October 4, 2015 by Sriram GSN
You take good pictures. Which camera do you use?
Well, if you have recently bought a starter DSLR & posting pictures on Facebook, that’s what you get to hear from your friends.
I’ve heard a few people commend my photographs & most inquire about the camera I use. They tell me, “Hey, you take fantastic pictures, really good. Which camera? Oh, I have a similar one, but…”.
Well, agreed, technology & equipment does allow to frame up the best shots, but what’s more important is the subject & perception.
What are you really capturing? Is it worth a memory? Does it make you feel good a few years later, does it make you smile & feel happy? Does it make you feel at peace, does it brighten you up? Does it make you think? Does it connect you with your friends?
Choosing a camera [and the equipment]
Do you really need a DSLR camera to take good pictures & share with your friends and family? NO. A camera is a tool to capture a moments, so choose one which you could easily carry along. I know friends who bought DSLR cameras as a craze but seldom use them. Most modern photos have amazing high-res camera capable of capturing what you need. So save those extra bucks for a good travel trip. The below photo was taken using Samsung S6 Edge phone.
So when do you need more than camera phone? When looking for better image quality (poster prints), speed (photographing sports or wildlife), better quality optics (huge range of diverse lenses), large ISO range & features like DoF (Depth of Field which puts foreground in focus giving a nice blurry background). And yeah mostly a word of appreciation from your friends & unknown when you take fantastic pictures. The below photo was taken using Canon EOS Rebel T3i, 55-250mm EF-S IS lens.
What do I use? Canon EOS Rebel T3i [current version T5i], a perfect DSLR camera for beginners, the one with a cropped sensor. That’s what I’d recommend to friends who ask (partly because I’m not a Pro & don’t yet know all the science behind Photography). So how do the photos get spicier? I use Abobe Lightroom for enhancing the images, an absolutely essential tool it is.
More important than the camera are the optics, lenses which you use. A quality lens allows enough light to pass through it so as to to properly illuminate & produce sharp images.
Apart from the camera, you would definitely need essentials like high speed memory cards, a good sturdy yet lightweight tripod, wireless remote (in case of long exposures), cleaning brushes, external flash (trust me, a lot better than in-built flash) & of course spare battery packs and chargers.
How to take good-looking pictures
Well that’s the main part & there isn’t one definitive style guide. Each photographer like an artist has his/her own signature way of capturing a photo; the techniques and perception vary. So, to identify your style, like art, practice. I may have taken thousands of photographs out of which only a select hundred may have made it to my Lightroom gallery. Consider reading tutorials from pros online, replicate with your own style.
For inspiration, join a local Photography club (you can find one on meetup.com). Alternatively explore photos on 500px ISO. Take photographs, post-process (enhance them) & share. That’s the first step to learn.
Over the next few weeks, I would be writing a few articles sharing my experiences, tips & suggestions. So please watch out if interested. I’m not a Pro; so please take advise at your own risk 😉
You can tweet your responses/comments at @gsnsriram