BEFORE I BEGIN I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE I MAKE A FEW POINTS CLEAR:
1. I AM BY NO MEANS, SHAPE OR FORM A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, PHOTOGRAPHY IS JUST A HOBBY AND SOMETHING THAT I’M REALLY INTERESTED IN
2. AN EXPENSIVE CAMERA DOES NOT MEAN YOUR PICTURES WILL AUTOMATICALLY LOOK FANTASTIC, START FROM THE BOTTOM AND WORK YOUR WAY UP AS YOUR SKILLS IMPROVE
The first few photos of my camera & lenses were taken with my compact featured later on in the post, they were obviously not taken with my DSLR – just in case you thought they were!
I apologise in advance for how long and photo heavy this post will be, I hope it provides a bit of help for some people!
When taking all of my blog photos, and most other photos in life, I use my Nikon D3100 DSLR. It cost me around £600 at the beginning of 2012 and this was in a bundle containing the body, two lenses, memory card and a camera bag – ahh Jessops, I miss you already. It’s quite an entry level camera that is now a year or so old and has been surpassed by newer models, but you can find this model on Amazon here. I saved for a long time to get this camera and it is my baby!
The way I use it depends on the situation, if I have the time and I’m doing product shots I’ll shoot in full manual mode but if I’m a bit short on time I tend to shoot in aperture priority mode or just no flash mode, the latter being my go to for outfit shots as it is a lot easier than setting up every shot individually which is really time consuming. I did take higher photography in school however I knew my way around a camera before starting, I’m completely self taught with a lot of help from various magazines, websites and some good old YouTube videos. Pinterest is a pretty good resource for tutorials and inspiration! Also, if you’re interested in learning more there’s usually a good amount of classes around – Groupon is a good place to grab a bargain.
At the moment I have three lenses, the standard 18-55mm Nikkor kit lens which came with my camera, 70-300mm Tamron Macro lens which was also bundled with my camera and my newest addition is the fantastic 50mm 1.8f Nikkor lens which was a pricey addition to my collection but well worth it. One of the downsides of my D3100 is that it has a slightly different motor to other Nikons (such as my dad’s D40) and so requires different lenses which are slightly more expensive which is a pain considering how expensive lenses are to start with! At the moment my go to lens is my 50mm, probably because it’s new, but before that I pretty much constantly used the kit (18-55mm) lens as it was easier and had a lot more flexibility than my macro lens. The macro lens is a bit of nuisance as it’s quite heavy and the close range makes camera shake very obvious so it works best with a tripod. I use from time to time for super close up product photos such as jewellery.
My Compact Camera
A couple of weeks ago I purchased the Samsung DV90 because it was on offer and I was looking out for a decent little compact to take to Kavos this year, as well as gigs and nights out and things where it’s not really ideal to have my DSLR with me. This has quite a nifty little feature in that it has an extra screen on the front which is useful for taking photos with friends if no one fancies volunteering! I’ve not had a great chance to use it yet but at the moment I’m quite happy with the purchase and I’m sure it will come in handy to have!
Now this tripod was an undeniable bargain. I got this fab little thing for just £3 alongside 3 copies of Digital SLR Magazine! I’m not 100% certain but I think it’s this Hama Star 700 tripod which is pretty cheap to start out with, but not quite as cheap as £3. Considering the magazine itself is about £4 an issue I couldn’t help snapping it up. Last time I checked they current deal was £3 for 3 issues and a free camera bag but I’d pick up a copy of the magazine just to make sure. Digital SLR Photography is one of my favourite photography magazines at the moment so if you’re interested I’d definitely recommend giving it a read.
Comparing the lenses/cameras
|Bracelet from Delilah Dust, full post here|
As you can see, each piece of equipment produces different (in some cases only slight) results. My personal favourite is the 50mm as it produces a very bright image with a good depth of field and shows a good amount of detail. The kit lens produces quite similar results but are a little bit duller which can quite easily be fixed in Photoshop – the major difference between this and the 50mm is that the 50mm has a wider aperture range which isn’t as apparent in this photos. The macro lens shows an insane amount of detail which is fantastic for close up shots, but it works at a very close range which can be quite awkward at times. The DV90 compares quite well to the D3100, it shows a decent amount of detail and the dullness can quite easily be fixed in Photoshop. It’s definitely a handy little thing!
What do you use for your photos? Any must have staple items in your kit? Was this post helpful? I really hope it was!
Lots of love,