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Growing up in photography

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Sebastian Boatca

"My name is Sebastian Boatca, a photographer based in Brussels, Belgium and I embrace life through my experiences as a man, husband, father, traveler and photographer. The artistic expression is one of the ways we can blend into nature strings and communicate with the people around the world."

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There is a saying that as you get older, you become unimpressed by a lot of S.H.I.T. (super highly irrelevant things).  I wonder how this principle applies in photography, because we are also growing up in our photography skills, styles, needs and vision. Our way of making photography changes, starting with the switch from taking snapshots to making photographs. We change the gear we use, or give up using some lenses, while discovering new lenses; New focal lengths will become our favourites, while others will lose our interest. This is how I have moved from an ultra-wide-angle fish-eye lens, which was capable of capturing not only too much, but basically almost everything, to narrower focal lengths, useful in isolating what is essential, against the disturbing and often unnecessary background.

Samyang 8mm fish-eye . EOS 60D vs XF 56mm F1.2 . Fuji X-T1

When I was using a Canon 60D DSLR (more than 6 years ago), I was in love with a Samyang 8mm fish-eye lens. I also remember listening to the advice of a fellow photographer (way better and more successful than me, back then) that the 35mm was very uninteresting when used on a 1.5X crop format camera. I was somehow trapped into believing that a 35mm lens (the equivalent field of view of 52,5mm in terms of full-frame equivalent) is not wide enough for my needs and not tele enough to get closer to my distant subjects. It seemed I had my priorities very well defined. At 8mm, the depth of field of this fish-eye lens is immense. It was too easy, even if this was a manual focus lens: I just set the focus ring between 3m and infinity and practically everything I photographed was in focus 99,9% of the time

After a while, I realized I was just using and abusing my fish-eye lens, having fun while playing with the artistic barrel distortions on the edges of the frame. How did I get this lens? A great photographer had this lens and during a photography workshop with him, I tested it and said, “I want a lens like this for myself, too.” It is so comfortable to copy what other successful photographers do, hoping that if your photo bag is identical to their bag, then 90% of your success is already guaranteed.

Samyang 8mm fish-eye . EOS 60D vs XF 16-55mm F2.8 WR . Fuji X-Pro2

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