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I really like Daniel Kordan's images where he enlarges details in the foreground. I will show some of his work below with the corresponding sources. I wonder how these images are taken.

When the viewer gets introduced to the foreground rather close while keeping a good look at the distance too I immediately think of wide angle photography. However the background doesnt appear to be that far away as it should be with ultra wide angle lenses.

I can only think of two methods but they both dont seem to match.

1) The images are shot as vertical panoramic images with a wide but not ultra wide focal length. On one image the camera is pointed straight to the background and on the other image the camera is pointed down onto the foreground. I tried to replicate this method but I always get a very distorted foreground while his images look very natural. Maybe Im using the wrong stitching method.

2) The other method would be 'perspective blending' which I recently read about here. This method basically combines the foreground of an ultra wide angle shot with the background images taken with a little longer focal length (for example combining the foreground taken with 14mm and the background taken with a 24mm lens). This method is very intense in editing and is a step more in the direction of digital art. Since Daniel Kordan states on his website that National Geographic is a brand he works with I cant imagine that he would use such editing methods.

https://500px.com/photo/1036429538/kamchatka-by-daniel-kordan

enter image description here

https://500px.com/photo/1034181541/caucasus-by-daniel-kordan

enter image description here

https://500px.com/photo/1033759309/rhododendrons-at-caucasus-by-daniel-kordan

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ One of the techniques he uses is focus stacking which seems appropriate for these images. \$\endgroup\$
    – qrk
    Apr 14, 2022 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure. Focus stacking is definitely used here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Arji
    Apr 14, 2022 at 21:22

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The data on the first one indicates a full frame Z7 with a 14mm lens stopped down to f16. According to my handy DOF calculator, if the lens is focused at 2 feet 'acceptable' sharpness is from 1'2" to infinity. Hyperfocal distance is 1'4", so DOF is sufficient to keep both foreground and background in focus.

As far as perspective goes, we really don't know how much distance there is between the flowers and the background elements, so we can't tell if there was any manipulation going on. Occam's/Ockham's Razor would say that the background is closer than it looks...

Edit: DOF acceptable sharpness is, of course, only true for some definition of 'acceptable' which takes into account viewing distance, image size, etc.

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The flowers show some distortion, which is what you expect at the edge of the frame at 14mm. The mountains do not show any distortion. Perhaps this is a crop of an image where the mountains would be much closer to the middle of the original frame.

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It is possible to achieve that same effect without much editing and retouching. As long as the landscape permits, you can do one of two things:

  • First Image: If there is a lot of space between the flowers and the mountain, and there is also a lot of space behind the flower patch, i.e; the mountain, flower patch, and area behind the patch are in such a way as to permit the use of a telephoto lens, you can simply use a telephoto lens (provides perspective compression which makes the mountain appear large in the background) with a focal length that will make the image appear as it does above. (Zooms are really handy here) If you don't have a zoom, you can use a medium range or telephoto lens based on the space available behind the flower patch and adjust the distance between the flowers and your camera by zooming with your feet until you get the right perspective. You can also crop slightly to get the perfect setting.

  • Have you noticed that all the images you displayed above are in the portrait orientation? This could mean another method was possibly applied here. This method can be used if there is not a lot of space between the mountain and flower patch. Third Image: If the mountain was gigantic, using an ultrawide cannot really diminish the grandeur of the mountain by much. So, if the mountain was really huge and the flowers were relatively close by, you can just get down on the floor, turn to portrait mode, tilt the camera upwards to get the entire mountain in frame and the flowers at the bottom and click.

A lot of landscape photography is Landscape based. If the landscape permits, no editing is necessary. You just need to scout the area properly to find that exact spot, the one where all the subjects are collinear and the distances match up.

The reason I said "A lot of" instead of "All of" is coz now a days, even without the legwork needed, using photoshop and gimp many people are producing amazing results. Perspective stacking, warping, and a lot of other techniques are being used in lieu of walking, enjoying nature and relishing the thrill of finding that one AMAZING spot.

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