Photography


  • Invest  in your photography education before expensive equipment
    • I would recommend the following:
      • Kelby One
      • Karl Taylor
      • Tony Northop
      • Lynda.com
  • Buying a camera and lenses
    • I would suggest that you stick to Nikon, Canon, and Sony – in that order
      • Other manufacturers may be cheaper initially, but will cost you in the long run
    • For your first camera I would suggest that you look into a 2nd-hand DSLR:
      • I’ve been into photography for almost a decade now and had a number of cameras and lenses – not one has broken on me yet 😉
      • You may possibly be able to get a previous generation pro/enthusiast level camera for the same money as a new entry level camera
        • Often times the auto-focus, and burst performance will be much better on the pro/enthusiast level cameras
      • Also try get a fast prime lens to learn how aperture effects your images:
        • I would suggest that you get a 50mm lens to start with because they are generally quite cheap – and even cheaper 2nd hand
          • I’m currently a Canon shooter and would suggest the 50mm f/1.4 instead of the 50mm f/1.8 (The focussing is just way better)
    • Try buy full-frame lenses instead of crop factor lenses
      • It’ll save you a ton of cash when you finally get a full frame camera body
      • In my experience full-frame lenses seem to be better made and the image quality seems to be better, especially on crop sensor cameras
    •  Try get lenses with the same filter thread size – it’ll allow you to reuse your filters
      • Alternatively get step-up filter rings
    • Try figure out what type of photography you’re interested and then pick a brand that has the equipment that will allow you to follow your dreams
      • Canon for instance has many speciality lenses available, that the other manufactures just don’t have an answer for
        • If you don’t need any of these lenses then you’ll have much more choice available in terms of the brand to choose.
    • Stick to the name brand lenses (like Canon, Nikon) unless you’ve done a ton of research and rented the off-brand lenses yourself
      • I got burned buying a Sigma lens that only ever produced crappy images. For years I thought it was my fault, and then one day I tried a Canon L series lens and have never looked back.
    • Canon L series lenses are well worth the extra money! They are just brilliant lenses!
  • Having good equipment makes a huge difference – no matter what some Pros say
    • Having the skills to use it makes just as much of a difference, but in my experience the less skilled you are the bigger the difference good equipment will make.
    • Invest in better lenses before buying better camera bodies.
    • Lenses hold their value well. Bodies depreciate in value very quickly.
  • To prevent camera shake:
    • Make sure your shutter speed is at least 2x the focal length of your lens
      • This is especially true of heavy lenses or APS-C style cameras
    • Buy image stabilised lenses (IS / VR), they make a world of difference.
    • www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-shake.htm
  • Cross-type autofocus points make a massive difference – the more the better
    • Article to follow at some point
  • Setup a studio (if you have the space available for it )
    • A set to 2 flash-based studio lights with stands and basic light modifiers will costs you roughly the same as 1 high end speedlite, but it’ll be a much better learning tool and could potentially turn into a business too.
    • You really don’t need very powerful Flashes to start with, and too much flash power can be a real problem
    • Opt for Flash over continuous light sources. It’ll give you far more control, especially in terms of the amount of light and the quality (hard/soft) of the light.
    • Do not buy a muslin / fabric background – you’ll spend all your time trying to get rid of damn creases 😦
      • Rather opt for seamless paper/plastic/rubber
      • You might also want to look into DIY options for building the backdrop stands
      • If you own the property another option is to build a curve into your walls
  • Some good resources:

 

Please contribute by letting me know your ideas, or leaving comments below.

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