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The 1 Focal Length Weekend Challenge

Are you up for a photographic challenge this weekend?


Here’s My Challenge – Shoot at just one focal length for the next couple of days.

I’m a Lazy Zoom User

Most digital cameras sold today come with a zoom lens fitted to it as standard whether it be a DSLR sold with a kit lens or a point and shoot digital camera. There’s nothing wrong with having a zoom lens – it creates many possibilities for photographers – but one of the things that I’ve noticed when I’m shooting with a zoom lens (my favorite is a 24-105mm lens – pictured left) is that I get a little lazy.

Instead of moving around to get the best framing I tend to anchor myself to one point. While I can still zoom in and out I find that this means I’m always shooting from the same angle and level. I still get good shots – but perhaps could do better if I put a little more thought and effort into my shooting.

Going ‘Prime’ Makes Me ‘Work It’

Yesterday I was photographing our new baby and set myself a challenge to do the whole shoot with just a 100mm prime lens (I find that my 100mm Macro lens – pictured left it’s great for portraits too). There was no zooming (except what I did with my body – moving in and out).

While at first it can be a little frustrating not to have the zoom capabilities I found the shoot to be a lot of fun. I had to work harder, put more thought in and as a result I think my images were better.

This leads me to this weekend’s challenge….

The Challenge

This is something that anyone can do – whether they have a DSLR with a prime lens or not. Choose a focal length to shoot at this weekend (or for at least one day) and don’t allow yourself to shoot at any other focal length.

  • If you have a prime lens it’ll be easy – fit it to your camera and don’t take if off.
  • If you have a DSLR with a zoom lens just choose one end of the focal range and resist the temptation to zoom.
  • If you have a point and shoot camera with a zoom – again, just choose one end of the range and stick to that.

When choosing which focal length you go with – try to pick something you don’t normally shoot a lot at. For example if you tend to shoot fully zoomed in – try shooting with a wider angle. If you normally shoot with wide angles challenge yourself at the other end of the spectrum.

Share Your Results

There are a couple of ways that you can share your results with us.

DPS share some of your best ones and how you found the challenge in this thread.

Flickr – Are you on Flickr? Share your photos there and tag them as dpsfocalchallenge so we can see everyone’s images by searching for that tag.

Good luck and have a fun weekend with your digital camera!

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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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