Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you know which one you are? Many are innately aware of their personality type in this regard. Some of you will know because at some time in your employment you’ve undertaken the classic Meyers Briggs personality test.
Another way to decide whether you are an extrovert or an introvert is to consider the following: After an exhausting day’s work, do you like to hang out at the pub? Or do you prefer to slink off quietly go home?
Wayne Gerlach is one of our several Australian authors who enjoy submitting the odd article to Macfilos. This one is likely his oddest yet
If you aren’t aware of your type, here’s an easy check for you. Just ask yourself the following question: “After a hard day at work do I prefer to wind down by mixing with your friends, perhaps at the pub? Or do I choose to head home by and just put up my feet up and quietly relax?
If it’s the former you are an extrovert. If it’s the latter, you’re an introvert.
Other questions along the same line are: Do you look forward to the office Christmas party? Do you eagerly anticipate school reunions? Do you choose to spend big birthdays low-key with family, or do you try to have a big party with lots of friends and guests?”
Again, your answers will generally tell you what you already know about yourself.
So, Introvert or Extrovert? That decided, let’s move on to something completely different.
Photography comfort zone.
We’re all aware that specific lens characteristics are preferred for the different types of photography: Macro for macro, wider angles for landscapes, mid focal lengths for close portraiture and bokeh. And most photographers choose the most appropriate kit for the subject at hand. But, let’s put all that rational decision-making to one side and instead consider your deep-down photography comfort zone.
Please think about what type of camera gear is inherently most agreeable to you, particularly what the lens. Don’t think about the genre, just think about the camera and lens that you prefer to pick up and hold, and imagine using it for nothing in particular. Is it a shorter focal length lens? Let’s say 28-35 mm or even wider. This classifies you into the short focal length set. Alternatively, do you choose a longer focal length for everyday comfort photography? Let’s say 40 mm or a nifty fifty or even longer. This puts you into the longer focal length set.
You pays your money, and you takes your choice. Above, its a choice between a semi-wide fixed focal length in the Leica X and Q and a trio of zoom cameras, one from Panasonic, one from Leica and one from Sony. Which of these cameras do you feel most comfortable with?
In considering these options, let me reiterate that we most of us have a range of cameras and lenses to cover all possibilities, and, generally, we choose the best tools for the job.
But for the different purpose of this exercise, the question is which type of lens you feel most comfortable with: Short focal length, longer focal length, zoom or prime?
Another way of thinking about it is to ask yourself what lens you would choose if you were allowed only one for the rest of your life. A sort of Desert Island Digital.
Theory versus hypothesis
Theories are all well and good, but many people are too loose with the statement, “I have a theory, blah blah blah”. True theories are rare; they emerge from rigorously tested hypotheses. But hypotheses are easy to formulate, and the best ones are simple ones.
Therefore, if you’re still with this article so far, we can bring the above-considered concepts together. Let’s consider our personality and lens preferences to test two simple hypotheses.
Hypothesis 1. Extroverts prefer shorter focal length photography. Introverts prefer longer focal lengths.
Basis for hypothesis: Extroverts don’t mind getting in close to subjects. They are quite comfortable with close photography, being noticed and moving around subjects. They are people people. Introverts, on the other hand, are more comfortable when more distant from their subjects. It’s just the way they are hard-wired.
Hypothesis 2. Extroverts prefer fixed focal length photography. Introverts prefer zoom lenses.
Basis for hypothesis: Extroverts don’t mind moving around close to subjects with a fixed focus lens, often referred to as zooming with their feet. They don’t mind the interaction and being seen. On the other hand, introverts like to be less conspicuous and less interactive, living in their world and preferring zoom lenses to do the work of moving and composition.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you by instinct a short or longer focal length type, a primer or a zoomer? I’ll start by declaring myself as an introvert, longer focal length zoomer, that’s my profile, and how I’d prefer to shoot if I had only one camera and one lens forever.
What’s your poison? What’s your one-camera-one-lens-forever ideal? Does it align with your personality? There’s no right answer, of course. Vive la difference.
So, for you dear Macfilos readers, I’d request that you consider whether you align with the two hypotheses above. YES you do, or NO you don’t. Please consider, regardless of whether you are a contributor, a regular commenter or a casual Macfilos reader.