A multi-lens vacation

One of the most agonizing aspects of being on vacation is taking all sorts of wonderful photographs and having to sit on them while I’m away. I don’t like to broadcast when we are away from home, call it a discipline for the age of social media, but there are times where I desperately want to do so.

This past week I was in Williamsburg, my favorite place on Earth, and performed a photography experiment I desperately wanted to share. This was the first time I had three distinct lenses in the historic area, so I went out with a different lens each day. What fun 1!

Closed Sign

On day one I went out with my 40mm prime lens, which is fast becoming my favorite lens with which to shoot. It’s fixed focal length is might make it seem limiting, but the inclusion of a macro mode and it’s excellent image quality more than make up for it’s lack focal range. I especially love the depth of field I can generate with the 40mm. As the above image of this “closed” sign demonstrates. It feels almost like it’s floating independently of the world around it. For a full gallery of my prime walking day, check out the album on flickr.

18th Century Tea Setting

On day two I marched forth with a true “walking lens.” This 18-105mm lens is default kit for my camera, but takes some very clean and balanced shots. We took several house tours this day, so having the ability to keep the lens at 18mm was especially helpful. The above image demonstrates the flexibility of this lens rather nicely. It captured the full tea setting at the Randolph House, and was shot at 25mm. I wouldn’t have been able to capture this view with either of my other two lenses. If you want to see more images taken with this lens, check out my 18-105mm lens album on flickr.

Tar and Feather Pole

Day three was when I hiked out with my 55-300mm lens. Surprisingly, I was able to capture some indoor shots even with this lens. It wasn’t easy, being stuck with 55mm as my minimum focal length, but the results were very nice. I enjoying this image for capturing close shots of subjects which are slightly too far distant for my 105mm. This image of the pole, upon a barrel of tar and a bag of feathers were hung to “encourage” people to support the patriot cause 2, was taken at 210mm from across the Duke of Gloucester street. The full gallery for the day can be found on flickr.

As we didn’t have a set plan for our last day in the Historic Area, I decided to switch back to my 18-105mm lens. The versatility of this lens lent itself to stepping out into the unknown. I was a little saddened, then, to see Benedict Arnold ride down the street and announce the liberation of Williamsburg for the King. My 55-300mm lens would have gotten some stunning images. As it was, the shots I captured were good, but things just didn’t “pop” as much. The image below is probably the best from the day, where Arnold confronts an onlooker who was challenging him.

Benedict Arnold confronts a Williamsburg Patriot

I really enjoyed shooting a different style each day I was in the Historic Area. I’ll have to employ a similar tactic the next time I’m on a multi-day trip.


  1. Yes, I am a nerd. 
  2.   “A cure for the refractory” was a threat. Colonists were to sign the non-importation agreement, or else. “Liberty” had a very specific form in those days. 
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