Thursday, February 17, 2011


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The first lens I bought was a 75-300mm. I loved being able to zoom in and capture things without being obtrusive almost as much as I loved the detail of going in close on a shot.

Being obtrusive is a huge obstacle for photography. When most people see a camera, they change. They feel nervous, anxious and uptight... or sometimes they get overly extroverted and "show off".

But that's not what I want to capture. I want to capture what you look like, not how you want to look.

I don't mean that I don't want you to look good. I do. I want you to see the picture of yourself and think, "wow, I didn't know I looked like that!", with an element of pride and excitement. I just don't want your forced smile, hidden face, or awkward posture.

I've found that people relax when you've got a long lens. They most likely realize you have a camera, and they might get the feeling you're going to aim it at them... but they don't feel the same intimidation that a photographer right under their nose might give them.

Not to mention the beautiful DOF that a long lens provides. Backgrounds blur themselves into a smooth canvas, perfect for portraits.

Camera shake begins to be a problem when you have a long lens. The faster you can crank up she shutter, the better. Tripods are a big help as well.

My standard lens is a 55-80mm, which I tend to set my aperture around f5.6 or so, depending on the light. That lets me keep my DOF shallow, while being able to capture detail without flash lighting.

I've used both lenses for close to 5 years, without ever considering anything else.

Then I started noticing images like this:

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get that same look. It took me way too long to realize that it was the lens. I needed something wider.

I also wanted to shoot better marcro.

The Two Birds With One Stone lens was the Sigma 18-50.

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