30 Aug 2011

About My Camera

Some of you ask about my camera and for photography tips, so here's an informative blog post for you! I am by no means an expert, or a professional photographer, but this is how I do it.

My camera is a Sony A200. It is a really great, excellent value for money, camera body. I bought it in 2009 and am still very happy with it. I strongly believe that, unless you're a professional photographer, you'll find that most of the affordable dslr cameras that are available today take excellent photos. What really makes a difference for me is the camera lens.
I have three lenses. The first one came with the camera body as a kit. It's a 18-70mm Zoom lens, F3.5-5.6. With this lens you can take nice sharp photos, and the colours come out great. It is quite hard to blur the background with this lens, and it doesn't let in a lot of light which makes it hard to photograph in low light conditions without flash or a tripod.
I hardly ever use this lens anymore, but when I do it's mostly for action shots or as an "all-round" lens on a day out.

My favourite lens is called Sony DT 50mm F1.8 Portrait Lens. This photo was the first I ever took with this lens and it totally blew me away! The quality, colours and sharpness of the photos are outstanding. I can't recommend it highly enough! This lens is a so called prime lens, which means it doesn't have a zoom. Losing the zooming option makes for much better quality photos at an affordable prize, you just have to use your feet instead! Both Canon and Nikon makes this lens as well.
As the name suggest this lens is excellent for taking portraits...


It is very easy to get that nice blurred background with this lens. Most of the time I shoot on the "P" setting. I never use the flash. Sometimes, if the photos come out a bit yellow, I manually set the white balance (look in your instructions on how to do this!) and if it's very dark I put the ISO number up to 800 or 1600. Otherwise I leave the ISO on auto.
This lens is also incredibly good for photographing food...
or for taking close-ups on other things.


You can also use it for shooting landscapes and city scenes. The only thing is that you have to stand quite far back since it feels like the lens is constantly "zoomed in".
Because it has such a low F-number (1.8) it's also perfect for low light conditions, even at dawn you can take great photos without having to use a tripod. A low F-number means that the aperture of the lens is bigger, which means it lets in a lot of light compared to a lens with a higher F-number.

My third lens is a wide angle lens, it's called 28mm F2.8. This lens is also a prime, it takes nice sharp pics and also works well in low light. It is great for interior shots...
group portraits...
wide angle landscapes...
or any other shots where you want to fit more into the picture!

I edit all of my photos in Photoshop. You can learn basic photo editing to enhance contrast, colours and light balance in my Photoshop tutorial.

Finally, my best photography link tips:

-Brilliantly informative and easy to understand photography tips by Fly Through Our Window
-Manual photography cheat sheet - I'm gonna print this out and bring with me!
-Toycamera Analog Colour - Fun (and cheap) software that gives a sweet vintage feel to your photos.
-10 tips for taking stunning portraits.
-Lots of great advice from Click it Up a Notch.
-Photography guide by Swedish blogger Sandra at Niotillfem. Her photos are amazing so check it out! (There's a translation at the end of the page).

23 Comments:

dana @ wonder forest said...

the 50mm is my favvvvvvvvvvvv lens! i love it, and it's so easy to work with.
xox dana
thewonderforest.com

Jocee said...

Those roses are just divine!!! All the photos are just amazing. Thanks for telling us about your lovely-happy, uber-exciting, just-plain-old-wonderful camera :))
-Jocee <3

Miki's scrapbook said...

Awesome post, Lisa! Thanks a lot for sharing these tips! ;)

Happy midweek!

Miki.

Kirsty said...

Great post Lisa! You camera is great but I don't think the camera can take all the credit! Love to see your shots.

Kelley Kronic said...

a very helpful post!! thank you

Theallamenta said...

You are so pretty!! :)
and I don't think it is only for your camera's sake ^^

Keri said...

thanks for the tips! I am on the hunt for a new camera, and the one I have on my wish list is waaaay more than i want to pay *which is why it's a wish list item lol

I totally agree, that its all in the lens!
Pretty pictures!!!
xx-Keri bohemian backbone

Keri said...

ps...(to answer your question from the bb post)Realistically, I will probably end up with the canon T2i or T3i =)

cb said...

i wish there was a way i could put a lens on my point & shoot. it would look super silly but it would be so awesome! your pictures are always so great! LOVE the first one!
xo,
cb

HazelandMare said...

These are wonderful tips! I have been wanting to learn to take better photos and this helps out a bunch. Thanks so much!

linzfrentrop said...

Great tips! I have a Sony A55, loving it so far. I've yet to buy any more lenses so this is helpful! I've read that old Minolta lenses work on the body of my camera, but i haven't tried that out yet...
:)

mrshutchison said...

Wow Lisa, I found your site via Craftgawker and I am very appreciative of this thorough but simplistic approach to photography. I am just beginning this adventure but I'm getting better with each 'click' of the camera...or that's what I'm telling myself. I can tell that a 50mm lense will be on my wish list for birthday or Christmas, definitely want to make that investment. Glad I found your blog, keep up the great work - you are very talented.

Nicole
http://mrshutchison.wordpress.com/

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

wonderful lessons and tips Lisa! Sean & i both adore Sony cameras and all their wares actually. he used to work for Sony so we'd get some sweet deals on stuff. miss those days now : ( i just love the effect you get with the portrait lens, all these shots are terrific. your eye is sublime for capturing moments; even the ordinary everyday things are always detailed and color driven. xo ♥

Van - Light Trigger said...

great useful tips! thanks for share!

Pamela said...

You've inspired me to use my 50mm a lot more. Love the photos.

Rebecca - A Daily Something said...

Love this post, Lisa! Thanks for all the helpful information! I love your photography, so it's nice to know what you use...!

Missy Daisy said...

Awesome post :) Love all the pics <3

missy-daisy.com

Sudhir Dudeja said...

wow ur really awasum photographer

-Sudhir Dudeja
india :)

Stella said...

I love this post, especially as I've got this camera too, well, the A390 but basically the same. Your photos are amazing and it's great to see that not everyone needs a Canon/Nikon to take lovely photos! (:

Noémie said...

I am soon going to get my new DSLR camera and have no photography background whatsoever, so your little tips on lens and F and ISO numbers will come in handy!! Thank you!

Noémie said...

I am soon going to get my new DSLR camera and have no photography background whatsoever, so your little tips on lens and F and ISO numbers will come in handy!! Thank you!

Nonnie said...

UNDER WHICH TITLE CATEGORY do you file your photography tutorials as I want to follow them. I only use point and shoots as I tend to be rough on cameras... got a new one every year for the past 3 years. I have a BUDDING PHOTOGRAPHER who loves to scoff with my camera... problem is they become worse for wear.

Nonnie,


nonniequiltingdreams@gmail.com

Louise Rogers said...

Great blog! As a beginner photographer wanting to take beautiful pictures of my babies you have convinced me that the 50mm 1.8 is what I need. Thank you!

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Thanks for your thoughts!
xo Lisa

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