We all have that one lens that we gravitate towards every time we pick up our cameras for me, it’s the 75-300mm f 4-5.6(you can get it here). For a lens of this range, it's smaller, lighter weight, cheaper than other lenses in this class. But don’t be fooled by this the lens is quite powerful and great for someone starting out or on a budget and need something with a large focal length.
I work primarily work outdoors and this lens is great for daytime shooting. When I shoot festivals it’s great for getting crowd shots and people milling around it also allows a very short me to get all the action on the stage, for portrait shoots gives a nice bokeh at longer focal lengths.
The glass quality in it is pretty good I can use a 13-year-old Canon 10D with it and still get great shots. There are a few downsides to this lens though there is no image stability, at longer focal lengths the images are little on the softer side, it needs a lot of light or higher ISO to get great images, and somewhat slow to autofocus. For me personally theses aren't big problems because of my shooting style, where I'm shooting
Depending on what you’re doing you can still make great use of this lens. If it is a little bit of learning curve trying to figure the best settings to maximise the lens used but that’s true of lens you buy.
If you're looking for something more powerful than this the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (you can get it here) is the way to go but just now the price goes up significantly but it’s sharper, not as slow to focus and doesn’t really have that softening problem. I still gravitate more 75-300 because of the fact that my gear gets too heavy with the other lens and I have to stop frequently due to a shoulder injury. I also don’t see a big enough image quality difference to warrant changing how I do things for now.
Have a favorite lens let me know in the comments below?
Being a photographer is just one part of who I am, I'm also working on a degree in psychology. Mental health and the stigma surrounding it is something that I am very passionate about. Over the past 10 months, I've been working on creating an awareness campaign that combines my love of photography with my training in psychology. I am currently in the final stages of getting it ready for the world to see but I need your help. The project is to show people with mental illness as normal, by telling your stories showing your achievements and that you are more than your illness. I as well be a part of this part this project, together we can show the world that we are normal. If this is something you want to be a part of fill out the contact form below or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
A couple of weeks ago I talked about the essentials needed for festival photography. Today I’m going to tackle what you will need to make any portrait shoot a success. Some of the things listed will be the same as last time because there are some things you should always have your camera bag. This list will be a tad long but everything here has saved a photo-shoot at one point in time. Ready? Here we go:
1. Bring Backup
Always have a backup SD/CF card you never know when you'll fill one or have one become corrupt and not know how to fix it (I have had both of these things happen, don't be like younger me bring a spare). Also, invest in good SD/CF cards and card readers (I learned this the hard way when I first started) the cheap ones break easily or simply give out after a few uses. I highly recommend using SanDisk Ultra cards they can be a little pricey but worth it (you can get SD cards here , you can get CF cards here). For card readers, I use Insignia they run around the same as SanDisk and can read every type of card imaginable (you can get the card reader here).
2. Bring a Spare
Spare batteries are always a great idea, external factors like heat can make your battery drain faster. You don't want to get half way through a shoot and have to stop because your batteries are dead. I've seen for some battery types portable battery charger if they make it for the type you use get it. Do whatever you can to extend your battery life (no battery = no shooting) if that means brings a car charger and charging backups while shooting then do it. Your client would rather you be prepared than have to stop because your cameras dead.
3. Messy Hair Be Gone
As an on-location portrait photographer, I have found the elements to be a challenge. Some days it’s windy, that can mess up a great hairstyle that your client spent hours trying to achieve. Your job is to give them the perfect photo-shoot, messy hair can ruin that. I know what you’re thinking I’ll photoshop it, well that’s hours of extra work you don’t have to do if just pack a comb and some bobby pins. At most you may have to erase to the bobby pin but that’s better than spending hours fixing fly away hairs or having to wait for the wind to stop to get your shot.
One of the questions I get asked a lot is "What should I wear for my photo-shoot?" well, the answer to that varies based on a few factors. Those factors include the time of year, the location of the shoot, and what kind of feel you're going for (you wouldn't want to wear a bright pink sundress in a rustic themed shoot).
After taking those into consideration it is time to chose an outfit. I'm first going to talk about what not to wear. Loud patterns or mismatched patterns can distract from the rest of the photo; if there is more than one person in the photo shoot do not wear clashing colors. Matching clothing maybe a cute idea, but it makes you blend into the background and nobody wants to spend money on photos where you're barely seen.
What's important to keep in mind is texture bring a lot to a photograph. So think layers, hats, pleated skirts, frilly dresses, dark wash jean with a light fading, printed socks and stockings, and even a nice scarf or flower crown can make a photo pop.
Neutral colors like browns, grays, white, and blacks are good for fall and winter along with dark reds, greens, and purple.
Ashley is a Virginia based photographer living her dreams of shooting concerts & interesting people. When she's not shooting or writing for the blog you can find her curled up with a good book and a latte (coffee keeps her going).