We need a break from all this talk of Digital Asset Management (DAM). Let's remember that managing our photos is a service to our photography practice. We are photographers first, and image managers second. Proper image management is a way to honor our photography but it should not replace it. Photographers photograph!

I've been using my camera a lot lately and my neck is sore. I blame my zoom lens. The lens is heavy, which makes the camera hefty and I carry the camera on my left side. This causes the lens strap to press on the right side of my neck. I fear becoming lopsided so I tried switching sides. But it didn't work. The only other option to spare my neck was to lighten the camera. So, I've switched lens for awhile. I'm now using a lightweight, prime lens. It's a fast and of normal focal length. My neck feels better but now my legs are more tired.

Using the normal lens has been a revelation—I'm now doing more walking with the camera. Using the zoom had become a crutch. It had been doing much of the work for me. Rather than move in and around my subject I'd been standing still and zooming. Zooming in is not the same as moving in. Moving in is interacting with your subject and taking chances. Moving in is active behavior, zooming in is passive and, dare I say, being lazy.

Oh, there are times when one needs a zoom lens. Being a bird lover, I cannot imagine photographing birds without my big, bad, zoom lens. I like being able to try out different focal lengths and perspectives quickly and easily. I love the flexibility and the instantaneous feedback that a zoom gives me. And let's face it—the world moves on while we're changing lenses. The bottom line is always to get the image. The zoom has an important place in the photographers toolkit. But, I've become an addict and its time for a change.

The zoom has made me lazy. I've come to realize that I'd been using it when I should have been using my feet. I should have been leaning in and observing the world as closely as I could. I should have been moving in beyond my comfort zone. I should be an active and engaged photographer, not a dispassionate observer from afar. So, the zoom lens is getting a rest and so is my neck. My feet, however, are now getting a workout.