For any photographer who wants to reset their photographic eye, I highly recommend setting out for the day with a single prime lens. On this occasion, I decided to go on my own 50mm mission in the Big Smoke, London, UK.
My mission started with a trip via the London underground, which I figured would be ideal for a quick candid. Many photographers are fond of using a 50mm lens for candids and street photography because of their discretion and fast focusing. I personally love the field of view the 50mm focal length provides. It’s just, right to me. My second and third favorite focal lengths are 100mm (portraits and special landscapes) and 16mm (landscapes and creative low angle photos) respectively.
Once on the surface, it was time to let my creative eye find it’s focus. Creative and artistic photos come from a different mindset to me than do the candids, but they both kind of come like a flash out the corner of my eye. It’s not that I see the photo, it’s more that I feel them out the corner of my eye and I understand that they’re there. I think it’s because I’ve followed classic composition so ardently, that when I recognize that a scene has some of the classic elements (foreground interest, lead in lines, an “S” curve coming from a corner, midground and background interest, etc.), they seem to subconsciously chime out the corner of my eye. Study the rules to classic composition and follow them.
Once on the surface, I made my way from St. Johns Wood tube station, to Regent’s Canal and towards Regent’s Park.
Walking through the park, I was transfixed by this tree. It just stood out to me as special for some reason. I was intent on capturing it, but no angle seemed to do it justice. Just then, this flock of birds came careening across this sky, in and around the crown of the tree. They created the ideal frame and the 50mm focal length, the perfect balance within my field of view.
Another favorite shot, as far as how it was crafted in my mind’s eye. Seeing steam coming off the caramelized peanut wagon, I wanted to capture the crisp sting of winter that the passersbys were feeling. I rode the shutter to capture four or five shots and chose this one because I liked the framing the steam provides on the subjects to the right. The setting sunlight illuminating the steam adds a bit of drama and impact to the scene.
I’m often pleased when my photos feel like they might come to life. For me. this one does not disappoint.
The next time you head out, try going with a single prime lens and I bet you’ll amaze yourself with how much creativity comes to the surface.
Kevan Smith I’m a commercial photographer, based in Kent and I specialise in creating dynamic, eye-catching images for my clients.
My images are created to add value to every message conveyed across the spectrum of digital and offline platforms alike, including websites, brochures, blogs, social media channels, case studies and any other medium as required.
My clients range from BAFTA award winners, multi-national building firms, television personalities and heads of state to local businesses, respected artists and ambitious entrepreneurs.
I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas (U.S.A.), and after a stint as a lab technician followed by time out to travel, I began a career as a production rigger, working primarily in television and film. This experience allowed me to become accustomed to pressurised working environments and a demanding clientele!
In 2011, I began studying at the London Film Academy, which eventually led to me devoting my time and training to becoming a commercial photographer.
Whether you have a specific project in mind or you’re looking for a complete brand identity overhaul, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at email@example.com or give me a call on +44 77 6666 1253.