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35 (or “Less is More” #2)

Recently I started to shoot film. Don’t know why, it just happened. Film camera came with a fixed focal length lens. I have  two focal length lenses- 35mm and 50mm. Interestingly, I don’t miss the zoom. Zoom mindset makes you lazy. Prime lenses makes you think. It also makes you compose differently. They are smaller and coupled with fairly small SLR they don’t look that scary. Another thing- you take less shots, but you end up keeping more of them. All of this is because you put more mind into the frame, before you press the shutter release. Using one focal length for few months will open up your mind to other possibilities. You will not just aim, zoom and shoot, instead you stop (or slow down), look at what’s around, think and ask yourself how can you get the best shot with what you have, what’s important to be in the frame and what’s not necessary. For me shooting at 35mm seems natural. You can get great environmental portraits and even normal portraits if you step back a bit. In many ways (my opinion) the 35mm focal length is the perfect focal length for shooting life as it happens- the things around you, the people around you, and the daily grind in general. If you have the chance, put a 35mm (or equivalent) on whatever camera you own and shoot it for a few weeks. Using ONLY  that lens. My guess is that by the end of the few weeks you will have some amazing keepers, and you will also have learned a bit more about composition. You will also have a liberated feeling as the stress of “what lens should I use” will be gone. Just you and your 35…

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One response

  1. My 35mm prime was the best investment for my Nikon. While I haven’t gotten a film SLR yet, I can see why you like it.

    Awesome blog – thanks for the visit!

    June 5, 2011 at 16:27

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