Canon's Behind The Lens features Italian photographer Marco di Lauro. He's a photographer since 1993, and has been shooting for Getty Images since 2002 after working as a freelancer for The Associated Press. He covered conflicts in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa and The Balkans, and recently returned from a two month embed with British paratroopers in Afghanistan.
Although the article on Marco is essentially a promo piece for Canon's products, I was struck by this quote:
"I prefer to use short lenses than the longer EF70-200mm f/1.4L USM I have in my bag, they are more suitable for the type of photography I do and they really fit my personality. I use the EF35mm f/1.4L USM for at least 80% of the pictures I take - I need to be close to the subjects I photograph. Some photographers are really good long lens photographers; I am not. I need to feel the breath of the subject I photograph, I need to feel what I feel, I need to go through his emotions and, if he is suffering, I need to suffer with him."
Not that I'm remotely close of being a conflict photographer, but it's uncanny how this quote describes my style of photographing as well (minus the "suffering" bit, which is not what I'm involved with). I started off my travel photography by using, virtually exclusively, the 70-200mm f/2.8 for my photographs. I don't know whether it was an initial unwillingness to approach the subject(s) and engage or whether it was my visual preference at the time, but I found that over the ensuing years, I used it less and less. It's a great lens, but I much prefer shorter lenses...and while I haven't yet mastered my new 24mm 1.4L lens as much as I would like, I know that it -and the other short zooms in my kit- provides me with the ability of getting really close to my subjects.
Marco di Lauro: Between Duty and Downtime