Put the macro lens away and get close to flowers with a telephoto lens


posted Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 4:37 PM EDT


Nature photographer Sheen Watkins suggests that instead of putting your macro or close-up lens on your camera to photograph flowers and foliage, leave a longer lens on instead. She considers four things when using a telephoto lens for flower and foliage photography: distance, subject isolation, depth of field, and weather elements.

An important aspect of separating a subject from the background with a telephoto lens is distance. To create optimal separation, you minimize the distance from the camera to the subject and "maximize the distance between the subject and the background." Getting as close as your lens allows to the subject and ensuring that you compose the image to get the subject as far as possible from any background elements leads to the best subject separation and gives you smooth backgrounds, even when you stop down your lens.

With a longer focal length, all else equal, the depth of field will be shallower, which helps to better separate the subject from the background. Compared to a macro lens, such as a 60 or 90mm, a 200mm lens, as in the image above (or a 400mm lens used to capture the image below), will make creating subject isolation much easier to accomplish.

Image credit: Jeremy P. Gray

To see the rest of Watkins' tips, check out the full article here

For more information on telephoto lenses, check out our article, What do telephoto lenses really do?

(Seen via Light Stalking