Prime lens in event photography– limitation or possibility?

Dec 31, 2016

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Prime lens in event photography– limitation or possibility?

Dec 31, 2016

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

I had an interesting discussion in a photography group on Facebook some time ago. It started with my question about the 35mm prime lens, and somehow I ended up discussing zoom lenses with a member of the group. He said that, as an event photographer, he doesn’t have the luxury of moving around and focusing with his feet so he only uses zoom lenses. I support him and agree with him – up to some point.

I am not a professional event photographer, so I have the luxury to experiment. And a few months ago I was in a situation where I had to experiment. My prime lens was put to a test in event photography – and I believe it passed.

Familiar situation, new conditions

My brother and his band promoted their first album in October 2016. I was super-excited, and I traveled from Belgrade to Novi Sad only to attend this gig. I packed light, and I was in a rush (as usual), so I only brought my camera with the lens already attached onto it. It turned to be a 50 mm lens. And I was not quite sure how I was to photograph a blues gig in a small space with this lens. I shot gigs and concerts with it before, but I always had plenty of room to move. This was the first time I was limited this way.

Since I am not a pro, nor I charged for photographing that evening, I had the freedom to experiment. You have probably already read in various photography tips that prime lens gives you a new perspective, and I definitely got a confirmation of this claim. A prime lens made me more creative and helped me take some pretty nice shots that evening!

Composition

Thanks to the small space and huge crowd, I didn’t have enough room to move around. Not to mention that it was impossible to capture the whole band together on stage. This kind of limitation forced me to use what I had, and I used up my prime lens and limited movement to the max. I can tell you, it’s true that limited conditions give you a new perspective and make you change the point of view. I ended up with photos of band members I like way better than when I use a zoom lens.

Light

The album promotion was in my favorite bar in Novi Sad. No matter how much I love this place, I have to say that it’s quite photography unfriendly in the evening. Because of this, a 50mm lens turned out to be a great option. Thanks to wide aperture, I was able to capture decent photos with relatively fast shutter speed. Also, I believe the depth field wide aperture created added to the atmosphere and made photos more compelling.

You wouldn’t believe how poor these light are :)

Subjects

Thanks to the limited space I had for moving around, I was able to think outside the box. As a matter of fact, I was forced to do so. I had wide aperture, a 50 mm lens and very little space. Thus, I stopped observing band members through the lens only. I started observing the objects around them, and taking photos of the band through these objects. I enjoyed this little game I created for myself, and I think I made some interesting photos, too.

While we’re at the objects of photos, I also changed the direction of looking and observed the faces in the bar. I tried capturing the mood, so I snapped a few candid photos of people who were enjoying the music. I‘m generally not very keen on candid photography, because I am a bit timid and afraid of people’s reactions. Still, I decided to give it a shot (pun not intended). And I ended up capturing a photo that became my favorite shot of the evening.

Conclusion

You will probably “get stuck” with a prime lens sometime. However, don’t feel like you are “stuck” with it. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to expand your creativity and try something new. See it as a challenge that will push you over your limits. At the end of the day, you will feel proud of yourself because you grew as a photographer and broke the pattern. And not to mention that you will end up with some really nice shots!

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 responses to “Prime lens in event photography– limitation or possibility?”

  1. jakecarvey Avatar
    jakecarvey

    exactly to the point – we need more of this kind of writing. Photography is a passion, capturing that moment is key. Limit yourself, and enjoy the freedom it allows!

    1. Dunja0712 Avatar
      Dunja0712

      Thanks a lot! :)