One of the main characteristics of telephoto lenses is their ability to compress apparent perspective, so the elements in a scene appear closer together than they are in reality. Often referred to as ‘stacking’ or ‘foreshortening’, this phenomenon can be used to emphasise the repeated layers or shapes in a scene, such as ranges of hills and mountains receding into the distance. It can also be used to add a sense of drama to a composition by making distant features loom large in the background and dwarf smaller features closer to the camera – a cottage at the foot of towering cliffs, for example. Compression increases with focal length, so a 500mm lens will give a much bolder effect than a 200mm. Remember, also, that if you want to record everything in the scene in sharp focus you’ll need to stop the lens down to a small aperture – f/22 or f/32.