Photography Cheat Sheet: Quick Telephoto Lens Tips

Wondering how to get the most out of your telephoto lens? This featured photography cheat sheet from Canon is loaded with quick tips for harnessing the power of telephoto. 

Telephoto lenses are among the tools considered indispensable to many photographers, especially those who specialize in sports, wildlife photography, and shooting situations that require the extra reach. If you have decided to embark on a photography journey where these lenses could prove handy, we suggest checking out these quick tips from Canon’s photography cheat sheet.

Canon’s infographic below is all about harnessing the power of telephoto for various shooting situations. The simple tips will help you make the most out of shooting with these lenses, especially if you’re just getting started.

First, you’ll need to make sure your shots are sharp. For this, use a tripod to reduce camera shake. If your telephoto lens also comes with Image Stabilization, all the better. If you’re going to shoot sports or other fast-moving subjects, this will help you nail your shots.

Next, tightly frame your subjects to make the important details stand out. You’ll want to keep the distracting elements away from wildlife subjects like birds to make them the star of your photos. A tight framing will make sure your photos are free of unnecessary elements.

Another way to make your photos are eye-catching is to experiment with composition to flatten an image. Telephoto lenses have the ability to “flatten” or “compress” your scene and make it appear that your subject is a lot closer to the background than it really is. See how you can make subjects that are far away from each other seem closer and almost touching.

Next, use your camera’s TV Mode (shutter priority) so you can choose a fast shutter speed like 1/1000 sec when photographing a moving subject. In this semi-automatic mode, your camera will set the aperture based on the shutter speed and ISO you choose. Paired with a telephoto lens, you’ll be able to easily capture subjects that are both distant and fast-moving.

Lastly, shoot in burst mode. Combined with all the tips above, this will increase your chances of getting sharp photos, especially of moving subjects.

Want more useful photography tips and tricks? Browse through our growing collection of photography cheat sheets for your next practice or project!