Photo tip: Proper use of a telephoto

birchInFoliageI hear a lot of people saying that an iPhone will make pictures as good as my expensive DSLR camera. That’s true if the iPhone is the only camera you have with you, but the difference is the ability to use wide angle or telephoto lenses. A telephoto is not used just so you don’t have to be as close to your subject. Yes, when I was in British Columbia this summer I needed my telephoto to shoot a breaching humpback whale, but one great creative use is to pull the background closer to the foreground and to give an image a flatter look. I often use a telephoto when I want to make the background look closer to the foreground, like in this shot of a birch tree against colorful maples. If I would have gotten closer to the birch and used a wide angle lens, the birch would have looked farther away form the maples and not had the colorful impact.

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