Did you get a Telephoto lens recently for your DSLR or mirrorless camera? Then, you will be looking for subjects to try out your new lens. Your new telephoto lens can be any lens like the basic 55-250mm or a 500mm prime lens. I will share 10 things that you can photograph with a Telephoto lens.

10 Things to Photograph with a Telephoto Lens

1. Birds

Green Tailed Sunbird

Green Tailed Sunbird

You don’t have to travel a lot to photograph Birds. You can easily find some common birds in your backyard. So, give it a try.

If you have any lake, pond, or wetlands in your area or nearby, then you can expect to photograph waterbirds from these places. Try photographing birds in flight and also capture good bird portraits.

A Telephoto focal length between 200 to 300 mm will be good for bigger birds like Pelicans, Storks, and Cranes. For small birds like Flycatchers, Pipits, and larks, you will need a focal length of 400mm and above.

You can also visit good bird sanctuaries if you are interested in bird photography. If you live near to the sea, then you can even go for the pelagic birds.

2. Wildlife

Wild Tiger From Kabini

A Telephoto lens is one of the essential requirements to do wildlife photography. So, if you have any national park or Tiger reserve nearby, then you can plan some trips. It is an excellent opportunity to do photography with your telephoto lens.

You can use these wildlife photography tips for better pictures. You can even search in google to find good national parks nearby. Do a bit of online research to see what kind of animals to expect from each park. I have been to most of the Indian national parks. If interested, you can read my article on, 12 Best Wildlife Photography Parks in India.

3. Photograph Moon

Full Moon Picture in Monochrome

Moon photography is exceptionally tricky, especially if you don’t know the right technique. I recommend reading how to photograph the moon before going for moon photography. Otherwise, you will end up in a White blob, without any details of the moon.

Moon is an excellent subject to shoot with a telephoto lens. Higher the focal length of your telephoto lens, the better the moon details. Don’t just include the moon alone in your shot. Try to include some subjects in the foreground also. You can use the Exposure bracketing technique for such images.

4. Take People Portraits

Papuan Portrait Photo

Higher focal lengths help you to get Shallow Depth of Field. So, telephoto lenses are useful to get beautiful portrait shots with a nicely blurred background.

Use bigger Apertures (low f-number) for better background blur. You can go for full-body portraits as well as half-body portraits. So, you can capture nice close up shots. Use various image composition techniques like the rule of thirds to compose your images.

5. Take Sports Photos

Sports photography demands a higher focal length since you can’t get closer to the subject. So, there will be a good amount of distance from the camera to the subject.

If there are any sports event happening in your place, like football, baseball, or cricket, then you can give it a try. You may require prior approvals to take your camera if the match is an international one. So, local games, school, and college sports events would be a good option, if you don’t want to take up the approval headaches.

6. Capture Patterns and Textures

You can always find exciting patterns around you to photograph with a telephoto lens. It can be anything like patterns and textures in Buildings, Land, Forest, etc.

You can capture close up pictures of stripes, dots, or other patterns in your clothes. Play with the depth of field and vary the photography angles to create attractive frames.

7. Try Zoo Photography

Elephant photographed from Zoom with telephoto lens

Wildlife photography can be a little expensive. So, if you are looking for a cost-effective option to photograph animals with a telephoto lens, then zoo photography is a good option.

In zoo photography, you have the challenge of obstacles like glass and grills. So, you should have the right camera technique to avoid these distracting elements.

8. Photograph Flowers

If you have flowers in your garden, then you can use your telephoto lens to capture some beautiful flower photos with a blurred background.

You won’t be able to get the same level of detail as with a macro lens. But, you can capture excellent flower portraits. Go for the maximum aperture opening to get a shallow depth of field. You can even go for a flower close up shot using the Fill the Frame image composition technique.

9. Butterflies and Dragonflies

Usually, people use Macro lenses to photograph Butterflies and Dragonflies. But, you can also use your telephoto lens to capture these subjects. You will not be able to get the same amount of details that you get with a macro lens.

But, the higher focal length allows you to capture good images of butterflies or dragonflies without disturbing them. It also helps to isolate the subject from the background by generating a good background blur.

10. Do Pet Photography

Photograph with a Telephoto Lens :Pet Photography

If you have a pet like a dog, cat, or bird, then you can use your telephoto lens to photograph your pets. It is an excellent opportunity to test your lens. You can also capture beautiful pictures of your pets.

The telephoto focal length helps to get a good image of your pet with a nicely blurred background. It helps to maintain a reasonable distance between the pet and the camera.


So, try shooting these subjects using the telephoto lens and create beautiful images. Photography is a continuous learning process that requires regular practice.

So, get out and start shooting. You will learn a lot in the whole process. You will also come to know the strength and weaknesses of your telephoto lens and camera, which will help you to choose the perfect camera settings.