RSS
 

Posts Tagged ‘Buying’

Buying guides updated with Panasonic DC-G9

17 Jan

Now that we’ve completed our review of Panasonic’s Lumix DC-G9, we’ve updated its entry in our Best Cameras Under $ 2000 and Best Cameras for Sports & Action buying guides. The G9 is Panasonic’s flagship stills camera, and earned a Silver Award with impressive stabilization, burst shooting, and solid image quality.

Head to our buying guide hub for help finding the right camera by both price and use case.

Read our Best Cameras Under $ 2000 buying guide

Read our Best Cameras for Sports & Action buying guide

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

8 Tips for Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

17 Jan

“I really don’t need any more photography equipment in my gear bag”, said no photographer ever!

We all know that is this far from the truth. Even if you have not voiced this thought out in the open, you have certainly thought it. Especially when you see a photographer that you admire rave about a certain piece of gear that they absolutely cannot live without.

We, photographers, get very upset when strangers compliment our gear over our skill. Yet we seem to fall into that same trap when we don’t quite get the shot we really want.-If only I had that fast lens, if only my camera could handle a low light situation, if only I had image stabilization on my lens, or if only I had a camera that takes more frames per second, etc., etc., etc.

Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

Before you get ready to give up on the gear you have, I encourage you to look at your pictures with a critical eye and analyze if it is truly a gear limitation versus user error or inexperience. Now, I am not saying that the user is at fault in every situation. I will admit that in some situations gear is very important. For example, photographing a leopard chasing down its next meal or that sports car as it races around the track.

But in most cases, depending on your skill level AND the intended use of your pictures, you can get the shot with the equipment you already own. Here are some tips to help you.

#1 Perfect your composition skills

There are several different composition techniques that you can use to take your photographs from boring to interesting. Often just a small change can create a big impact. Are you finding yourself using the same center focused composition time and again? Try using the rule of thirds instead. Are you always photographing at eye level? Change your perspective and perhaps photograph from top-down or at a 45-degree angle.

Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

A cloudy gloomy day in Vridhavan, India gave me the perfect opportunity to capture reflections on this relatively still river. I intentionally chose an off-center composition to add additional interest to this image.

#2 Take your camera everywhere

If you are really serious about improving your photography, one of the first things to do is to understand your gear. The best way to do that is to take lots of photos. Take your camera with you everywhere you go.

If you really want to improve your photography, you have to take lots and lots of photos. By taking lots of pictures, you will start to understand how to use your camera in different lighting conditions and what works and what doesn’t. You can only do this if you give yourself many different opportunities to photograph different subjects in different lighting situations.

Take this a step further by actually taking and using the gear you want to perfect. If you own a DSLR but find it too heavy or cumbersome, then perhaps it is time to buy a simple point and shoot or smaller mirrorless camera.

Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear - horse photos

I am always carrying my camera to the barn where my kids learn horse riding. There are so many interesting stories that unfold and the lighting is quite challenging especially during winter so it gives me a chance to practice difficult lighting techniques as well!

#3 Learn to read and analyze light effectively

One of the most important elements of photography is light and yet it is amazing how many photographers don’t understand this important concept. Also, not all light is equal.

Light changes during the day and different types of light can affect images differently. Morning light is different from afternoon light which is different from evening light (a.k.a golden hour) which is yet again different from blue hour. In order to really improve your photography, you must learn to distinguish these different types of lighting situations and how to effectively work in each situation.

Dark and Moody Lifestyle Equestrian Photos - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

I saw this image long before I even took the photo. Just something about the light filtering from the right, the catch light and even the color of the horse just made this one of my favorite equestrian photos of all times!

#4 Use a tripod

A tripod is a very useful tool for you as a photographer. It opens up new opportunities for creative photography like low light or night photography. You can experiment with the light at night to capture really beautiful images.

A tripod can let you capture sharp images of non-moving subjects and blur out moving subjects, creating very interesting photographs. You can take this a step further by using a remote trigger that will also enable you to take long exposure shots without fear of camera shake.

#5 Learn to photograph in manual mode

Your camera is a pretty sophisticated piece of machinery with a pre-programmed brain (shooting modes). These modes can be found on the top dial of your camera and are generally labeled as P (Program), M (Manual), Av/A (Aperture Priority), and Tv/S (Shutter priority), plus other automatic modes.

Manual mode (or M on most cameras) is much like using an old film SLR, when they didn’t have buttons that do it all for you. Being the only option, photographers were forced to learn to use their cameras in Manual. In doing so, they fully learned how their cameras worked. Once you know how to properly use your camera, it becomes much easier to spot where you’re going wrong and to fix it.

Semi-automatic modes are good for some situations but, once you know how to properly shoot in Manual, you’ll find there’s no need for them and you’ll get better results on your own. Manual mode also gives you the freedom to make mistakes, freedom to bend the “rules” of photography, and in turn, gives you the freedom to excel in your art.

Car in a foggy day along a ridge road - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

Manual mode on your camera gives you so much flexibility in terms of getting creative, photographing in different conditions and also allowing you to experiment with different techniques.

#6 Find great locations to photograph

Don’t just sit at home and expect great pictures to happen. Find local and state parks or perhaps even national parks that might be close to you (by close I mean within an acceptable driving distance) and look for potentially good spots for photography.

When shootig landscapes, you will have to envision your image to see what could look good and what may not. For example, a still lake is a great way to produce a mirrored image where the clouds, trees, and other objects are reflected on the lake. For portrait photography, drive around and see if you can find locations that will look good in the background.

The great thing about portrait photography is that a good background is often easy to find like a white wall, an old building, or an interesting fence. Use your imagination and you will soon be finding great spots all around you.

Custer State Park Outdoor Photos - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

#optoutside and I guarantee you will find amazing things to photography. Just being outside in nature changes our perspective and lifts the mood!

#7 Understand basic post-processing

Exposure or brightness, contrast, color balance, and tone/tint are some of the basic things you can fix in an image. There are many free post-processing software out there in the market that you can use to make basic adjustments to your image.

If you want to learn advanced editing techniques there are many options for you like Photoshop, Lightroom, Luminar, etc. Adobe has great creative editing programs that are subscription based (a fee every month). Maybe invest in these programs on a trial basis and see if they will suit your editing needs.

 Custer State Park sunset photo - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

I have a certain style of how I like my photos and I always look for elements that will work well with that style. I have a relatively easy hand in terms of editing my photos – minor adjustments in exposure, contrast, tonality and shadows/highlights and I am done. My preference is to keep the natural look and feel of my images intact – just my personal style of photography!

#8 Photograph in RAW

If you are still using JPEG for your pictures, it is about time to move to RAW. Most of the newer cameras today are capable of recording images in RAW format, so give it a try. A RAW image is called “raw” for a reason – it is an unprocessed image with a lot more colors to work with than a JPEG image.

It might not look great at the back of the camera when you take the photo but when you import it into your editing software, you have a lot more options to adjust to give it the look and feel you want. One caveat is that RAW  images do take up more space than JPEG, so you might have to invest in memory cards with more storage and a larger hard drive.

Custer State Park Paddle boarding in Lake Custer - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

When we visited this state park, there were a lot of wildfires that were burning in the neighboring areas, so the sky had this general pink glow all throughout! By photographing in raw and editing in post, I was able to retain the look as I remember seeing the park when we visited!

Conclusion

I hope these tips help you understand your existing gear a little bit better. Sure, you may have reached a point in your career where an upgrade is absolutely required and essential.

If not, rather than investing more money in gear that you may not be ready for, try to improve your craft with what you have and a little extra effort.

The post 8 Tips for Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear by Karthika Gupta appeared first on Digital Photography School.


Digital Photography School

 
 

2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for landscapes

20 Dec

Landscape photography isn’t as simple as just showing up in front of a beautiful view and taking a couple of pictures. Landscape shooters have a unique set of needs and requirements for their gear, and we’ve selected some of our favorites in this buying guide.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on 2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for landscapes

Posted in Uncategorized

 

2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for students

19 Dec

If you’re looking to learn more about photography there are some great cameras available. We’ve chosen a handful of models that offer an affordable way into photography, but give you plenty of scope to grow as you develop your skills.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on 2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for students

Posted in Uncategorized

 

2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for parents

18 Dec

Quick. Unpredictable. Unwilling to sit still. Kids really are the ultimate test for a camera’s autofocus system. We’ve compiled a short list of what we think are the best options for parents trying to keep up with young kids, and narrowed it down to one best all-rounder.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on 2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for parents

Posted in Uncategorized

 

2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for sports and action

10 Dec

Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes ‘zoom’? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child’s soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on 2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for sports and action

Posted in Uncategorized

 

2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for video

09 Dec

Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on 2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for video

Posted in Uncategorized

 

2017 Buying Guide: Best consumer drones

09 Dec

Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $ 2,000.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on 2017 Buying Guide: Best consumer drones

Posted in Uncategorized

 

2017 Buying Guide: Best fixed prime lens cameras

07 Dec

The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it’s here that you’ll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on 2017 Buying Guide: Best fixed prime lens cameras

Posted in Uncategorized

 

2017 Buying Guide: Best enthusiast long zoom cameras

06 Dec

Long-zoom compacts fill the gap between pocketable cameras and interchangeable lens models with expensive lenses, offering a great combination of lens reach and portability. Here’s a look at the category’s current offerings and which ones we like best.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on 2017 Buying Guide: Best enthusiast long zoom cameras

Posted in Uncategorized