Camera/Photography FAQ: Tools for Blogging

I often get lovely comments from you lot about the pictures/photography on my blog and I am always pleased when I read them. Thanks ever so much! So, I thought it would be nice to answer a few questions or better still let you know a little bit more about my tools. First off, I am no professional; I am pretty much an amateur but I have a deep love for photography which I guess I inherited from my lovely Dad. So, here’s a little FAQ on what I do and if you have any further questions not covered here, drop me a line in the comments box..I may even start a small series; who knows?

What Camera do you use?
I currently use a Canon 600D DSLR camera and I only started using this from March 2014. Prior to that, I used my beloved Nikon Cool Pix, iPhone and Fuji Finefilm Bridge Camera. Funny enough, my Nikon Cool Pix Camera took some of my favourite shots especially in the daylight; it was just limited with indoor pictures.

What Lenses do you have?
I have two lenses; the Canon Kit lens which came with the camera (18-55mm) and the Canon 50mm F1.8 Lens. I love both of them but I use my Canon 50mm F1.8 for most of my blog photos and even to shoot my YouTube video here. When I am taking pictures outside, I use my Kit Lens because it has a better zoom.

What Camera Settings do you use?
It’s very difficult to explain because it all depends on the lighting I have. With my Canon 50mm 1.8 Lens, I don’t really have to do much because it is a fantastic lens. I never use the Automatic setting on my camera and I have never used it because I prefer to manipulate my settings.  I prefer to use the Aperture Priority Setting which allows more light into the picture. For the F stop, I use between F1.8-2.0, shutter speed is about 1/40-1/50 and ISO is about 400 if I am indoors (my room is not very bright sometimes) and 200 or less if it’s a really sunny day. These settings change as I said depending on the situation but I think this is what I use on an average day based on my location (my bedroom which is where I take most of my pictures). I may do a little blog post explaining these numbers but as I mentioned, I am no expert or professional. With my small digital camera, I just turn on the macro setting which is this small flower sign and it makes such a difference especially to blog photos; it even gives you a little blurry background. If you have an iPhone, just take your pictures with your phone sideways (landscape) than portrait as it adds more character to your pictures. From L-R: Taken with an iPhone, Taken with my Nikon CoolPix Digital Camera and Taken with my Canon 600D DSLR.
What do you edit your pictures with?
When I first started blogging, I used my iPhone for almost all my pictures and I edited with PhotoForge and KitCam which I think they may have been discontinued but they were really brilliant. You can also use PicFx, AfterLight, Snapseed, etc; they are all lovely. When I started using my Nikon Cool Pix digital camera, I edited most of my pictures with PicMonkey which is super and I still use it for making collages. It is free and it is simply amazing. You can also try Gimpwhich is equally amazing. Now, I use Adobe Photoshop CS6 and as expected, it is amazing. I am not a guru at all but I just know the basics and it works well although I need to explore it more.

How do you edit your pictures?
To be honest, I don’t really edit my pictures too much because I try to take them when I have good daylight and I shoot them in RAW. Lighting makes a massive difference to the quality of your pictures and you may not even need to do much and RAW allows you adjust the settings on a picture even before you edit it on Photoshop or any editing software which is super brilliant. When I edit them, I adjust the curves, exposure and brightness (sometimes) and that’s pretty much it. I save the picture as “Save for Web” and change the ratio to 17.36% or 900 x 600 because that fits with my blog. This ensures the right size is uploaded to my blog and it is not a large file. When I used PicMonkey,  I just adjusted the exposure, contrast and brightness. If you have the right settings and good lighting, you don’t need to do much editing or post processing.

What equipment do you have?
As I mentioned earlier, I love taking pictures and photography in general and it makes me really happy and I have invested in a few things over time to fuel my love for it. In essence, you don’t need to have all these if you just want to take blog photos. But here you go: Canon Camera 600D DSLR, Kit Lens 18-55mm, Canon 50 mm F1.8 Lens, Tripod, Canon RC Remote Control, San Disk Extreme Memory Cards 16G (you can buy any memory card with a good amount of space), Lens Pen (to clean my lens), Microfibre Cloth (to clean my LCD/View finder; don’t use your sleeves), Camera Bag (to hold all these stash). I still have my Nikon Cool Pix digital camera and I have a camcorder. If you would like to see some blogging props I use, head on to this post.

I am just starting out a blog;  what do I need?
You need passion and even if you don’t have it already, you can develop it. Be open to experiment and take loads of pictures even if you think they are crap as practice makes perfect. All you really need is a Camera (any digital one will do), a memory card and your laptop. That’s very basic and essential. You can buy a cheap tripod if you want to prevent any shaking that may make your pictures blurry. Also, try and buy a camera that uses rechargeable batteries so you can recharge it instead of buying disposable batteries every time.That’s it folks!! I hope this has answered most of your questions and if you have any more questions, leave them below...see you in my next post...x


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