Your camera is just a tool for the job

This is a quick post to act as a bit of a reminder that you shouldn’t get too caught up in which equipment is the best.

The term ‘best’ is a very subjective one, especially when you think of the vast array of subject matter that photography encompasses.

For instance, I still get a lot of messages asking which camera would be best. Aside from the fact that I don’t know everything about every camera on the market, before I can even get close to making a suggestion, I need to understand what type of photography you will be doing. Even then I am unlikely to be able to give a specific recommendation, but I might be able to point you in a better direction.

A wildlife photographer would probably need a totally different camera than someone who specialises in food photography based in a studio. An underwater photographer will need to different camera to someone who takes landscape photos.

More importantly though, a beginner would need a totally different camera to an experienced professional.

So, before asking what type of camera is best, have a think about what type of photography you want to do and your budget. I can’t promise I’ll be able to give you an answer, but by asking those questions you’ll be able to get a much better idea by searching for the more specific needs you have.

Ultimately, any camera is better than no camera, and the camera you have with you is much much better than the camera in your cupboard at home.

Book Review: Street Photography Now

I haven’t done many (if any) reviews for camera equipment on this site yet, neither have I done any reviews on things linked to photography, but I’ve been doing more reading about photography recently and I thought it would be good to share some of my thoughts on some of my recent purchases. This is the first of more to come.

I’ve been interested in Street Photography for a little while now. It’s a big change from the interests I had in wildlife photography but, for me at least, is far more accessible and it doesn’t need expensive specialist camera equipment. I’m still very much in the learning stage and don’t confess to be an expert in it by any means so one of the things I decided to do was read more about it.

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Long Exposure Photography

Sunset At Prestatyn Beach-2In one of my previous posts from many moons ago, I explained what shutter speed was and the different effects it has on the image. So now here is a practical example of how you would control shutter speed to give you the results you want.

So just to recap, shutter speed is the length of time the shutter is open to allow light to hit the sensor, or if you are still old school, the film. This can be fractions of a second or many seconds depending on the result you want to get.

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Photography Show 2014

Photography Show 2014Earlier this month I paid a visit to the Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham. For those that don’t know, this is an annual photo show where companies can exhibit their shiny shiny gadgets and gizmos and try and persuade photographers to part with their cash. There are also a series of guest speakers, demonstrations and workshops to attend too.

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What is Street Photography?

Street photography 01

Photography comes in many flavours. Each flavour requires a different set of skills and some flavours even require different camera equipment to do it well. For example, wildlife photography may require a lot of patience, an in depth understanding of the subject and specialist equipment like big lenses, hides and thermos flasks. Formal portraiture may require studio lights, backgrounds and assistants. Street photography on the other hand actually requires very little equipment, you can even use your phone camera if you want.

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iPhone 5 is all you need, probably

It is often said that the best camera is the one you have with you, which is very true, and with mobile phone cameras giving you great control over your photos and the whole host of image editing apps you can get for your phone, why would you need anything else?

Ok, so clearly a mobile phone isn’t going to give you everything a DSLR or good point and shoot will give you, but for candid photography, close up photography and some street photography, maybe even landscape photography, a mobile phone can do a pretty good job. Continue reading “iPhone 5 is all you need, probably” »

Using ISO in your photography

When I started this site I wrote a post about what ISO is and I stated that you should “always try and use the lowest sensitivity you can get away with”. At the time of writing, the sophistication of camera sensors meant that you would start to see noise at fairly low ISO settings so anything above 400 ISO and the chances were that you would clearly see noise in your images.

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My Adobe Lightroom Workflow

Lightroom LogoAdobe Lightroom 4 is my software of choice when I edit my images, although Lightroom 5 is looking pretty cool. I run it on a Mac and have two nice big monitors that have been colour calibrated to make sure I can get the best out of my photography. I have a fairly basic work flow, but I believe it’s a solid one that doesn’t mean I’m spending ages on the computer so I thought it might be useful to share.

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Camera Gear Lust. It’s a trap!

As you get into photography as a hobby, you soon realise that you have picked what can be a very expensive hobby. Unless you win the lottery, there is always going to be some camera equipment that you wish you could own and you dream of being able to own the latest and greatest camera body or the biggest and fastest lenses thinking it will make your images better.

It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into and there is always the risk that you start blaming your camera equipment if you think that your images aren’t very good, or not as good as the professionals. The truth of the matter is that even the most basic of camera is capable of taking a good picture, you just have to learn it’s strengths and weaknesses.

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