My absolute favorite instructional photography book is by Henry Carroll, Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs. Carrol explains the fundamentals of photography using understandable language and inspirational works of photographers past and present. The primary focus of the book is composition – how the visual elements of the the picture are ordered and arranged.
Working my way through Carroll's book, I've spent time on these early spring days experimenting with different lenses. Lenses do more than simply make something look closer or further away, They change my relationship with the subject and the way I take pictures – the composition.
For these walking-around town photographs, the telephoto lens was a great choice. I was able to make pictures of the cherub statuary nestled in a garden and the rusty blue wheelbarrow without tramping through the owner's yard, able to capture the pink dogwood blossoms against a pale blue sky, and able to zoom in close to the wisteria along the concrete wall from a distance.
Some days I want to be up close and personal . . . and other days I want to hang back and observe.