While corporate events and commercial advertising photography are my bread and butter, landscapes are what I love to photograph on the weekends. As much as I love and rely on my wide-angle, sometimes it pays to have something a little different.

While you might not think of packing a telephoto lens when you’re shooting landscapes, it can certainly pay off in the end, offering a unique view of the scenery around you.

It results in unique photos with an emphasis on a single subject, instead of a wide view. It can help to capture some gorgeous detailed elements that might not otherwise be seen with wide-angle lenses.

Why photograph with a telephoto?

While a lot of landscapes focus on wide scenes, making a wide-angle lens perfect, I sometimes like to show the details of my photographs a bit more up-close.

Whether I’m photographing a sunset behind a lighthouse or capturing a forest scene, having my Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 — my telephoto lens of choice — makes it super handy for capturing some different perspectives and compositions.

What results is a photo with an emphasis on a single subject, making it stand out against a background, versus a wide landscape where there are lots to see.

Another reason to photograph with a telephoto is that you can really condense the background, making for a shallow depth of field. The below photograph, taken with my Tamron 70-180mm lens, allowed me to capture a sharp foreground with a blurred-out background.

Which lenses are ideal?

The options for lenses are really endless, and over the years I’ve tried several. Last year I landed on the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 for my Sony. This lets me have a lightweight telephoto lens while still having a range of different focal lengths.

And at f/2.8, it’s stellar no matter what lighting conditions you’re dealing with.

The fact that it’s lighter and more compact also means I don’t have to deal with a tripod collar when using a tripod. I’ve never been concerned about my setup being too heavy because of the overall compactness and weight of the lens.

See a whole new world

While having a wide-angle lens is great, I really like to play around with different focal lengths and zoom in. It gives me a different view of the scenery I see and offers a perspective I wouldn’t otherwise have.