Lessons through a lens

Lessons through the lens are blog posts with a bit more of a personal flavour. In this blog space, I share nuggets learnt through photography and will be sharing stories behind photos I’ve taken.

Occasionally when one is strolling down a path, scattered before one’s eyes a few tiny little gems, eye-catching enough to catch attention, lead one to pause and and pick them us to take along.  If you’re on a similar journey, in photography, entrepreneurship or merely enjoy a bit of inspiration, this is for you.

In Autumn, a lovely friend lent me her 75mm-300mm zoom lens to try out on a shoot. I was as excited as a child with a new toy and couldn’t wait to “play around” with it.  On my location prep visit, I was pleased with the images it produced.


I also had along a new 50mm lens (great for close-up details, portraits and getting good blur in the background) which I also had some fun with.  It’s lowest f stop is f1.8, which means it has the ability to zoom in very close on just a very narrow width of area, and anything out of that area gets a gently blur to accentuate the focus point.)                                       


The other lens I took along was my Canon 18mm-55mm kit lens.  I was feeling a bit unimpressed with it, not because of any lacking in performance from its part, merely the impression I’d got from reading photographic blog articles that many don’t use it any more as it’s one of the basic choices of lenses, and the more expensive ones out-perform it.

The new, the ordinary and the borrowed.

On the day of the Smiley Day family, the  light was quite low in parts of our shoot location and while I was enjoying using the borrowed zoom lens, I noticed that the images it was capturing were quite grainy as a result. (This happens when the light is  too low.) To avoid this, I swapped to the new 50mm lens, (it takes in more light) However, unlike the “boring, ordinary” kit lens and “amazing borrowed” zoom lens, it is unable to zoom in or out.  I found myself having to step further and further away (into the bushes) for group shots where my kit lens would have made my life easier, allowing me to stand closer and zoom in. Nevertheless, I opted to stick with the “new” 50mm lens for the duration of the shoot.  It all went well and I captured most of the shots I’d planned for and the new effects I’d hoped to try out. (To stay fresh I like to try something new on every shoot.)

On the way home I reflected on my motivations for the lenses I’d used and pondered over how I’d allowed other people’s opinions to influence my impression of the value of what I have.

Sometimes we do this in life and choose the “new” and “the borrowed” because we feel what somebody else has to offer is better than what we have, when in actual fact, what we’ve labelled as ordinary and boring isn’t and is what’s needed to do the job best.  I’d allowed my subjective judgment to influence my choices that should have been objective choices.

As I drove home I continued to reflect on the purposes things are created for and ultimately what we are created for.

Mid thought, I had such an awesome spotting of a bird of prey eating a pigeon in the road in front of me. Usually I wouldn’t have been able to capture it, but on this occasion, I had a zoom lens in the car with me, just when I needed it!  My ordinary kit lens would not have zoomed that far and neither would the new 50mm lens.  The light on this patch of road was also low, but I switched on my headlights and that did the trick!

Everything has it’s perfect use and value in the right conditions.  We just need to see it that way, know the strengths and limitations of our tools at hand and not let feelings or subjective opinions cloud  our judgment.


PS While I enjoyed playing with the Instead of purchasing a , I’m saving up for a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L Lens 


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