Landscape Photography With A 400mm Lens | Dow Crag, The Lake District

Can you use a 400mm lens for landscape photography?

I’ve had the 400mm for a few years now. It was bought 2nd hand to try out some wildlife photography and it has been out on a lot of trips, producing some great results. The main downside to it though is the size and weight of the lens.

The lens takes up a lot of room and is a little heavier than the rest of the lenses in my bag. To try and make the most of the lens I’ve been building up my leg strength to start taking the lens on bigger walks. The low level walks helped give an idea on how useful the lens would be, but low level walks are pretty boring so I wanted to head up higher.

Join me on the day by watching the video on my YouTube channel – Adam Kappa

Dow Crag. The Lake District

The climb up was pretty easy. I’ve climbed up here about 30 times so I was in autopilot for most of it. I did make it a little more difficult for myself by trying to add more behind the scenes video into the vlog meaning I did most of the climb twice. When the video was cut down it turned into about 20 seconds of video… I gave up on that idea and swapped over to the GoPro so you could see what I was seeing.

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The Walna Scar Road Crossroads

The view down onto the Walna scar road is one of my usual stopping points. To the right you look down into the Duddon valley and in front is the path leading to White Maiden. On a clear day you can see the Isle of man, but it wasn’t clear – it was very hazy.

On the horizon I noticed a group of walkers heading towards me so I got the camera out and waiting until they emerged on the horizon again making the silhouettes of the people stand out.

I could hear what sounded like a quad bike behind me so I ran up to the top hoping to see sheepdogs herding sheep with Scafell Pike in the background.

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Scafell Pike wasn’t in the background.

As I reached the top I looked back to where I was stood the first time and the quad bike was going passed with the 2 dogs. I didn’t get the photo of Scafell Pike but the farm vehicle and dogs changed the scene. The people had made there way down onto the path by this point, heading back down to Coniston

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The Shelter On Dow Crag

To make the most of having my camera out, I headed over to the Shelter which is near the cairn. The sun had just broken through the clouds lighting up the rocks on the shelter. In the distance Dow Crag rose into the sky. I got the photo and started walking along the ridge.

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A Close Up Of Scafell Pike

The Dow Crag ridge is quite exposed meaning that the wind was now stronger. Rather than fighting the wind I kept walking until I got to one of the larger cairns and used that as a shelter.

Using the 400mm I managed to frame up Mickledore on the left with Scafell Pike on the right. Scafell Pike is the highest point in England. You could just about see the Cairn/platform at the top of the mountain underneath the clouds.

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Clouds Rolling Over Scafell

To the left you could see Scafell – the 2nd highest peak in England. The top had a light scattering of snow on the top. The clouds were rolling over adding a little bit more detail into the scene.

My dad and I climbed Scafell last winter, I made a landscape photography vlog showing the walk up and view from the top. Watch it here – https://youtu.be/tCiEW2h-69Q

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Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

After getting the photographs of Scafell Pike I looked to my right and like how the mountain layers and light mixed, creating shadows and light patches on the fells.
On the right you can see Crinkle Crags jaggidly climbing up and off in the distance you can see the top of Bowfell sticking into the clouds.

I couldn’t work out the names of these fells whilst I was out but on the drive home, I remembered back to a walk up onto Wetherlam, from the top I could see Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes. I like how climbing the different fells helps to build up the jigsaw in your head.

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Light Beam On Harter Fell

I couldn’t see any other compositions that would work with the 400mm so I swapped back to the 24-70 and had a little wander at the top before heading back down. Whilst looking over at Harter fell the sun broke out cast a massive light beam onto the fell, it looked a little bit like in the movies when an alien abducts someone

Was it worth taking the 400mm?

I think so, the light wasn’t the best this time around but with the right light conditions I think it would be worth it. What do you think? Let me know in the comments

If you like the photos with the 400mm I will take it up higher more often!

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