On my travels I usually carry two key lenses, or in other words two focal lengths: GF 45mm (35mm in ff terms) and GF 110 (85mm in ff terms). By carrying just two lenses, not only do I eliminate the tyranny of “perceived choice” but most importantly I focus on two different perspectives.
In other words, when assessing a scene, I consider wider framing (GF 45mm or similar) or tighter framing (GF 110 or similar). Even when reduced to just two focal lengths, it is always a monumental task. This, on top of the already demanding evaluation of the environment.
On the recent trip photographing rural Alberta and Saskatchewan (two Canadian provinces) I noticed I was more prone to using my GF 110 (tight framing) than usual. It doesn’t necessarily mean the scenes I encountered warranted such choices, but I found that such focused seeing allowed me to produce more compelling imagery.
Here is the key question: When arriving at a scene which interests you, do you keep switching lenses or do you photograph the scene with one focal length (let’s say a wider perspective) and then re-examine the scene with the other (tight framing). Have you ever thought about how you examine the scene and make compositional choices? Do you switch lenses frequently? Do you exhaust all visual opportunities before you switch? How is your seeing tuned to the lenses you have?
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