Every photographer has one, that go to lens that never leaves their camera bag. I have two, one is my Nikon 24-70mm, my work horse & it never lets me down. But the second one, that’s the one that solves all my problems, provides me with the missing link in my work & allows me to capture the city as I see it. For me that’s the Lensbaby Composer Pro II with an Edge optic.The Edge optics have been my favourite from day one, my go to when needing something a little more. Starting with the Edge 80 I fell in love, & have consistently asked Craig for a wider edge & I was lucky enough to beta test both the Edge 50 & Edge 35. Now I’m throwing my Edge 24 suggestion out there in the world! But here we are in Paris, exploring & adventuring to the tourist stops as well as just wandering the city streets.
The Arc de Triomphe has always been one of my favourite places in Paris, & the views from the top are amazing. I have photographed it every time I have been in Paris over the years & the changing light & the seasons, not to mention your choice of lens makes such a dramatic impact on the end result. These two images were photographed just a few minutes apart, but whilst the composition is not exactly the same you can see how the use of my Composer Pro II with Edge 35 reads light differently. Much of this is down to the direction you tilt the optic in relation to your primary light source. Honestly it’s one of the few lenses where shooting in the middle of the day can give you more even lighting based on how you tilt it, whilst shooting during the traditional best light, “golden hour” can create a huge contrast between your highlights & shadows.
Standing on the top of the Arc de Triomphe you see the city spread out before you. I love the tiny city vibes that the Edge optics can create, but also how moving that line of focus impacts the entire images
Exploring cities isn’t just about seeing the sights (although I do love being a tourist), but also experiencing the city from the ground up. One of my favourite things is walking, especially in European cities where everything is so accessible. This allows me to discover new places. You turn a corner & there is a Parisian Cafe, full of energy & colour & life. These are the moments when the Edge comes into it’s own, allowing me to blur out elements that I don’t necessarily want highlighted, instead focussing on the details. I’m the person who hates having having people recognizable in my work, I like the anonymity that comes from the city but I don’t want their personalities to be visible. Unfortunately when visiting popular cities or locations I often
don’t have the luxury of waiting until all the people have gone, or shooting in the early hours. So I tilt my Edge, find the detail that stands out & blur the people out
Lastly exploring a city on foot allows me to see & experience places that I wouldn’t necessarily if I was using the Big Red Bus (which I love for other reasons)or taxis
Everywhere I go my Edge optics are there to create memories & impressions of the city that will stay with me long after my return home!