Monday, December 17, 2007

Lead, Kindly Light

To Be Shore, To Be Shore

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

I often get asked by up-and-coming photographers when they should use a long lens. My reply is always the same: follow your instinct. What was your attention drawn to? A detail from the scene in front of you? Then zoom in on the detail. Was your attention drawn to the vista as a whole? Then focus on the entire scene.

Often, there is merit in both. This picture (above) was taken at St Kilda beach on a September afternoon when the wind was whipping the waves into whitecaps. I wanted to capture the entire scene, the blue sky, the scudding feathers of cloud, the lighthouse and the sweep of the beach.

I use a Sigma 18-125mm lens, which gives me a great range of options. It telescopes beautifully, so it's easy to carry. Immediately after I took the first shot, I unfurled the 125mm lens and took the second shot (below) from exactly the same spot. There's merit in both shots, which brings me back to my original message. Follow your instincts. You'll never go wrong.


Janice Thomson said...

Both are beautiful shots giving a totally different perspective of the same scene.

Oswegan said...

Makes me long for a sunny day at the beach. I'll have to endure a few more months of rain first I guess.


Seamus said...

My favorite all round lens is my Canon 24-70L, but my 70-300 is always close!

Mushy said...

Very pretty!

imac said...

Spot - on David. I feel the same as you, I try to follow my 1st thoughts.

Hope you still following me cause you could be missing some X

Lara said...

wonderful blue! and you are so right about following the instinct - in everything, photography included.

Jeni said...

Both are such gorgeous shots -and I would not be able to choose one over the other.