I’ve never been a fan of prime lenses. Although they are a staple of almost all photographers I admire, their fixed nature has never appealed. I viewed them as being too restrictive, whereas a good zoom lens can get me a wider range of shots by adding on a little more weight.
Yet, every beginners photography guide I read or watched told me to get a good prime and learn to “walk with my feet”. Which is their way to tell you to look for the shot and how to position yourself instead of planting your feet and zooming around. You earn the shot much more, and potentially improve your eye for shooting.
So, I gave it a go. Shopping around for a while and settling on a really nice 85mm f/1.8 Sony Lens for a great price. It's a little over the 28-70mm that I usually shoot with, so I hoped the extra range would prove useful in future. As soon as it arrived, I fixed it to my A7c and went for a walk.
The whole experience was strange to start with. I was fixed into one way of shooting with no room to move. I had to work a lot harder than I anticipated, but the shots I did get were very different from my normal ones. By restricting the way I could shoot, I changed the way I looked at things. Gone are the small details and tight focus images, replaced by photos that I think contain a lot more information than before.
I found myself looking for stories to tell. Buildings on the river, shadows of the unusually bright December sun, architecture details that would be easy to miss. They are not perfect because I missed numerous things due to depth of focus (I simply wasn't used to having an f/1.8 lens) but I am happy that I decided to limit myself. I would have shot similar images but missed all the surrounding elements to them by zooming in.
I would have been too focused on the details instead of the bigger picture, which is a lesson for life, I guess.