2 min read

some strange thoughts about my lens usage and growing up

Throughout high school and — for the most part — college, my photography set up was a Nikon D750 with a 60mm macro lens.

The choice of a macro lens is kind of strange but I got it as a present from my parents and I mainly used it for food photography. At some point I transitioned to some portrait photos and the 60mm still did its job very well (god i love this lens). The little soda can-shaped tube of plastic, metal and glass was versatile enough for shooting on the street, portraits, food.

There's not a lot to complain about the lens in hindsight, but I had some choice words for it when I was doing my best to fit everything in frame by backing up, or being moderately unhappy about packing my 24-70 lens with it.

Now that I've graduated college, I've moved to the ~50mm range (35mm APS-C and 50mm for my film cameras). The wider angle of view is really nice, but at the same time I wish .... I had more focus.

Maybe just 10mm more.

This kind of all ties into how I've grown up.

While high school and college were all going on, I lived with a fairly hyper-focused mentality — especially in my college days. I'd be rushing around Purdue, interviewing, grabbing coffee, spending late nights in the library doing homework. Grading papers, writing articles, all the good stuff. But now as an adult it seems there are more problems than ever.

Life can't be as simple as it used to be. I can't just focus hard on one thing or else other things will fall behind. As time goes on, it's like the viewfinder in my camera has expanded like switching to a 50mm lens, trying to balance more elements in the frame to get the best composition I can.

I feel like we'll always miss the good old days, when "times were simpler" and you could do one thing at a time. But we have to remember the frustrations we had then. I wanted to be a "real adult" and see the world. I didn't want to be stuck on homework and classes and all these boring things.

We won't get those times back, when our angle of the world was smaller, when small things now were big, so we just have to keep moving forward. As we grow, so does our metaphorical angle of view. Every day a new step and we see more and we balance more. As cliche as it is, sometimes it hurts a lot, but we learn and see more and flourish.

We will, and can, never look back through those same eyes we had when we were 18.

For now though, I think I'll just pick up my keys and the good old D750 and head out the door. Hopefully it's not too late.