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5 Photography Subjects You Need Long Lenses For

5 Photography Subjects You Need Long Lenses For - Here are 5 tutorials that list long lenses as an essential item.

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General Photography

From portraits of people and shots of wildlife to taking photos at busy events, long lenses have plenty of uses so here's our round-up of photography tutorials where long lenses play a big role.

Festival Photography

To get good quality, close up shots of your favourite bands you're going to need a long lens as there's usually quite a bit of space between you and the stage, plus there's usually a large crowd to contend with. You can find more festival photography tips in our tutorial: Top 5 Crowded Festival Photography Tips

Photo by Gary Wolstenholme.

Transport Photography

When you can't get close to vehicles for reasons such as safety, use a longer lens to pull them to you. With some transport, using longer lenses can also stop features from becoming distorted.

If you're shooting from a boat etc. you'll need a longer lens to capture shots of wildlife as well as photos of what's happening on shore. Here are three transport tutorials that use long lenses, for more tips on photographing transport have a look at this section of the site: Transport Techniques.
Photo by Gavin Parsons.

Wildlife Photography

As most wildlife won't allow you to get close to them or in the case of birds in flight, for example, are too far away for you to capture with a short focal length, long lenses are ideal for wildlife photography. With lenses with longer focal lengths you'll be able to take shots that look like you were just a few steps away from your subject when really you were some distance away. This distance means your subject won't be scared off and if you're shooting what could be considered as a dangerous animal, the distance makes it safer for you too.

Here are a few of the wildlife tutorials we have on site. To see more, take a look at this link: Wildlife Photography. Puffin
Photo by Coleslaw and featured in the 5 tips on photographing Puffins article.


When shooting portraits with longer lenses you can produce tighter crops while working further away from your subject. The extra working distance you have between the camera and your subject should make them feel more comfortable so you'll produce portraits which look more natural.

Shooting head or head and shoulder shots with a longer focal length can give a better perspective and backgrounds are more easily thrown out of focus so all focus falls directly on your subject.

For more portrait photography tips, have a look at our Portrait Tutorials.

Photo by Peter Bargh.


Wide-angle lenses are great when you want to capture a whole structure but for shots which highlight patterns and interesting detail, you'll need a longer lens. It also means that if you can't access the roof to get close to carvings and gargoyles, you can use your longer lens from the ground to bring the detail to you.

As longer lenses have a stronger flattening effect they're great for shots where there's lots of lines to compress, such as the shot of a bridge which follows the path / road to the other side. Again, you can use them to focus on bolts and other interesting items on the bridge and they're useful when you want to compress perspective or show the bridge in the context of its surroundings.

For more architectural photography tips, have a look at ePHOTOzine's Architecture Photography Techniques.

Marina Bay, Singapore
Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk

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25 Jul 2013 2:27AM
Years ago at a flea market I purchased a Kodak camera,,, it was specifically for portraites and had a 100mm lens. Since then I have assumed that 80-100 was a target area for portraits... who was Kodak? That was a company that was the guru of photography if Kodak said it it was true. I have some old books purchased from Betterworldbooks that are classic Kodak monographs, filled indeed with wisdom. John Hodgecoe in "Book of Photography" (2005) suggests 80-90mm.

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