Narrow horizons

Usually when I’m bored out of my head, I entertain myself by browsing through pictures on the photo forums I normally don’t look at. I guess I’m less irritable when I’m bored… Anyway, today I came to think that it’s strange I hardly ever visit the macro forum although I love to take close-up pictures myself. But I guess that’s it – I do close-ups and very rarely go to genuine macro magnifications. Or maybe I don’t like macro because I just can’t do it (although, come to think of it, I’ve never tried). But generally speaking, extreme macro is a little bit like wideangles – you really need to know what you’re doing in order to create a good image. Otherwise it’s just a horrible mess. I should know… because I suck at wideangle photography. I’ve really tried to improve it, I’ve travelled to new places and found fantastic views – but never made a wideangle image I could really be proud of. I checked my portfolio images for the number of wideangle photos I have there. Not many. In fact, the average focal length of my portfolio images is 158mm. I have played with the thought of swapping my 17-85mm lens (that’s 28-135mm full frame) with the new Canon instead, 24-105mm f4L (38-168mm ff). The extra mm’s at the tele end would make this perfect as an all-round lens and the constant aperture is nice. So I had to find out if those missing wideangle millimeters would be a problem and according to my portfolio sample, I have used the wider view in 7% of the images. That’s not much. I’m sure that the percentage of wideangle images is bigger in my catalogue as a whole. That’s because I use the wideangle for documentation images – you know, the images you just want to take even though you realise beforehand that you will not get any keepers. Souvenirs, in other words. So the downside of going from 17-85mm to 24-105mm is that I will have less options for documentary images. I would say… it’s time for me to narrow my horizons.

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