I would say that this branch (in the above photo) was at least 20 feet away from me, but with the zoom you get up close and personal. That is the typical use for a telephoto lens; it cuts out the distance between you and your subject. But do not let that fool you, just because that is what a telephoto lens is typically used for does not mean you have to use it that way.
With this image, I was definitely not trying to get in close to a subject that I could otherwise not reach. Instead I was trying to play with the depth of field of this particular zoom lens. I laid on the ground about 10 feet away, and shot slightly angled up at the flowers. Because of the angle I chose and the lens that I was using, I produced this image with a very strong focus on the flowers so that they become the absolute focal point of the image.
I like flowers so I figured I may as well throw in another shot! :)
Now with the shot above of the swingset, I was again trying to play with the depth of field. I have to say that I love the detail in the swing of this image, and that most of the focus is there. My one issue with this shot is that if I shot it again, I would try and work around the pole crossing the right half of the image. I am not sure what I would have done with it, but I do find it distracting (clearly not distracting enough that I wouldn't share it though).
For my last image, I used the telephoto lens for it's typical use shooting a bird at the top of a tree at a significant distance. I changed the feel of this image significantly in post, considering this was shot on a bright sunny day with blue skies. I love how creepy it turned out!
Anyways, send us any images you had the opportunity to shoot with a telephoto lens! We would love to take a look and see what other people are up to shooting at lengths!
"When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear"- Alfred Eisenstaedt