3 Quick Tips On When To Use A Telephoto Lens In Landscapes


It is a common thing in photography to get blow away with gear. I remember back in my first days of photography, all I wanted was lenses and more lenses, but that is not possible, and even if it could, I barely recommend it.

Lenses are great, they allow us to get the pictures that we want in pretty much the way we want them to be, but having fewer options, will make you more creative as a photographer.

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

By having hard (imposed or not) restrictions you'll be pretty much forced into figuring out stuff. I have always been a great defender of having less gear with you, but these past months one of my students have taught me a lesson about finding creative solutions with limited gear. He is working with a 300mm oldie lens from the film era, and he needs to get around some pretty harsh solutions for his photographs.

Landscapes crave for wide angle frames indeed, I know that, but sometimes highly interesting and even abstract images could be composed with telephoto lenses when pointed towards a landscape. I think telephoto lenses give us the choice for composing our frame into very aesthetically looking images indeed.

Here Are Some Useful Tips For Squeezing The Best Out Of A Landscape With A Telephoto Lens

Quick Tip 1

Don't get so long at first, something between 100mm and 200mm will work just fine.

Quick Tip 2

Explore the scene with your camera mounted on a tripod. The big reason for doing this with a tripod is because you'll do it in a slower pace and you'll be able to connect better with the scene.

Doing things in a hurry is not the way photography should be done. Explore the vast landscape in front of you slowly, and you'll get a couple of highly interesting frames, do it in a rush, and you'll get some mild and limp frames.

Quick Tip 3

Get creative with exposure, from regular 1/125 shutter speeds to a couple of seconds exposures, you'll start to get some pretty interesting results thanks to the good selection from the landscape you have previously done.

Photo by Paul Morris on Unsplash

Getting correct and desired exposures of landscapes with a telephoto might be challenging for you at first because you'll be measuring the light that is very away from you. It is easier to feel the light that surrounds us and measuring it by sight when is close to us, but with distant landscape shots, that might be tricky.

Consider reading this helpful guide on exposure in order to get a better understanding of light. The good thing is that photography is all about practice, so you can start today, and right now! Get yourselves out there and have some fun while watching landscapes with a different perspective.

About Author

Federico has a decade of experience in documentary photography, and is a University Professor in photography and research methodology. He's a scientist studying the social uses of photography in contemporary culture who writes about photography and develops documentary projects. Other activities Federico is involved in photography are curation, critique, education, mentoring, outreach and reviews. Get to know him better here.

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