto Lenses are for Flowers Too
Sure, telephoto lenses are great for wildlife, sports and many other uses, but they are also great for flowers! I've had my eye on a small field of wildflowers and, after spending a large number of contiguous hours of work putting the Lens MTF Comparison tool into place, I gave myself the freedom to go after some summer color in the form of flower pics.
I knew that making an image worth sharing from this field was going to be a challenge. The location was not well-suited for a grand landscape image incorporating the flower color in the foreground. The flowers were beautiful, but they were intermixed with other vegetation, were very random in position and most were imperfect including a random state of bloom (some were well-beyond peak).
I was biking to this location (2 cars - 4 drivers = a problem) and, since I wasn't sure what the best opportunity was going to be, I put lenses ranging from 16 to 300mm in focal length along with a Canon EOS 5Ds R in a Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Pro backpack and was on my way. After riding past and then walking back along the edge of the field, I found few standout subjects calling for emphasis. Sometimes, flowers look best when blurred out of focus, becoming blobs of color and this was what I determined the case to be for much of this field.
This pair of cosmos did appear to be a cut above the rest and I focused on them for a period of time. By using a 300mm telephoto focal length with a relatively short focus distance, a nice blur was created, making full use of the imperfect blooms in the background.
While simply setting up such a blur is easy and can be good enough, taking the shot to the next level requires some attention to detail. In this case, I oriented the tripod-mounted camera and lens so that the background of the in-focus flower was only green, making the flower pop. This perspective also placed a complementary same-color cosmos just out of focus with a matching pair more-strongly blurred above. An intermittent light breeze made this alignment a bit more challenging, but ... patience was the answer to that issue.
I used manual focus aided by the 5Ds R's 16x Live View, allowing precise focusing on the center of the flower (preventing AF from picking the petals just in front). While an f/5.6 aperture would have given an even stronger background blur and would also have created a nice image, I opted for f/8 in this case. F/8 kept more of the flower in focus and reduced vignetting to even out the background brightness. Lighting is courtesy of a bright cloudy sky.
Then, right on cue, the bee landed on my primary subject. I was shooting the scene in vertical orientation at that moment (creating a nearly identical image), but I wanted to post the horizontal format picture as it fits better on computer monitors. So, I simply copied the bee out of the vertical photo and pasted it into this one.
Go get some summer color (in your photos, not your skin). Mount your telephoto lens and go flower hunting!
300mm  f/8.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Full Moon Over Mauna Kea Full Moon Over Mauna Kea
Most images can be made better with a moon in them. And quite often, the sky opposite the sun at sunset will turn pink near the horizon. Put these two together at the top of Mauna Kea Volcano (Big Island, HI) and great things happen.
When photographing the moon, remember that it is very bright. It is easy to blow the highlights if not paying attention to this.
124mm  f/8.0  1/80s  ISO 200
California Condor Number 4, Big Sur California Condor Number 4, Big Sur
Having a lens with the correct focal length lens mounted can make the difference between getting a shot and getting nothing. In this case, I was shooting landscape with a wide angle lens when this California Condor flew over. I quickly pulled out my second camera with the 70-300 L mounted and was able to get the shot. In this case, I could have used much more focal length as the shown image is cropped. I could have used a slightly faster shutter speed as well. Hindsight is always perfect. Experience brings foresight closer to perfection.
300mm  f/8.0  1/400s  ISO 400
Waves of Color, Big Sur Waves of Color, Big Sur
Fields of flowers make beautiful waves of colors in Big Sur. A problem with photographing these flowers is the high wind speed typically present.
84mm  f/16.0  1/50s  ISO 250
Snow Cones, Mauna Kea State Park Snow Cones, Mauna Kea State Park
Snow-covered volcano cones at the top of Mauna Kea are a visual treat. Having clouds in the background below a landscape subject is a treat.
155mm  f/8.0  1/100s  ISO 100
Only the Maple Tree Only the Maple Tree
One of the fall foliage photography techniques I use is to fill the frame with a single tree. For this image, I ran the trunk up through the image about 1/3 of the way into the left side. The dark trunk and also-dark partially visible branches provide some contrast amongst the very red leaves of this Pennsylvania maple tree.
229mm  f/11.0  .6s  ISO 200
Yosemite National Park Granite Yosemite National Park Granite
Streaks of tan and black are not typically the first vision one has when thinking about granite, but Yosemite National Park's granite is beautiful. Capturing detail is a good job for a telephoto lens. This was a good cloudy-day composition.
300mm  f/8.0  1/20s  ISO 100
Half Dome During Storm, Yosemite National Park Half Dome During Storm, Yosemite National Park
Timing is one of the laws of leadership. It also applies to photography. Timing can be planned, but it also happens by chance. On this day, I drove to Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park and was greeted with this scene. The next day, I talked to a photographer who spent 6 very cold hours waiting for the storm to clear enough to be able to simply see Half Dome. He gave up and left - just before I arrived.
108mm  f/8.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Snow on Reynolds Mountain, Glacier National Park Snow on Reynolds Mountain, Glacier National Park
A mid-September snow storm blankets Reynolds Mountain in Glacier National Park.
This picture was taken from near the Hidden Lake Nature Trail that leaves from Logan Pass. This is an easy-to-hike trail through must-see high altitude meadows amid high mountain peaks. Wildlife is abundant here.
221mm  f/8.0  1/400s  ISO 100
El Capitan Close-up El Capitan Close-up
El Capitan is so large that getting a closeup portrait of this mountain wall is not difficult.
108mm  f/8.0  1/320s  ISO 100
Portland Lighthouse at Sunset Portland Lighthouse at Sunset
The setting sun lit up storm clouds to the north in a great display of color on this evening. A telephoto zoom lens provides a wide range of composition options for many landscape scenes. With the 70-300 L mounted, I was able to quickly capture this great view in a wide variety of shots. My favorites filled the frame with the great cloud color.
135mm  f/8.0  1/20s  ISO 100
Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park
It was June 1st in the northern hemisphere, but I was shooting in light snow and temperatures were in the high 20s without wind chill factored in. More than light snow is hitting the top of Half Dome when this picture was captured.
70mm  f/16.0  1/8s  ISO 100
Cloud Bank, Yosemite National Park Cloud Bank, Yosemite National Park
A huge cloud bank rolls in over the snow-pack-covered Yosemite National Park high country.
300mm  f/11.0  1/100s  ISO 100
California Coast California Coast
A late afternoon sun lights up the sky along the California coast. This shot was captured from Fort Barry. I planned to shoot the sunset from this location, but the pre-sunset show proved to be excellent as well.
166mm  f/11.0  1/13s  ISO 100
Sunset Over Deboullie Mountain Fire Tower Sunset Over Deboullie Mountain Fire Tower
Once again, a telephoto zoom lens finds great use at sunset. For this shot, I used a silhouette of Deboulie Mountain and the fire tower on its peak for an interesting foreground and image base. I zoomed to 207mm to allow a break between the top of the clouds and the top of the frame. This provided a clean top edge of the frame.
207mm  f/8.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Yosemite National Park Mountain Top Yosemite National Park Mountain Top
A snow storm moves through the Yosemite National Park mountains. I framed this image so that the top and bottom of the frame were dark.
176mm  f/5.6  1/200s  ISO 100
Humpback Whale Humpback Whale
Want to see Humpback Whales? Go to Maui in the winter. The whales are plentiful there at this time of the year.
This whale was photographed from a general whale watch tour boat, but the smaller ocean raft type of craft. The smaller boat allows a closer-to-the-water perspective, is faster (often), and is easier to quickly change shooting sides in.
The 70-300 L was the right choice for a lens. Though a majority of the time 300mm was not long enough, it was hard to properly frame this focal length in the rough ocean.
Whale photography can be very challenging. Being able to predict what the whales are going to do and where they are going to do it is the biggest challenge - at least for us non-whale-experts. The whales suddenly show up above water. You quickly frame and shoot what was there a few seconds ago.
This Humpback was especially cooperative as it was in this position long enough for the photo to be captured. And the water was quite calm in this location.
Whales are moving and so is the boat, so relatively fast shutter speeds are typically needed for shooting whales.
300mm  f/8.0  1/1250s  ISO 400
Rowboat, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco Rowboat, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
The symetrical lines of the bottom of this upside-down white row boat caught my attention in Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.
300mm  f/8.0  1/100s  ISO 100
End of the Day, Glacier Point, YNP End of the Day, Glacier Point, YNP
A late day sun shining through the peaks of Yosemite National Park illuminates the high country and the remaining snow pack on it.
300mm  f/8.0  1/100s  ISO 100
Sweet Light on Red Leaves Sweet Light on Red Leaves
The setting sun casts a warm light on the already red leaves on this Pennsylvania maple tree. Deep shadows create a strong contrasting background for those brilliant leaves.
176mm  f/11.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Kalalau Lookout, Kauai Kalalau Lookout, Kauai
The view at Kalalau Lookout at the end of the road beyond Kokee State Park, Kauai is spectacular. The constantly changing clouds give you a different image every few minutes - unless the scene is completely fogged in.
A zoom telephoto lens gave me a large variety of compositions from various locations on the trails that leads from the lookout parking lot. I was shooting handheld - mostly sitting in a 3-point position with my elbows resting on my knees.
81mm  f/8.0  1/80s  ISO 100
Field of Sunflowers Field of Sunflowers
I think it is safe to say that all landscape photographers love sunflower fields. Approaching an enormous field of these beautiful flowers with a camera can be a bit daunting as there seems to be a great image everywhere.
Contrary to what I've heard, sunflowers do not always follow the sun. And in this giant field, there was only one that was directed toward the sun enough to be face-lit. While I still got good shots of the backlit flowers, the sunlight-facing one quickly grabbed my attention and consumed most of my shutter actuations.
As most of the plants were taller than me, this shot was taken from a step ladder. The higher vantage point allowed me to capture the front-most sunflower with the balance of the field going into a blur in the background.
A circular polarizer filter was used in the making of this photograph.
200mm  f/16.0  1/50s  ISO 200
West Maui Whale Breach West Maui Whale Breach
A Humpback Whale breaches in front of the West Maui mountains. Just because you are on a whale watch doesn't mean that you are limited to photographing only whales. The on-the-water perspective can produce great landscape pictures also. Having a whale in your landscape image is certainly a bonus.
70mm  f/8.0  1/1000s  ISO 800
Waterton Lakes Mule Deer Buck Waterton Lakes Mule Deer Buck
When photographing animals, shooting from their height typically works very well. This mule deer buck was not afraid of humans, but capturing an in-focus, pleasingly-framed image was quite challenging.
252mm  f/5.6  1/200s  ISO 100
Big Black Pond, T15 R9, Maine Big Black Pond, T15 R9, Maine
Getting to Big Black Pond in T15 R9, Maine is a bit of a challenge. While this evening provided only a non-dramatic scene, it was very pleasant nonetheless. I of course wanted to remember it and decided to create a handheld panorama to capture the view in very high resolution. This choice was helped by the fact that I had the 70-300 mounted and only had a very short time to get the shot and the 70-300 L was the lens I had mounted. I grabbed a serious of shots encompassing the entire scene and quickly hit the trail again. I would figure out the final composition(s) later. And what I liked best was the majority of the scene.
70mm  f/8.0  1/80s  ISO 100
Mauna Kea Sunset Mauna Kea Sunset
I like photographs of landscape lit by a settings sun nearly as much as photos of the setting sun itself. And sometimes more.
These snow-covered Mauna Kea cinder cones are receiving the last light of the day while the horizon turns pink. Putting the scene above the cloud level of course adds to the image.
135mm  f/8.0  1/50s  ISO 320
Sunset Behind Branches Sunset Behind Branches
Find something to silhouette to enhance a sunset. Getting down low, I used the blackened hills to anchor the image base. I placed the tree trunk about 1/3 of the way into the frame and let the busyness of the tree branches take care of the rest of the frame. Of course, the color in the sky is what makes the shot.
70mm  f/5.6  1/40s  ISO 640
Moonrise at Mauna Kea Moonrise at Mauna Kea
Time was short, the sun was setting quickly and I was shooting fast - trying to capture the amazing scene in front of me.
By quickly capturing the primary scene via multiple exposures covering two horizontal rows, I ended up with an ultra-high res image that could later be cropped as desired.
70mm  f/8.0  1/125s  ISO 100
Mauna Kea Observatory Mauna Kea Observatory
Observatories are often symbolic of very high locations and Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island certainly qualifies.
90mm  f/8.0  1/250s  ISO 100
Red Mountain, San Juan Mountains, Colorado Red Mountain, San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Why am I posting a fall foliage photo for a summer photography tip? Good question – Let me explain.
Anticipation is one of life's greatest feelings.
Strive to create anticipation for your clients and also in your own life. One of my favorite anticipations is for a photo trip and, while many lament the end of summer approaching, my favorite time of the year to photograph is when the leaves change color. This time of the year is primarily in the fall season, but ... the leaves in some of the most-scenic areas are reaching peak color just as the summer season comes to an end.
Many landscape photographers share my affinity for fall and photographers with interests other than landscape photography can also benefit from the brilliant colors. For example, portrait, sports, car and many other photographers can find the colorful fall backgrounds advantageous. If it is summer and your fall trip(s) is(are) not planned, don't wait any longer.
If colorful leaves are the desired subject, a location experiencing that color during your time there is important. While that timing can change from year-to-year, influenced by water and temperature, trip planning should use historical averages for decision making. There are many fall foliage maps available to help with destination and date planning.
My last fall foliage photography trip was to Colorado, including the San Juan Mountains, a location sure to be found on all USA fall foliage maps. For this image, I used a telephoto lens to bring the snow-capped mountains in close, making them appear large in the frame. A break in the heavy cloud cover provided beautiful lighting and the low-hanging cloud added the extra element I am always searching for.
While your fall foliage photo trip may be best planned even earlier than summer, if summer is here, wait no longer. My big fall trip is planned, but ... I'll let the destination be a small anticipation for you.
112mm  f/11.0  1/250s  ISO 100
Layers of Blue Ridge Mountains Layers of Blue Ridge Mountains
It is not hard to find layers of Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. But, it can be challenging to find layers that form a nice composition. This view was captured from the top of Bearfence Mountain.
170mm  f/8.0  30s  ISO 100
My Recommended Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens Retailers Where you buy your gear matters. You expect to get what you ordered, and you want to pay a low price for it. The retailers I recommend below are the ones I trust for my purchases. Get your Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens now!
B&H Photo
Canon USA (new or refurbished)
Check used inventory at MPB
(Using the links on this site to make any purchase provides support for this site)
Rent the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens Do you need/want the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens for only a short period of time? Or, would you feel more comfortable buying after having a hands-on trial period? Consider renting. Renting is fast and easy. The rental companies I recommend below are excellent to work with. Schedule your rental now!
(Using these links for your rental supports this site)
The Tip Jar
This site and my family depend on your support. Can you help right now?

Please share this page!

Share on Facebook! Share on Twitter! Share on Pinterest! Email this page to a friend!
Share on Facebook! Share on Twitter! Share on Pinterest! Email this page to a friend!
Bryan Recommends Buying It Here
Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site
Help  |  TOU  |  © 2021 Rectangular Media, LLC  |  Bryan CarnathanPowered by Christ!