I’m asked quite often what equipment I recommend. What is the one thing that is going to turn your pictures into magic? Is there a brand of camera? The perfect camera body model? The perfect lens?
First of all, I’m totally convinced that
#1. People need to learn how to use the camera they have.
I’ve seen SO MANY PEOPLE spend thousands of dollars on the next latest and greatest camera, because they believe it is going to completely upgrade the images they take, when unfortunately there is still a lack of understanding on how to actually use the camera that they currently have.
Understanding how to shoot in manual, how to meter your light, when to use what aperture for what effect, knowing the photographic triangle of ISO-Aperture-Shutter Speed inside out, understanding light and composition…will do more for your images than getting the next upgrade.
#2. Buy a 50mm lens.
Its the only piece of equipment that I totally push. I receive no compensation from anyone for telling everyone to buy it. I just plain love it. For many reasons. It’s affordable. It’s super high quality. It’s low aperture will open up a world of artistry and possibilities that the regular kit lens just does not nor ever will be capable of. You can shoot in low light more easily. It forces you to be creative. But rather than just take my word for it… I found this lovely article on the 50mm lens today. Just thought I’d share.
If you don’t have one, put it on your list as an essential item! You’ll thank me later!
Brooke after taking your workshop I feel the same way about both things you posted! While it would be great to have the latest and fanciest camera around, honestly, I don’t even know the potential of my simple one now. And I will be buying that 50 mm lens!!!
I wish the auto focus on this lens worked on my D60, I want it so bad. Any suggestions on what to get that the auto focus will work for me (without spending an arm and a leg)?
Are you talking about me in #1 Brooke? =p just kidding. I did buy my 50 1.4 because of you and I love it. Take the advice of this lady she knows her stuff! =]
It is fun to get the newest camera… I do admit that! And with every upgrade I’ve had thus far I have indeed noticed a difference in my images, but I was shooting manual with every camera body. And Leah :)… You shoot manual as well! And I’m sure you’ve noticed a difference, but you have to admit, I’m sure you were glad you learned how to work the first camera body before going to the next one 🙂
Yeah this is totally my issue. Have no idea what I’m doing. But just today my neighbor showed me her 50mm lense and I’d love to know more about what this one will do for me? My canon came with what appears (see I have NO idea what I’m doing) a 55mm…is this still good?
Hey Kristi! More so than the focal length (50mm) is the numbers that follow the lens; f1.8 or f1.4. Those are the aperture numbers and they will allow you to do some way cool images with a low depth of field (very lovely blurry backgrounds) and also to be able to shoot in low light. Send me an email if you have more questions about it.
totally agree with the 50 mm! i love love love mine!
oh and brooke… love the new site!
are you suggesting a 50 1.8 or 1.4? thanks for the wonderful advice.
Both are great lenses. I have the 1.4 and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. If you have the budget go for that one. Otherwise, the other will serve just fine.
forgot to ask Brooke, Canon or Nikon?
Thanks for this. I love this lens!
never mind brooke, so much great info on this blog i found the answer…NIKON it is!