Expert Tips on Wildlife & Nature Photography
Court is an avid nature and wildlife photographer and naturalist Expedition Leader for Natural Habitat Adventures. His background in wildlife and conservation biology led him to pursue a joint Ph.D. in ecotourism and entomology. As Editor in Chief of The Natural Photographer, he is eager to share his photography knowledge and creative guidance with readers through comprehensive tutorials and blog posts. You may view more of his photography at www.courtwhelan.com
May 8, 2016 at 6:59 pm
Court Whelan, Ph.D.
May 11, 2016 at 4:11 pm
January 17, 2023 at 1:26 pm
Court Whelan, Ph.D.
January 22, 2023 at 2:06 pm
This effect can used when photographing runners or bikers spread out in a race. The more distant runners appear to be much closer to the closer racers than they really are.
Excellent point and a great example. Sporting events in general are a great time to practice this technique. Thanks for the comment!
Hi there. Great article but I’m fairly new to photography and confused about something. If there’s a mountain about a mile away can zoom compression make it appear close enough to touch? Like it’s right on the other side of the road?
Hi Jennifer, great question! The answer is, sorta–yes :). The gist here is that a telephoto lens magnifies what you’re looking at. It’s like if you have a magnifying glass that is 3 times power or 6 times power. Different telephoto lenses (e.g., 300mm or 600mm) magnify at different strengths. The bigger the focal length, the more magnification. So, yes, if you use maximum telephoto power you can zoom into the side of a mountain to make it very large. However, as you use more and more telephoto you’ll eventually get to the point where the mountain fills the entire frame–edge to edge. If you zoom more (i.e., use more telephoto) you will start only getting a part of the mountain, but nevertheless it is still magnifying. Thus, I don’t know if you’d get the desired effect of “making it look like it’s on the other side of the road” but in a way, yes, you could orient yourself so that a road is in the foreground and a mountain is in the background, and through the use of telephoto power, you could make it look like the mountain is much closer :). I hope this helps!