Landscape Photography with a Telephoto Lens: 5 Reasons to Try

When we think of landscape photography, the lens of choice is almost always on the wider side. Wider lenses allow you to include more of the scene in the shot. But photographer Jay P. Morgan has some other ideas. He proposes the idea of using a telephoto zoom lens for landscape photography and gives five reasons to why:

Morgan uses the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 lens to demonstrate his five landscape photography tips.

1. Compress the Scene

Telephoto lenses compress the background, bringing objects in the background closer to the foreground, while wide lenses tend to push objects farther away.

“The longer the telephoto, the larger the objects in the background.”

You can use this feature of telephoto lenses to make distant objects like the moon or the setting sun appear larger.

telephoto lens makes the moon appear larger

2. Increase Your Reach

When you’re presented with a wonderful landscape setting but it’s a bit far away to photograph, a telephoto zoom lens gives you the versatility to increase your reach. This allows you to isolate your subject that is a long way away.

birds on distant rock

3. Reduce the Area of View

Telephoto lenses have a narrower field of view. This allows you to get in tight to frame your subject. So if you have something that you want to avoid in your frame, a telephoto zoom lens can be a perfect solution. Morgan is able to get rid of the freeway in his frame by zooming in to the mountains.

landscape shot with telephoto lens

4. Allow Multiple Composition Options

Since telephoto lenses “see less,” they give you the flexibility of isolating little parts of the scene around you. Recomposing lets you have multiple options from the same location. Keep your eyes open and look for all photo opportunities you might have around you.

5. Capture a Different Perspective

Wide angle lenses have a tendency to give a deep perspective. On the other hand, telephoto lenses compress the background giving the image a flat perspective. By using this fact creatively, you can add layers to the flat perspective that in turn add to the depth. This look is totally different from that of a wide angle. And since most people aren’t used to seeing such perspective of landscape images, landscape photos taken with a telephoto lens tend to stand out.

layers of landscape using telephoto lens

If you’re in the market for a landscape photography lens, will you be considering a telephoto lens?

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