In the next couple of months (or many months to come), I will be setting some form of mini-challenges for myself. This challenge is very simple for prime users…. But not for a zoom-kid like me…

The challenge is to use just 1 focal length for the whole session (walk).

I’m taking this as a form of “training” to the mind and breaking certain thinking which exists to only block creativity. OTOH, this also lets me get familiarize with the perspective one focal length can give.

Zoom lenses does makes me lazy in many ways as you zoom in/out for framing. But when one zooms in or out, the perspective changes completely. But for this mini-challenge, I will still be using zoom lens, but just that I will set it at a fixed focal length instead of zooming it in or out.

But for starters, I started this off yesterday with the lens I used to hate on my 500D… the 50mm f1.8.

The main reason I hated this combination is that, this focal length is actually pretty tight… at 80mm on a crop sensor DSLR body. So, to actually use it on my normal shooting, it’s pretty challenging.

But instead of thinking it’s too tight, soft wide open, etc weakness of the lens/body combination, I have to think of something to shoot with this combination, since this is the ONLY combination I brought along yesterday.


This above shot is the only one I felt that is the best among what I’ve shot yesterday’s shoot.

In this shot, actually I wasn’t expecting the writer (I believe she’s either a reporter, writer, blogger? ) to come into the frame, as I originally wanted to compose it in such a way that the performer (busker) looks at the moving crowd just when the performance ends. But for that to happen, she must stay very still…. And that isn’t going to happen easily if she’s alone. *In my thoughts, I guessed she will probably turn her head left/right and look at the crowd, and just maybe there will be a few seconds of pause for the ‘story’ I wanted to create*

But as soon as the performance ends, this writer came into the scene and interacted with the performer. At this moment, all the attention of the performer turns to the writer and there’s little movements.

Seeing that the rare moment of pause came, I setup my already extended tripod and set the settings and fire away.

After this shot, the moment of pause went away.

I’m really glad that I caught the frame I wanted (even thou it wasn’t my original intent to have the writer in my story, but well, another story came up when the writer approached, I changed my story accordingly and composed her in).

If I were using my standard zoom, I believe I won’t even have the chance to get this shot. As I will probably be thinking about what focal length to use and what do I want in the frame. With just the 50, I just have to frame accordingly. Thou I must say that it takes quite abit of discipline to get the framing.

One have to walk behind the trash bin, stick close to the wet bushes to get the framing in, shooting from some awkward location… *heck, not like I cared if I really want the shot*

After yesterday’s shoot, I had a ‘deeper’ understanding (mainly in terms of focal length) of how my 50mm works on my 500D and I can roughly gauge the framing without looking at the viewfinder.

But I must really say that, this lens combination of 80mm isn’t the easiest to use for me…

But moving forward, I guess there will be more of such moments where I feel awkward about using a particular focal length. But I sure hope those moments will be relived when I get the results I want.

*I think the next time I have a prime time walk, it will be 50mm on my 5D. Just in case you guys think I’m picking the easy focal length….. I seldom/rarely shoot mid range focal length, to me, this range is the hardest to use…*

Anyway, will be seeing if I’ll drop by EOY (the last cosplay event for the year) tomorrow. Maybe I’ll do another Sunrise tomorrow too… *Did one this morning :p*