Having the right gear is so important when it comes to taking a good picture. But just having good gear doesn’t mean you will take an awesome picture. You still need to know how to use it!
Here is my favorite gear.
There is a lot of other gear you can get like light kits and flashes etc. I own several of them, but I always go back to the basics. I am defiantly a natural light photographer. My eye has always been drawn to light, bright and airy photos.
Lets talk about my gear first
Tripod – anytime you are shooting in low light you want a tripod, this is help to make your pictures very crisp and in focus. As a standard rule of thumb if your shutter speed ever drops below 50 it needs to be on a tripod, otherwise your shutter speed will not be fast enough to compensate for your hands natural shake. I also use a tripod to take selfies of myself. My camera has WiFi capability so I can actually take the picture from my phone.
Camera’s – I would recommend a DSLR camera. I personally love Nikons, but Cannons are also great. I know some of my friends even have Sony and other brands. The most important feature is being able to set your camera to manual. What does this mean? When you set your camera to manual you get to choose the F-stop and the shutter speed your camera will take the picture in. This is important to get the perfect exposure. You may have noticed if you are in a low light situation and you are shooting in auto usually the flash will pop up. I HATE on camera flashes. They cast such harsh shadows and they flatten objects because all the light is coming from the camera (front) instead of circling the area naturally.
Let me show you a few examples.
This picture is me holding the camera. Remember I don’t want to go below a shutter speed of 50. So I set my camera to a shutter speed of 50 and dialed my lens down to the lowest f-stop it would allow. This is what it produced.
Then I turned my lights on so I would have more light. And this is what it looks like. I always try to take pictures with my lights off because as you can see it gives the photo an orange cast and it creates shadows I don’t really like.
Or you can use a flash. But as you can see from the picture below it casts really hard shadows and it kind of flattens everything and makes the front of the photo really bright.
Then I stuck my camera on the tripod and adjusted the setting until I got the perfect exposure for this space. Which at the time was a shutter speed of 8 and an f stop of 5. What a huge difference right? The clarity is so much better too! I try not to over expose when I am taking the picture, even though I really like the look of an over exposed photo. The reason for that is you loose details and clarity when something is too bright. So I try to stay around something like this.
Here is a look at a picture I over exposed, this came straight out of the camera I have not edited it at all.
After I take my pictures I load them on to my laptop and import them to Lightroom where I play around with the exposure, highlights and shadows. Which is what I did with this picture. We will get more into that next week!
Another trick I use when taking pictures it so stand by a window or open a door to let in more light. You can see in the photo below how I opened the door and let in more light to brighten the space even more.
Join me next week for more photography tips!
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