If you’re a photographer, you probably have a zoom lens.3 Things - Michael Gowin


So says Kirk Tuck, a veteran commercial photographer and author from Austin, Texas.

Always insightful, frequently provocative, Kirk writes about both the technical and artistic aspects of photography and lighting.

In a blog post yesterday, Kirk discussed the experience of bringing just one camera body (film) and two prime lenses on a trip to Italy in 1991. Here are the three things that caught my attention:

  1. Be patient–wait for the right moment, the right frame.
  2. You only need one lens to shoot art (i.e., the images that you make for yourself).
  3. Zooms are for sissies.

Like Kirk (and probably you), I have zoom lenses. All of the images that I’ve posted on this site recently, however, have been shot with prime lenses. These are my art images, the images I make for myself.

If you haven’t tried shooting with primes, give it a go. It’s a discipline that will help you learn to see and make you a better photographer.