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Words cannot express how much I love Scrivener. I was a holdout for a longtime. I thought, “Really, how much better can it be than Word?” There is no comparison. The organization aspect of Scrivener alone makes it worth the price, & that doesn’t even scratch the surface of its capabilities. Yes, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but don’t let that scare you off. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube & a free month’s trial. Just do it.
I’ve been doing this photography thing for a long time now, so I have gone through my share of equipment over the years. I started in film, dabbled in vintage cameras and my own darkroom, and finally crossed over to the dark side – digital. And I loved it. I still have my favorite vintage film cameras, but the majority of my photographs are created with a combination of the following equipment:
This was the forerunner of the 5D Mark III, so isn’t as widely available now that it has been replaced. The good news is, a used or refurbished one is easy to find and can be purchased for a fraction of what it cost new. Just make sure you are buying from a trustworthy source. The 5D Mark II is a great camera and I highly recommend it.
The Mark II isn’t a large camera (in my opinion), and some of the L lenses can make it feel a little out of balance if I don’t have the battery grip attached. Not only does it hold two Canon batteries, doubling the camera’s battery life, it also acts as a grip, with an extra shutter button (and a few other controls) for shooting vertically. It makes shooting vertically so much less awkward. It removes easily if I decide I want to be able to carry the camera in my purse.
The link goes to the second generation of this lens – mine is the older version and I love it. I hear the new one is even better. It is a great everyday lens and is the one that usually lives on my camera. It is very sharp, especially for a zoom.
This is my oldest lens. While I drool over the 85 1.2 L, the 1.8 is a great little lens. It is small and lightweight and super sharp. It is a wonderful portrait lens with a great price.
This lens, while it is currently in my bag, is not technically mine. It belongs to my brother’s girlfriend who was sweet enough to lend it to me for a while. I have had lots of fun playing with it – it is especially fun for shooting the moon – but I’m still undecided. It is HEAVY – if the light is even a little dim, you are going to need a tripod. I have had a hard time getting it to focus, but I feel fairly certain that is due more to user error than the lens itself.
Update: Since soccer started, I have been toting this baby to all the games and the occasional practice. (Yeah, I’m a first-year soccer mom. There are many pictures to prove it.) It is a wonderful lens for shooting my kids on the field. It is still heavy, and I still occasional find myself fighting with it, but the reach and the bokeh are wonderful. And since all our games are morning games, low light and my shaky hands have never been a problem.
I bought this after I went to Imaging USA in 2013. I was intrigued by the Lensbaby booth, and the Spark is their entry level lens. It’s a little tricky to use – it has an accordion design that you squeeze to adjust focus. I have small hands, so it isn’t easy to use, but the results are really fun and can sometimes boost me out of a creative slump.
I love my Speedlight. I am still working toward mastering it, but this little thing is powerful! My only complaint is that to use it off camera, you have to buy a trigger. I’ve heard that Nikon Speedlites can be triggered by the camera itself. Are you listening Canon? That would be a really nice feature!
For a long time, white balance was the bane of my existence. The Expodisc is game changing. I highly recommend watching the video tutorials on their website – they really are very helpful. It can be a little confusing at first, but once it clicks, you’ll wonder what you did without it.
Since I got the iPhone 5, it has become my favorite camera for capturing those little everyday moments. It is always with me, unlike my big camera (because I am lazy), so it has enabled me to get a lot of snapshots of my kids that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’m also a die-hard Instagram fan. I fell in love with the Olloclip right away. The model I have includes a fisheye, macro, and wide-angle lens. I use the macro most often, but the other two have come in handy as well. It really offers me a lot more creativity than I would have with just my phone.