Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just like when I was in PJ school.

I have been shooting photos just like when I was in my first photojournalism classes at UF.

I have had a string of bad luck lately with my camera equipment. I have had three lenses die for a variety of reasons, all wide angle lenses. I had a wide-angle zoom which allowed me to shoot any situation by just twisting the 17-35 Nikon lens. That lens broke. In technical terms, twisty part doesn't twist anymore and the lens is stuck on 17mm. My 20mmm lens was scratched on the rear element. (Oops, what are rear lens caps for?) And, in the middle of a shoot at a spa, my last hope - a 35-135mm zoom - decided it didn't need to participate in my career. Two women were half-naked on the massage table, I was standing on a chair, and the lens won't work with the cameras.

As a photographer, I have had to see differently. Last time I shot with a fixed lens, I was shooting black and white in Paris with a 35mm lens. In Paris, I was shooting for me. By using one lens, a 35mm lens, I wanted to really work on my composition. It's so easy with a zoom to change your composition with a wide zoom, I don't think about what's in the frame as much. I can shoot it however and use the zoom to crop something in or out. While using a fixed lens I have to move closer or farther away to change my composition. I feel much more aware of where I am in space while using a fixed lens. Things get in the way, I have to move, I can't get certain wide angles with the lens I have...it just makes me more aware of how I'm shooting.

When I was in pj school, I only had one lens for a long time - a 28mm. Last week, I pulled out the old 28mm manual lens and started shooting with it. It's all I have left. So, while I wait for Nikon to repair my lenses, I will be working on my composition with my fixed lenses and move around a bit more when I shoot. Just like when I was in college.

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