Learning that allure could happen between 24mm and 35mm

Please, for the love of God, this is not a gear review. I repeat, this is not a gear review. I`m nowhere near technically equipped to accurately and/or impartially critique any hardware. I do believe there are more important things to muse over.

Let`s stick with the term muse, as that is what I intend the tone of this post to be about. My musings on creating photographs between 24 and 35mm has been pleasant to say the least.

This is my first zoom lens. Before getting one, the thought of using it was completely arcane. I`ve heard a lot of photographers reduce the topic to something simple such as - get a zoom or just learn to move your feet. After acquiring one and using it, I quickly found myself at a new intersection of decision making. Do I move my feet and walk closer, or do I zoom to recompose. Zooming allows you to be discrete and not miss something had you physically repositioned yourself. On the other end of the spectrum, moving physically also opens you up to the possibility of discovering a new angle you may not have discovered had you chose to stand still and zoom instead. I think for these reasons I`ve preferred prime lenses up until now (and still do to a certain extent). To zoom or not to zoom is just another variable to consider in the equation of image making, a variable I was happy to avoid till now. What changed? I wanted a wider angle lens but couldn`t see myself carrying another lens in my bag. Weight has a funny way of deterring you from going out and creating.    

This range has encouraged me to reflect on how I approach an image. I find it easier to previsualize within this focal range. What this means is that I am able to see a frame before lifting the camera to my face. This is great as it matches my state of mind when I am out wondering the streets of Seoul. I`m usually somewhat calm and constantly nurturing my mind to be attentive enough to nuances. I`m not the type of shooter who goes out, takes a huge amount of frames and then cull later when I get home. I`m very selective and more emotionally driven (not that other photographers aren`t emotional) so if something moves me, only then do I raise the camera up. So what moves me? The order alternates based on my mood. Am I feeling the character or demeanor of the people I`m seeing in front of me? Am I enjoying the directions of the lines in a particular frame? Do I see interest flowing in opposite directions and thus creating tension? Am I attracted to the way light is falling on something or someone? Or are the planets aligning and I`m able to see all of those variables in one frame? Those factors basically determine whether or not I stop, check if I feel anything and then lift my camera, or just keep walking.

Composing at this length is a bit more involved. It`s not that easy to hide your “mistakes”. For me, this challenge is a welcome. It`s been somewhat suggestive that I`ve still a way to go with regards to composition. Having said that, it`s nice being able to include more in a frame because I found it easier to demonstrate how a subject is interacting with the environment around them, thus enhancing the storytelling aspect.

I`m looking forward to creating with this lens. It`s an absolute stunner. I chose the Sigma Art 24-35 f2 to create the following images.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

See you soon!