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Know your equipment

Know your equipment

I was recently reviewing this photo with a friend of mine, discussing composition. I realized I really love this photo, more and more. I should try to have an objective point of view on it, looking at it as if it was someone else’s. But it is hard!

Lanten school



Anyway, I would like to share to you guys that I could not have taken this photo if I did not know my equipment very well. I shot this image with a Zeiss lens, manual focus (50mm).

I had only once chance. I entered the classroom, saw this potential image. Walked in the middle of the room to center this little girl. Kneel down. Manual focused. Snap. (Dear students, I can already hear you. Of course I checked my shutter speed, and nailed it on 1/60th /s).

Right after the snap, the 2 girls on the right side turned around, the beautiful girl in the middle walked away, and the boy eating on the left side approached me to look at the back of my camera. He thought he was the main subject…

Anyway, I got the shot because I had spent the previous 2 months with this 50mm on my camera. I purchased it while I was in France in September, put it on my camera, and left it there. I spend 3 weeks in Myanmar, some time in central Vietnam and then 2 weeks in Laos. Shooting 50mm, thinking 50mm, understand manual focusing…


Coming very soon an article about why more gear is bad will join this same idea.

Be good, very good at what you do, know your equipment, buy less gear.


Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.

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