Friday, January 15, 2010

Tell me all your secrets and I'll tell you most of mine...

I get asked all the time what kind of camera/equipment I take my pictures with.  This is happening more and more as more people are taking the plunge and diving into the digital SLR world.  To answer the question, I have one of these:

It's a Nikon D-80 with the 18-135mm lens.  Barring a few exceptions, it is the camera that takes all of the pictures on my blog.  One obvious exception being the above picture of a D-80 because, well, that would be complicated.  The camera is awesome, and the 18-135mm lens does pretty much everything I could want a lens to do.

I love it as if it were my own child. 

I also recently got one of these:

Just for those times that my 18-135mm lens doesn't do absolutely everything I want it to do.

Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly adventurous, I will use these to enhance my portrait photography:

Ah, the magic of reflector discs.  They can really make a difference.  I love the way they eliminate harsh shadows and cast such wonderful light.

This picture would have been a mess without them.  Just be sure to bring a crew to hold them up if it is an especially windy day.

My Nikon Speedlight is a source of frustration for me.  I can work it 80% of the time, but that extra 20% makes me nervous, especially when you are taking pictures at an important event. 

My on camera flash actually does most of what I want it to do, with the exception of low-light situations, which is why I really need to figure out how to work my Speedlite.  It's one of my shortcomings and I'm working on it.

I really like my Lowepro camera bag, but if I had it to do over again, I would definitely go with the two-strap version.

Wearing a heavy camera + all of the aforementioned equipment on one shoulder gets a little taxing about an hour into your adventure.  Especially when you don't even get to pick which shoulder.  Just something to consider.

I am at this point a totally dedicated Nikon lover.  I confess that I almost bought a Canon Digital Rebel XTi, and then at the very last minute changed my mind.  I'm so glad I did.  I would encourage you to think about not just what camera you like, but also what camera manufacturer you like.  As you make a significant investment in your equipment, you are not going to want to switch brands and suddenly have none of your gear work with your new camera.  Again, just something to think about. 

I do not pretend in any way to be any sort of expert on cameras or equipment or photography.  However, this guy is:  Ken Rockwell.  I would recommend forgetting everything I say and just doing whatever he says.  And if you do what I say, you can't say I didn't warn you. 

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