When I am in a photography funk and want to challenge myself, I take my favorite zoom lens off my camera and put on my Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. What I call the Nifty-Fifty. I did this for a day at Epcot and came away with some of the best photos I have taken there.
Prime lenses are fixed focal length, tend to be sharper than zoom lenses and have a larger aperture range. The aperture range allows for extreme selective focus by using it wide open like on this lovely flower I found near Spaceship Earth.
Blue flower near Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/640s, f/1.8, ISO 200, EV +0.3.
Without the ability to zoom in with the lens, I had to “zoom” with my feet. During a performance of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps in front of the American Adventure, I walked up and photographed the Fife player from three feet away. I did this quickly as I knew others were photographing the performance with their zoom lenses.
Fife player in front of the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3.
Another place I had to move in close was at Germany’s Karamell-KÃ¼che shop where I found these scrumptious chocolate covered strawberries with Werther’s Original Caramel wrapped around them.
Chocolate Strawberries in Germany’s Karamell-KÃ¼che shop.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 200, EV +0.3.
Prime lenses are your best bet when it comes to dark rides like the Gran Fiesta Tour inside Epcot’s Mexico pavilion. Here I photographed Donald Duck photographing me during the relaxing boat ride.
Donald Duck is one of the stars of the Gran Fiesta Tour.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 640, EV +0.3.
I switched to Shutter Priority mode while watching the Matsuriza, the Taiko Drummers, in Japan to show the motion of the entertainer’s arms and drum sticks. I could not get as close as I did for the Fife player so I used leading lines to draw viewers to the drum and drummers.
Taiko Drummers performing at Japan.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/20s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3.
As you can see, prime lenses will challenge you and make you think before pressing the shutter. If you have used a prime lens at a Disney themepark, let me know your thoughts.