In bright sunlight, our usual reaction with landscape photos is to eagerly stop down for increased depth of field, which has the effect of adding sharpness from near to far, as well as overcoming field curvature. Equal sharpness equates to equal importance.
But the combination of vignetting and minimizing depth of field focuses attention better than making all elements of the subject equal in sharpness, and thus can be more effective as communication. A telephoto lens isolates the subject using the same principle.
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