Su per-telephotos – Compressing perspecti ve
Go long and capture scenes that you can’t see with the naked eye…
photographing the whole thing”, adding, “I think if you add too much to your picture, you dilute it.”
In addition, the essential telephoto qualities of compression, flattening and plane-stacking are exaggerated. As you can see in the flamingoes image above, not only is the framing all but invisible to the eye, but the scene it covers, probably around 10 metres deep, is visually squashed flat, with the distinct impression that the birds behind have somehow ridden upward in the frame.
Two huge drawbacks attend this world of normally unseen imagery: weight and cost. A Nikon 600mm f/4 weighs five kilos, making it more or less impossible to hand-hold, and awkward even to walk around with. And then there’s the price (£7,000 / $9,800). There is an answer of sorts, which is to use a mirror lens (see A Distant Mirror, below) and accept a drop in image quality.
This image was shot at an effective focal length of 840mm, and the exaggerated compression effect this has produced makes the flamingoes seem much closer together than they were in reality