This was the week I got my new Nikon 55 - 300 mm zoom lens. My neighbor accused me of getting it to do closeups of birds. And while one of my first photos was of two geese flying I got it really for landscapes, and believe it or not closeups.
A zoom lens allows for greater ability to frame your shot. And it saves you walking up the hill and going through the fence to get the picture of the seeder or the buffalo. Consider it safety equipment.
And it can bring the distant hills closer while allowing you to cut out the houses in the foreground. I live in big, wide open spaces with ranges of mountains. The temptation is to do panoramic shots but it is often better to just focus in on the most artistic area.
Now that the digital age has taken the quality of the film out of the equation any camera and lens combo can take a good color picture. The crispness of a black and white is the true test in my opinion.
But I had to try the new lens out on my favorite subjects - pond reflections. Here again the ability of the long lens to zoom in and narrow the focus is an asset.
BTW I did zoom in on the goose. But I much prefer this picture of tranquility. I always ask friends who want me to suggest camera equipment what it is they are going to photograph. And often when we make our first investment in a digital single lens reflex we haven't a clue. I got my first to take pictures of churches and landscapes to bring back and paint. My second DSLR was directed at doing a better job photographing those paintings for websites and social media marketing. Now I find my self wanting to capture the artistic photograph.
I was going for just the right picture of two geese on this pond mixed with just the right degree of ripple when one of the two geese turned to look over her back. Next minute an adult Bald Eagle swooped down just over the pond and off into the trees on the other side. I captured three blurry pictures of the magnificent bird and a heart stopping sense of how big and fast they are. And clear awareness of my equipment is more for swimming geese than flying raptors. I am fine with that.