"...there is real beauty, fascinating depth, and simplicity around us all, if we just take the time to look."
What's in the Bag
Photographers as a whole like their gear, and I'm no different. Here's a peek at what's in my bag and some tools and resources I've found along the way.
And maybe a couple ideas for gifting the photographer in your life.
The Canon 60D is my current camera, and although it is a little dated, I am overall pretty happy with it. It is a great little DSLR, has held up well in a variety of weather, and you can still pick one up for a steal.
What I like best is it was an easy learning curve so I was able to jump right into shooting. I was already in the Canon ecosystem so I already had lenses and accessories. Canon offers a wide range of lenses to choose from at all different price points so I haven't felt limited in my choices. Even the kit lens has delivered pictures I love. I like the smaller size and weight over some bigger cameras. I'm often lugging this guy around my neck or in a bag for a good chunk of the day and all those little pounds and ounces add up quick. The 60d's menu is easy to navigate and the quick menu on the flip screen is handy for on the fly changes. The 1.6x crop factor is something I had a difficult time wrapping my head around for the longest time (math isn't my strong suit) but now that I get it, I find it a blessing as I'm always wanting more reach.
What I'd look for in my Next Camera:
Due to new technology the latest cameras typically have a higher dynamic range so I'd make sure to look for that. Even with a higher dynamic range I still might like to bracket for HDR photography so I'd look for more than 3 stops auto bracketing (60D tops at 3).
The other area of interest to me would be image stabilization (Vibration or Shake Reduction) in camera. Canon makes lenses that offer IS and they work great. I am hit and miss with steady hands and wanting to lug a tripod. Having an option in camera is appealing to me, particularly for interior shots. I'm also curious about mirrorless cameras due to their compact size. I'll keep you posted!
The Canon Rebel Xt was my 1st DSLR and I still have it. I use it occasionally as a backup camera. For me, it was a great introduction to the world of DSLR's and all that's involved in creative choices in photography and lenses. I have shot with my Xt for a number of years and it still is alive and kicking. Despite not being sealed for weather, mine has been in all types of environments from extreme sand in the desert to being sprayed under a waterfall and it's never missed a pic. My main reason for moving on and still my #1 gripe with this camera is noise. I'm toying around with converting my Canon Rebel into an infrared camera.
This Canon Prime lives up to all the hype. It has excellent image quality, good reach, and is compact enough to carry all day.
This wide-angle lens is so much fun to shoot with. Great lens for creative photography.
The 24-105 Canon Prime is the perfect lens for travel. If I could only take one lens with me, this would be it.
Being a girl who wears glasses, I was having a hard time being able to clearly see through my camera's viewfinder with my glasses on. This is one of those things that I didn't realize how much I needed it until I got it. Now it blocks all of that excess light, I don't have to take my sunglasses off, and I can easily focus on the shot I want.
For when you don't want the tripod. Some historic places that have rules against taking in a tripod will actually let you in with a tripod. Can make all the difference in staying steady and getting the shot.
Quick release plate/monopod ball head for Manfrotto Monopod.
On1 Photo Raw is an image editing program and a welcome addition in any photographer's toolbox. Some looking to get out of Adobe's ecosystem will be pleased to find a full-featured alternative. Personally, I use it as an extension of Photoshop and Lightroom in the form of a plug-in. I find it to be a much quicker way to get a much more defined "look" that I'm after. On1 has layers, easy masking tools including luminosity masking, LUT's, textures, and an endless supply of presets - all ready for you to style your look to your individual taste.
Being an On1 customer for a number of years I've always been impressed with their software and resources for those using their products. They supply a trial version of On1 Photo Raw along with making many tutorial videos available for their customers. In addition, if you upgrade to their On1 Plus program, included along with your software is additional learning resources. They bring in a photo educator every month on a different photography related subject and offer these additional resources to On1 Plus members. I've only been a Plus member for a few months but I have enjoyed the added content.
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Photography products, camera equipment, and services discussed on this site are products that I own, have used extensively, and am offering my honest opinion on. Links to sites such as Amazon will provide me with a very small percentage of their sale if you purchase anything after clicking through. This does not add to your cost in any way.
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pdated: July 2018