Thursday, May 19

My camera kit, picture-taking and photo processing

A few new readers wanted to know what camera I use and how I edit my pics. Well,  if you're a beginner on a budget like me, you may be pleased to know that my set-up is super basic and the editing is quick sticks. If you're pro with loot to spare, you may enjoy a few lols reading this!


My Camera

I have the Canon 1000D aka the entry level Canon DSLR! I would liked to have gotten one of the fancier ones but I only had enough in the piggy bank for this guy. None-the-less, I think it's a great buy for a beginner or anyone on a budget. You can read my 'wildly incoherent' review on it here. 

 My Lens(es)

I alternate between the stock lens on the 1000D (18-55mm) and the Canon 1.8 50mm lens aka, the Nifty Fifty! I got mine for just under R1000 which I think is very reasonable for a lens. I love the Fifty because it's great for shooting portraits and objects - my fave things to snap! You can focus on a specific object while gently blurring the background, creating a sweet depth of field. Also, the 'Fifty' works a charm in low light situations. The Canon 1.4 50mm is even better but that remains on my wish list for now. I can't tell you how many people have seeing me snapping with the 'Fifty', and declared 'Hey, Nifty Fifty!' Ok, seven people. About seven people have done that. Apparently it's a fave of photogs worldwide! Oh, I also have the Canon 430 EX Flashgun which is surprisingly powerful but I barely use it.

Taking Photos

As far as possible, I like to shoot in natural light. Early mornings and mid-late afternoons are best when the light is golden. I suppose I've always sub-consciously tried to follow the 'Rule of Thirds' which this post explains really well. If I could offer any advice, I'd encourage you to not let feeling shy keep ya from snapping. I often feel like a complete nutter hoisting out my DSLR and shooting some random salt shaker but I'm always glad I did it afterwards!

Editing photos

Basicially, I do the easiest thing ever with them - I just run Photoshop actions over them! All the actions I use are the freebies from Night Fate on Deviant Art. You simply download the action to your computer, double click the file and bam, it appears in the Actions toolbar on Photoshop.  When you've opened your photo in Photoshop, you hit the 'Play' button and the action gives your picture an awesome treatment! Some people say it's cheating but I say, 'Eh, cheating, shmeating.' Ready-made actions are quick and easy for peeps like me who just enjoy editing pics for the fun of it. Sometimes, I give actions a skip in favour of adjusting the contrast/brighteness/levels/selected colours etc in Photoshop. Lightroom is another great program for editing pics but my laptop isn't powerful enough to run it. Photoscape and Gimp are fun freebie photography programs I used before Photoshop.

And that's it really - super simple! You can find some photography tutorials I've linked to here.
If you have any other photography questions, please feel free to fire away in a comment. x
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