Nikon / by Marco Secchi

I shoot all my breaking news and editorial work using a selection of D4, D3s, and D810 with a wide array of prime lenses all exclusively Nikon F2.8 max. I do not need to say or write anything about these cameras and lenses. While on news jobs I can be seen carrying a huge amount of gear for any situation I am a strong believer of “one camera and one lens”.

Nikon D4_HNC7753

The proponent said that the best way to become more creative in your photography (and less addicted to G.A.S. — gear acquisition syndrome) it to stick often to one camera and one lens. It is one of the worst diseases when it comes to photographers. It causes us photographers to make excuses about our gear – rather than going out and making photographs with what we have. By prescribing to the “one camera and one lens” philosophy I got rid of most of the G.A.S. in my system. Sure, whenever a new camera or a new lens came out I got envious, but I still had an underlying philosophy to stick to.

My favorites are old film cameras and Fuji Mirrorless. Film helps me to relax and concentrate more on composition and creativity

In “Outliers”, the prolific writer/sociologist Malcom Gladwell suggested that the most talented people in the world dedicated at least 10,000 hours to their craft before gaining expertise in their field 10,000 hours is a lot of time. Assuming you practiced something for 2 hours a day, it would take you 5,000 days to master something. 5,000 days is roughly 14 years of daily practice.By constantly switching our equipment and gear, we never really get the time to truly know our camera and focal length. Assuming we are diligent enough as photographers to photograph for 2 hours a day, it would still take us 14 years to master our photography (with a given camera or lens).

I believe when it comes to a “one camera and one lens” philosophy, the way to go is with prime lenses over zoom lenses. Why? Prime lenses force you to see the world in a certain way, and whenever the world doesn’t fit the way you exactly want to, you be more creative. Prime lenses also force you to use “foot zoom”, crouch, and experiment with compositions. Zoom lenses tend to make you lazy, as you can just zoom in and out without making as much of an effort.

Sticking with one focal length forced me to be more creative when it came to my photography. If I wasn’t able to fit a subject in my frame at 35mm, I had to make due. Instead of doing a full-body shot of somebody, I might focus on their hands, their feet, or their facial expressions. If I was too far away from my subject, I would either try to incorporate the background more with my subject— or simply take a few steps closer.