Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fun With Photography: My Equipment

I get asked a lot what kind of camera I have and what equipment I use. First of all, let me just say that a great camera does not make for a great photographer. That being said, it is helpful to have a nicer camera and different lenses because you can do more with them.

My camera is a Canon Rebel XSI aka the Canon 450D

One of these days I hope to upgrade to a Canon 5D Mark II, but as it's a bit pricey, that's going to take awhile.

I have 4 lenses that I shoot with. Some I use more than others and there are different circumstances where I'll use one lens over another.

First lens is my kit lens, or the lens that came with my camera. It's a 18-55m. Nothing special, but for basic shots and some macro it works well.

Next is my 70-300mm zoom lens. It's also known as a telephoto. It's great for zooming in from far away at flowers, animals and some landscape details. This picture of Big Ben was taken with my telephoto.

Because the telephoto zooms out so far, it's pretty important to have a lens hood on it to prevent your pictures from being blown out or getting too much sun flare in your lens. I don't always shoot with mine on, but my pictures usually turn out better when I do.

Next is my 50mm f 1.8 lens. It's a prime lens, meaning it doesn't zoom in or out, it's a fixed lens so no movement. I use it a lot more than I use to. It's awesome for portraits, close-ups and even works well for some landscape shots. It also creates great bokeh. A lot of my 365 Project photos are taken with my 50mm lens.

Last, but not least is my 10-22mm lens. It's a wide-angle lens and in my opinion works best for landscapes or if you are in a room and are wanting to capture a large number of people or details in the room.

This photograph is an example of the wide angles capabilities.

Another piece of equipment I use is a tripod. I have a cheap Wal-Mart quality tripod right now, but it's on my list of things to upgrade. Tripods are great for night shots. with a tripod you aren't getting any camera shake and it truly can take your night shots to the next level. Almost all of my night shots that were taken on our last vacation were taken with a tripod.

Some people are fine with just taking pictures and not doing any sort of post-processing on them. Since I'm aiming to be a professional photographer and because I like the look of my pictures more after they are processed, I purchased a photo-editing program.

I own Adobe Photoshop Elements 8. With photo editing programs you have several choices. Rita over at the CoffeeShop Blog wrote a great post about the three most popular programs on her blog just a few weeks ago. Check it out here.

I will say though, if you're going to get a photo editing program, you really need to get a book that teaches you how to use it. It's not a program that you can just figure out for yourself right off the bat. I recommend Scott Kelby's book, The Photoshop Elements Book for Digital Photographers. I seriously call it my bible, because it's so amazing and very helpful when you're first starting out.

If you have any questions about my camera, lenses or photography, feel free to email me. I'll do my best to answer your question!


The Mrs. in Stilettos said...

Thank you thank you thank you for posting this! In the next year I am looking to upgrade from a point and shoot camera to the real deal! I have been looking into getting a new photo editing program and a book to go with it! I just love your pictures!!! They are amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

I have the same camera and I totally love my telephoto lens also!

Do you like using your tripod a lot? I totally hate lugging that thing around.

My husband calls me the tourist as I carry it all with me at all times. BTW you do a great job with your editing. I often get lost with what I am doing when doing edit photos in CS5.

FemminaDaVinci said...

Love Canon <3
I have the T1i :D
Cool kids think alike!

Sarah Ann said...

I love this post! Not only did I enjoy hearing about what you use and like, but you also taught me a couple of new things- like bokeh. I didn't know what that meant so I googled it. And I also didn't know what a prime lens was- a friend of mine has the same lens and told me about it just the other day but didn't explain it so I didn't know what she was talking about but felt stupid to ask. :/ Thanks for this! You should do another post like this soon, I'd love some hints and tips!

d.a.r. said...

I really really am crossing my fingers and hoping the Easter Bunny (or tooth fairy, of hell..Santa) orders me a telephoto lens. I just hate the thought of spending the money, but I want one! :)

Thanks for sharing!

The Social Frog said...

I love the Canon DSLR's. I got a Canon Rebel T2i for christmas and I love it!

stefanie said...

What a great post!!! I heard that everyone with a DSLR should get a 50mm since it's so versatile. I will definitely be looking into getting it - maybe my graduation present to myself? ;)

Megan said...

I have the same camera, kit lens, and the 50mm 1.8. One of the best things I've bought is a big gorilla pod. It works so well since we travel so often and it's small and light. Also, when you want a picture of you in it but don't want to ask someone it comes in handy. :)

The Rest is Still Unwritten said...

girl your pictures are gorgeous! My mom gave me her older Cannon for when the baby gets here...but I have NO idea how to use it. Guess I need to figure it out!

Jessica Lynn said...

I think I need to go on a weekend photo-shoot tour with you when I get out there to see how you operate :) When you travel, do you take all of your lenses, tripod, etc. in a backpack or something? I have a camera bag, but damn does it get heavy, and I only have one lens and a camera in it! goal is to get one new lens before we move; I just need to research which one I want next.