The other day, a lovely lady named Beth sent me an email with a few photography questions, as she and her husband are about to purchase their first dSLR camera and some gear.
This has spurred my thoughts into finally getting around to discussing my "equipment" with you.
My "equipment"... In reference to me and the things I use to pretend I'm a photographer, the word "equipment" just needs quotes around it. If it didn't have the quotes around it, it might be more misleading and you might start to think that I had all of this fancy-shmancy gear, like lenses or filters or the latest version of Photoshop, or a camera that hadn't accidentally been left out in the cold a couple of times or been thwacked in a such a way by my husband that the flash no longer works.
Yes, without the quotes, you might start to think that, and that would be the wrong impression for me to leave upon you.
As I have said before, anything my dSLR and I can do, you and your dSLR can probably do better.
That said, I thought I would give you a quick run-down of my "equipment", so that you have a point of reference for future photography posts so that, in case I forget to mention it, you know exactly what I'm working with.
Above is a stock photo of my camera, a Nikon D70 dSLR. I couldn't take an actual picture of it for you because, well, I'm not exactly sure how to accomplish that task being it's the only camera in the house and it can't really take a picture of... itself.
We purchased this camera about four or five years ago. Since then Nikon has upgraded this version to the D80, and now to the D90.
What does 'dSLR' mean? Digital Single Lens Reflex.
What does that mean? I have almost no idea.
But what I can tell you, in layman's terms, is that you will often hear people refer to a dSLR versus a digital 'point-and-shoot'...
A dSLR looks something like the photo of my camera above. A point-and-shoot is the smaller, compact style digital camera that is designed for easier operation.
A dSLR comes with the capability to switch lenses; a point-and-shoot (as far as I know) does not. To zoom in and out using a dSLR, you turn the lens with your hand. To zoom in and out using a point and shoot, you push buttons instead.
Both cameras usually have several 'scene' modes that you can shoot in, such as auto, landscape, close-up, night, etc... What a dSLR has that a point-and-shoot does not is additional modes: full manual, aperture -priority, shutter-priority, and program. These allow the user partial or full control over aperture and shutter speed settings... But we'll get into all of that later.
Like I said above, I use a Nikon D70 dSLR. I shoot in full manual mode, using natural light, almost all of the time. Since my flash is broken, the whole 'natural light' thing is maybe obvious. However, I do have an external flash that I can attach to my camera for shooting at night, but I really don't like the way pictures look when I use it.
My goal in each photography post is to be forthcoming in regard to what mode the photo was shot in and what the camera settings were, and whether or not I used a flash.
Oh, how I yearn for additional lenses for my camera! Right now I use a Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5. It is the lens that came with my camera. I can't knock it because I have gotten great results with it thus far. However, someday I hope to experiment with more lenses, and if I had to pick one lens to get, right now, it would be a 50mm f/1.8. I hear good things about this lens in my perusing of photography sites.
I also have a 70-300mm lens, but I never use it. To get decent quality photos with it I would have to set it on a tripod, which means I'd have to carry the tripod with me, and set it up. I just don't have the required time or patience for that task. However, if I do ever remove it from its peaceful hibernation inside my camera bag and get to using it, you will be the first to know!
I use Photoshop 7. It is definitely not the newest version of Photoshop, but it works great for me! As in the case of my camera, anything I can do with my version of Photoshop, you and your version of Photoshop can probably do better.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention my driver and road crew on my photographic travels...
Credit must be given where credit is due. They make good subject matter as well.
Now that this preliminary business of describing my "equipment" and giving you the full disclosure of my capabilities and experience, we can get to the fun stuff... Taking photos and editing photos. Hurrah!