In my ongoing quest for “nerding“ myself to death on photography blogs and camera / lens review sites, I have recently come to a startling conclusion. This particular revelation sprung into being while doing a lot of research about camera lenses in particular. Now for those of you who know or care about camera lenses, this article might not be of much interest. So I suggest you still continue reading and simply substitute my voice with Morgan Freeman’s so that you are none the less entertained.
Now back to the lenses. As those of you who do care know, once upon a time there were only manual focus lenses, then came auto focus lenses, and then super-duper-altra-fast auto lenses. The advantage of an auto focus lens over a manual lens is naturally that photographing moving subjects becomes easier. You know, sports, wildlife, politicians and the likes. And of course, the faster the lens, the more likely you are to capture a sharp image. In reading these review sites and blogs, the subject of lens speed is understandably discussed a lot as it is an important factor when reviewing and purchasing a lens. But it seems that the general tone among bloggers and enthusiasts is that if your lens is not super-crazy fast (which they weren’t some years ago), you should forget about shooting action photography, or so some imply. Which begs the question: What did sports, wildlife etc. photographers use before ultra fast auto focus lenses?
This disturbing question made me think of the amazing photographer Art Wolfe renowned for his gripping wildlife and culture photography. I thought of him particularly because I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was a teenager while he was on a photographic safari with my father. It was a long time ago, and I was just a teenager, but I pretty sure he was not a time traveller with a lens from the future. So my logical conclusion, which is far more realistic judging by his impressive work, is that Art must simply have been using magic.
Art I salute you!
To learn some fake (sorry kids) magic click here