Recently I’ve taken stock of the lenses that have been collecting dust. Surprisingly, I noticed that I hadn’t shot with the Fuji XF16mm F1.4 lens in a long, long time. So, when my family decided to go out on a chilly October day to get some fresh air, I grabbed the lens in order to refresh my mind on a focal length I used to use quite often.
Through the years I’ve changed shooting styles, as many of us have, and there was a time when I would photograph almost everything with a wide-angle lens. I’d use 24mm or 35mm quite often with my landscape work; it was the way I most often saw the world around me.
Recently, however, I’ve been using telephoto lenses to photograph the land around me. This was probably inspired by photographing with Kurt Johnson, a nature and landscape photographer in Omaha, Nebraska who often uses telephoto lenses to tell the story of the Nebraska countryside.
So – I grabbed my 16mm and headed out the door with my family, spending about an hour at the park as I casually snapped away, taking stock of a focal length I hadn’t used in a while.
I had forgotten how powerful the 16mm lens was in the way it allowed me to be a storyteller. I was able to get much closer than I’ve been used to lately, and the physical proximity to the world around me helped me to see the fall landscape with fresh eyes.
“When people ask me where I get my inspiration from, I point to these amazing humans. They have taught me this truth: every story is worth telling. We just need to be brave enough to speak. I’ve been teaching for more than 17 years and I want my students to find their voice just as my family has helped me find mine. I’ve been photographing for just as long, and I believe my photos capture slivers of hope, joy and truth in this world.”