Many camera kits come with a 18-55mm zoom lens, which is a versatile lens under common shooting conditions. But if you want to take portraits with nice bokeh, or shoot in low-light conditions, these kit lenses usually aren’t optimal. Most of these lenses have a maximum aperture of f-4/5.6 (depending on the focal length you’re shooting at) and it can be a bit tough to achieve these effects with that aperture.
Many photographers swear by an f-1.8, 50mm lens. Some even say this is their main shooting lens and they barely use other lenses.
We’ve all been out in great locations, taking what we thought were perfect shots, only to discover that the scene has turned out really bright and washed out. Or we got the family perfectly posed, only to discover everyone in the photo is dark and their features are hidden.
What went wrong?
These mishaps happen because the automatic exposure sensor in your camera can get fooled by certain lighting conditions.
If you take a picture and there is a bright light source BEHIND the subject you want to take a picture of, that light source will send too much light into the camera.
The camera has to rely the amount of light coming through the lens and falling on the sensor,so sometimes it gets it wrong. Because the sensor tries to average the exposure out while not losing any of the bright areas in the photo, it can end up exposing for the light source instead of the subject.
So when could that happen?
It could happen:
a)If you take a photograph with the sun in front of you instead of behind you, (a sunset, or a group shot on holiday, for example)
If you’re not using a tripod yet…you should be!
But if you’ve never used a tripod before, how do you know what to buy? Think about this: your camera body will be sitting on that tripod. The same camera body you’ve spend hundreds on. So is it worth risking your camera on a flimsy plastic tripod? Saving a few dollars isn’t worth it when you think about it that way.
You don’t need to spend hundreds, but you want a tripod that’s light to carry, and strong and sturdy enough to support your camera. If you shoot in a studio, tripod height isn’t that important. But if you shoot landscapes and travel shots, you’ll need something lightweight and compact enough to fit in your luggage.
If you are buying your first tripod, and won’t be using it in extreme conditions, an aluminum tripod might be your best bet. Aluminum is inexpensive, yet will give your camera good support. If you do landscape photography in rugged settings, consider a carbon fibre tripod. Carbon fibre is a more expensive option, but its very strong in comparison to its weight—ideal when you need to push your tripod to the limit to capture great shots.
You might also want to consider different tripod head types, depending on the type of photos you want to take. Your tripod will no doubt come with a head, but you might want to consider a different type at some point.
Let’s look at the four types of tripod so you can choose the best one for your needs:
1) What’s Shutter Speed and Why Does It Matter?
Shutter speed measures the length of time that the shutter stays open to let light through the aperture and fall on the sensor that records your image. It’s like opening and closing the blinds to let light in—or keep it out.
Whenever you take a photo, the camera performs two functions:
2) It opens up the aperture to the correct size for that exposure
b) It removes the cover from in front of the sensor to allow light to reach it.
Once the exposure time is completed, the camera moves the shutter back in front of the sensor, blocking more light from reaching it.
Yes, your camera comes with a built-in flash. But that doesn’t mean you should always use it…even if your camera wants you to blind some unsuspecting person with it.