After reading this article on Mastin Labs about reducing the gear to a minimum of one lens, specifically the so much loved 50 mm, I have to admit I reacted very unconvinced: I like to feel ‘covered’ for any photographic opportunity that might arise on my trips, and that is why I carry as much gear as my back can handle.
The author of the article praised the fact that the limitation to one lens is, after all, an invitation to creativity - and this is one idea that I had to agree with. As a result, I decided to put it to test on a very dull day in which I felt not very inspired and not very well physically but, somehow, I believed it all worked just fine.
I had a walk around the Wayoh Reservoir near Bolton. There is a good footpath around the water which makes use of the Witton Weavers Way on the eastern side. It was a lovely path with waterside and woodland sections to enjoy. There are also great views of the surrounding countryside and the impressive Entwistle viaduct.
Without any ‘obvious’ attractions and with many people around enjoying the beautiful day, the whole place had a different dynamics. On the quieter paths, it seemed to be different; I walked there engulfed in stillness and beauty.
The viaduct was waiting but I knew the image will not be very impressive without a bit of sun illuminating it. So I didn’t hurry, as it was a bit of a walk to reach it from the other side to take a frontal shot.
Would I give up all my other lenses and use only 50mm? No. Never.
I sometimes might find myself in a place where I have the intention to photograph the landscape (so I need a wider lens) but I also discover on the spot that I want to photograph a bird there. That is why I need a bit more coverage.
I will continue to train in the gym to be able to carry heavy equipment on my back. As for missing moments, well, probably that’s valid for weddings and certain events: nature works with different rules, and invites to be discovered, researched, and befriended. No need to be quick or extremely efficient. Unless, of course, you’re climbing a mountain by rope or photographing birds in flight.
Here are a few more pics from the day taken with 50mm: