Hey y’all. Today we’re going to talk photography, which I think is a huge component of building a great blog. Taking better blog photos is something I’m always working on. So today I’m going to show you what equipment I use (and these will be affiliate links, which means that I get a little money if you click through and buy something I pointed you toward), and direct you toward some resources that will help you no matter what camera you have.
First, most bloggers will say they shoot on DSLR cameras. DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. What this means is that these cameras have a mirror inside, so what you see through the viewfinder is actually what the camera sees, not a digital approximation. Though if you use the LCD screen on your DSLR, you’re again seeing an approximation. This digital approximation is what causes the delay between when you push your shutter button and when the picture actually “takes”. You might have been frustrated with this on point and shoot cameras before.
The other difference with most DSLRs is that you can change out the lenses for different purposes. You can’t do that with a pocket point and shoot.
BUT, before I continue, you can take good photos with point and shoot or even phone cameras. I started blogging with a point and shoot. This photo was taken with it:
That is unedited, straight out of camera (SOOC). So it is entirely possible to get good photos with a point and shoot camera, like the one on your phone.
What isn’t always easy to do with point and shoot is get this look:
That look where only one part of the photo is in focus and the rest kind of blurs out is achieved with a low aperture, or f-stop, and isn’t as easy to replicate with point and shoots. Some can do it, but it’s harder.
So, what do I have in my camera bag?
I started with a Canon Rebel XS. These aren’t manufactured anymore, but you can buy them used. It was a great camera, but I started to chafe against the low ISO limit on it. ISO is how sensitive the camera is to light; higher ISO numbers mean the camera is more sensitive. The XS tops out at 1600. It’s also only 10.1 megapixels, which is fine for prints up to 11×14, but if you want to do poster prints you want higher megapixels.
So, I traded up, and now shoot on a Canon T3i (affiliate link). This has been a great camera for me; higher ISO (up to 6400) and more megapixels (18). It’s not the top of the line of the Canon EOS Rebel anymore (the Canon T4i [affiliate link] is) which also means it’s not top of the line in price, either.
Just as important (or maybe even more so) as the camera is the lens. And I have a favorite I bought and used even with my old XS. It’s the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 . This is the lens that lives on my camera. 99% of the photos you see on my blog (well, since I got it in December of 2011 – so photos from before that excluded) are taken with this lens. It has enough zoom range for me and a low enough aperture (f-stop – that’s what the 2.8 means above) to get the nice blurred backgrounds.
OK, finally I don’t want to do a whole photography series. But the Mamarazzi series from Delia Creates and the Take Better Photos on Auto series by It’s Always Autumn are both great places to start. Both these ladies do a fabulous job of not just explaining but showing you what tweaks can do to improve your photos.
Hopefully that helps with your photos – I know these things have helped me!