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How a Zoom Lens Can Stifle Your Creativity

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

How a Zoom Lens Can Stifle Your Creativity

Zoom lenses are great because they provide photographers with a wide variety of focal lengths to play with. But they are not a tool that you should lean on. Using them too often can stifle your creativity.

So, when should you use a zoom lens and when should you not use a zoom lens? This article will let you know what’s best.

Don’t Let a Zoom Lens Keep You from Moving Around

When you use a zoom lens, you tend to stay in one spot. You keep still allowing the lens to move in and out to get in close or capture more of a wide-angle effect.

The downside is, when you stay in one place, you are unable to capture a variety of angles. This is one way a zoom can stifle creativity.

Constraints Can Make You Better

Your zoom lens allows you to achieve tight shots and those that are a bit wider. It provides an easy solution for a variety of shots.

But if you didn’t have the luxury of a zoom lens, you would have to challenge yourself to think outside the box. This would boost creativity making you a better photographer.

How to Use Your Zoom Lens and Still Be Creative

Just because a zoom lens tends to put a damper on creativity, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it. Here are some ways you can keep relying on your zoom while letting your creativity shine.

Pick a focal length and leave it for the day.

Use ‘foot zoom’, which involves moving around to get the right shot. You will need to move, crouch, and get nearer and further away to produce the desired effect.

If you usually shoot wide, try shooting narrow. If you usually shoot narrow, try shooting wide.

Compare different shots to see what changing perspectives does to your photos.

When to Use a Zoom

Although zooms can be creatively limiting, there are certain times they will come in handy. Here’s when you want to use them.

When you can’t get close to your subject because they will eat you or run away.

When you’re taking a photo and don’t want to be seen.

When you’re taking pictures in a crowd and need to focus on a single face.

When you want to alter perspective to make your shot look more compressed. This can be a flattering effect in portrait photography.

When you want to add a soft blur to your background.

When you’re traveling and can’t take a lot of equipment with you. A zoom lens can take the place of two or three single focus length or prime lenses.

For abstracts and special effects.

A zoom lens can be helpful in some situations, but you don’t want to start leaning on it, so it gets in the way of your creativity. This article provides guidelines for when you should and shouldn’t use zoom so you can get the most out of your equipment while thinking outside the box. When do you think a zoom serves you best?

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