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Resources for Photographers
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:
I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which I bought in 2009. Nine years later, it still works like a charm. The Mark II is no longer available new, though you might be able to find a used one online. It’s an amazing camera, but the newest version, the Mark IV, is even more amazing. One of these days, I’ll upgrade to the new version.
I love my Speedlite. 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! I did break down & buy triggers, though, so I can use the Speedlite in my Westcott Apollo for a studio lighting look.
The 24-70 is my only L-series lens & it is worth every penny. It’s 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, quick to focus, 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 sister-in-law, who was sweet enough to lend it to me for a while. I’ve had lots of fun playing with it – it’s 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’ve 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 photographing my kids on the field. It’s still heavy, and I still occasionally 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’m entirely self-taught in photography, & before all the amazing instructional sites like CreativeLive came along, I gained a strong foundation from books. I spent hours in the bookstore poring over every photography book I could find. And while I love e-books, when it comes to photography books, you really can’t beat print. These are some of my all-time favorites.
Sure, you can watch YouTube tutorials & check books out from the library, but it’s so much more fun when you connect with other photographers.
CM is a great community for women who love photography. In spite of the name, it isn’t restricted only to moms, or only to women, for that matter. The majority of the members are women, though. CM has a very supportive atmosphere & I learned so much from other members, the CM blog, & classes. There is an incredible pool of talent in the CM community, but they remain open & encouraging to newcomers, which is a refreshing change from some of the other photography forums I’ve visited. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level.
If you have a photography question, there’s a class on CL that can answer it. They are continually adding new content, & their content is always worth the investment. Don’t take my word for it, though. Check it out for yourself, for free. Every day they have multiple classes streaming live. You can watch the classes live or pay to have the class available whenever you want it, forever. While they started out strictly offering photography instruction, they have expanded over the years & added classes in lots of other creative fields, including writing & blogging.