Camera lens technology is incredible; with a 300mm, 400mm or 600mm lens, I am able to make a crisp photograph of an object that is very far away. In my early years, long lenses were the first I would reach for while working in the landscape. Back then I owned a couple of wide angle lenses, however, they were more challenging to use because they made me work harder; with a wide angle lens I was forced to travel to my subject and spend time exploring my surroundings. With a long lens I could easily isolate my subject; a wide angle lens requires me to deal with distractions and elements that detracted from the subject.
Over time and as I grew as an artist I began to depend less on technology and more on my ability to see what goes on in my mind i.e. how I react to the landscape immediately in front of me. I used long lenses less often once I realized there was a world of creativity in my vicinity.
I use wide angle lenses to explore; I get close to the ground or on my knees; I ask myself, what is the perspective of the world to the rock, tree limb or the grasshopper. I fill the viewfinder with as much of the subject as possible. With a wide angle I can be more creative with perspective. Long lenses produce flatter photographs because the angle to subject is lower. Being able to place a subject at a wider angle increases imaginative choices.
Creativity is unique and I have not forsaken long lenses. I use them frequently when I cannot get close to the subject or if I want to limit the photograph to a narrow perspective unachievable with a wide angle. Lenses are like a painter’s brushes; each has a purpose and collectively they make up the tool palette.