Home Beginners Compress the image and go long

Compress the image and go long

Telephoto Capture

So you’ve already read this article on “Make your Photos Exciting – Go Low and Wide“, and you’re sick of shooting wide and creating mind-blowing images(Hey, it’s OK, we don’t hate you for it!).  Well, it’s time to move onto the telephoto.  This is most photographer’s lens of choice until they discover the wide angle.  It has some pretty sweet features too!

Telephoto lenses compress the image meaning that if you shoot an athlete and there is a building or mountains way back, the building or mountains will be “pulled” in closer to athlete and they will look like they are right there.  It’s a great way to build scenery into a frame!  Telephotos are the reason why most people think that Denver is located IN the mountains, when it’s not!  What they did was shoot towards the city with a LONG telephoto lens (talking 600mm or so here) with the mountains in the background.  The telephoto “compressed” the background and moved it in closer to the city so that it looks like the city is in the mountains.


The other benefit is that you can crop out the crap around a scene.  When shooting powder shots and the powder around the athlete is all tracked up, bring out the telephoto to zoom in on the athlete and eliminate the tracks that are ruining that pristine untracked look.  This is how many of the great and “Classic Powder Shots” are created.  Simply set your camera on fast auto-focus (like this article explains HERE) Shoot below the athlete looking up towards them head-on, and zoom out slowly as they fill the frame and get closer to you.


Telephoto lenses are a key component of any photographers bag.  If you’re ever shooting an event, surfing from the beach, or in a public place, the telephoto is a necessity to get in far enough and actually capture the athletes.  Plus, because it’s unlike what we see with our “normal” vision, it will create exciting images that are simply “different”.  Finally, a little piece of advice:  Don’t cheap out and buy a bad telephoto, this lens will be with you for a LONG time so you might as well pay and get the 70-200mm f/2.8 with VR (Nikon) or IS (Canon)

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At only 25 years old, Connor has been published in many major international publications and is a signed Getty photographer. His writing and photos have been published in Photoshop User and Light It Magazines, amongst many others. He believes that if you work at what you love, you'll be able to make a great living. Connor currently resides in Edwards, CO with his wife, Kelly, and dog Tucker. You can view his portfolio at www.cnwphoto.com


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