Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

This is a short and simple post but based on questions I’ve been receiving lately, it’s necessary. Several people wrote to me lately to complain that they couldn’t afford a “fancy new zoom lens” for their DSLR. One person was lamenting the fact that all they had was their 50mm f/1.8 lens.

News flash – that’s how most people I know started in photography. One body – one lens. But here’s the good news. Every camera has a built-in zoom. It’s called moving your feet!

Take 10 steps closer to your subject. Take 15 steps back from your subject. See? The perspective changes – just like it does when you use a zoom lens.

While this is all written tongue in cheek, there are a couple of lessons here. The first is make do with what you have. The second is perhaps more important – move your feet.

Having led literally hundreds of photo workshops and conferences, I can tell you that universally, one of the biggest mistakes the newbie makes is arriving at the photo location, bounding out of the car to the closest “cool spot” and then planting themselves there for the next hour as if they were trying to become a permanent part of the landscape.

Move your feet! Put yourself in different positions. Look at every photographic subject from different angles. Move closer. Move further away. Change things up.

Then someday when you’re old and tired like me and your old dogs start barking at you because you’ve been running around making too many photos, you can save up and buy a zoom :)

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This post sponsored by PocketWizard

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  1. [...] graduated to better, more expensive cameras and super-zoomers. What I failed to appreciate was that every camera has a built in zoom – our two feet! Ever since, I’ve moved onto better equipment and longer lenses, but I must say my favourite [...]

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