Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let me introduce you to my cute camera bag and her friends

I've gotten some questions about what I use to take photos with and thought I'd share some of my tools. I'm not even close to a professional, in fact, my camera is the very basic DSLR, and less expensive than a lot of the cameras many moms are buying these days. I am attempting to focus much of my efforts on figuring out how to use my camera, different lenses, and how to edit my photos.
I recently bought a new lens for my camera and needed an upgrade for my camera bag. I wanted something cute and different. A lot of bloggers are reviewing a popular designer brand but her bags are $200 and up for not much padding and protection. Instead of trying to review one of those and get it for free I went ahead and bought a bag a friend introduced me to called Cheeky Lime. It's half the price of the popular designer bag but with more than twice the padding. Not to mention it's more my style. It even came with a cute camera charm.
A good camera bag is worth spending the money on, you want something that will protect your equipment. This bag has adjustable compartments and has no problem holding all of my gear: My camera, 2 light scoops, my macro lenses, prime lens, kit lens and Tamron lens. Plus my manual, wireless remotes/receiver, wallet, keys, and extra diapers (I only took my camera bag out to the kite festival this weekend and it fit all I needed).
This was my old camera bag. Sturdy, efficient. But I wanted something bigger and cuter.
So what do I use? My camera is a Canon Rebel XS. It's a basic DSLR, but I don't need a big fancy one with tons of settings that takes super huge photos for billboards because I'm not printing images that big. I also think my photos come out pretty well using the manual settings and doing any sharpening (if needed) in Photoshop.
The second lens I got after my kit lens was my 50mm prime lens. Its good for portraits and I used that lens 90% of the time before getting my Tamron lens. I love it because it takes great portraits of my daughter, but the prime means its a fixed focal length--Or doesn't zoom, so I have to back up a lot to get more of her in the frame. I have the 1.8 f-stop which is great for low-light situations and creating a blurry look in the background (or bokeh).
I decided to skip getting another prime lens for now and go for another zoom so I could get more of a wide angle if need be, but also take nice portraits, so I got a Tamron 28-75mm, with a 2.8 f-stop, so it still works great in low light, and creates great bokeh.It's also nice because with Lil' J moving so much now I can adjust zoom based on where she goes versus having to move each time. It also can focus with her being right up on my lens, which my 50mm can't do. But it still has the great focal length for portraits. I love it!

I don't have an external flash I use with my camera, I use Lightscoops indoors though, which bounces my camera's flash off my white walls and ceilings to give my photos a more natural look when the sun has gone down or there's low light.
My macro lenses make it so I can take extra close-up pictures with my Tamron lens. Think insects, flowers, small detail, etc. It's good quality for my type of photos. My macro shots with these lenses aren't going in magazines or anything but  they look great for my hobby use.
I have a .45 wide angle lens adapter for my 50mm, in case I want to use my prime, but get a full room photo for example, it creates a slight fisheye effect.

I use UV protectors and polarizers for each of my lenses. The polarizers to take the glare out of water and the skies bluer, and the UV protectors to protect the lenses from smudges and scratches. I also use lens hoods, which sorta do the same thing, I'll probably drop the filters soon.

I have a tripod and wireless remote/receiver to take self-portraits with Lil' J, like the first photo in this post. That's probably one of my favorite pieces of camera equipment. No more running back and forth.

I wanted to get a cute camera strap to match. So I got the Harper strap cover courtesy of Whitney from Little Miss Threads that matches my bag. It has a lens cap pouch to hold my cap while I'm shooting. Helpful since I've lost a few of them. The draw-string pouches that hold some of my camera equipment, I made to match. These aren't mandatory, but if my camera is ever in a line up for a group shot, I'll be able to pick mine out.  Her straps are affordable and unique. You can use the code BMM311 to get 15% off right now too!
And that pretty much sums up what's in my bag. The other half of my photography hobby is here on my laptop, as I do a lot of editing in photoshop to make a good photo great. I'm not a pro at that either but I'm having fun learning. I don't think I'll be getting any more lenses any time soon. Maybe in a few years I'll get another lens that will be good for sports or something (for some reason I envision Lil' J playing soccer), but for now, I think I'm good.

What's your favorite piece of camera equipment?

Everyone who comments on this post before March 15th 11:59pm will be entered to win a camera strap cover from Little Miss Threads. If you "like" Little Miss Threads on facebook, and tell her I sent you, you get an extra entry, just leave a 2nd comment. Good luck!