1/06/2014

This Year's Haul....

Did everyone else have a fantastic Christmas? I hope so! Hope you all got some lovely new photography gear under the tree if you wanted it.  I'm sorry I've been MIA for a little while (it wasn't that long but feels like it was) it's been busy around here and I thought it would be nice to take a little time off. I have also barely picked up my camera - again, I wanted to take a bit of a breather, not for the actual photograph taking, but the uploading, culling, editing and saving bit that comes after it! Anyway, that's me back and I thought I'd start by sharing the things I got from Santa this year that you might be interested in.....







I picked up a Speedlite 430EX II Flash for my camera.  It was a totally last minute present request (the afternoon before Christmas Eve) when I had suddenly decided that despite only wanting to use natural light, living in an area of the world where it is still dark in winter at 9am, and dark again by 3pm, a flash could be kinda handy to have around. Especially at Christmas time. So, I tracked one down at a local photography store and sent my husband off into town on the busiest shopping day of the year to get it for me for my Christmas. (Bless him, he didn't even bat an eyelid to this)  I did get to keep it there and then rather than have to wait until Christmas Day, as I wanted to at least know how to switch the thing on on Christmas morning! I have nowhere near perfected using a flash, and definitely have a lot to learn, but at least I was able to use it for Callum opening his presents, so that was great. (They are, technically speaking, a bit ropey but at least I managed to capture the moment!) For anyone who doesn't know what a Speedlite is or why you might want one, I promise I'll have more on this (with examples) in a couple of days.



My second photography gift was a Neutral Density Filter. These cut down the amount of light reaching the sensor, and are used so that you can use a much slower shutter speed so you can capture motion rather than freezing it (for example, those blurry waterfall pictures).  They can also be useful on sunny days, when you want to use a shallow depth of field, but doing so means you are letting too much light into the camera. I would like to branch out a bit in what I photograph, so this will come in handy for some landscape shots that I have been wanting to try out for a while. (For more information on filters and what they do, you could read this post I wrote earlier)





This last one wasn't a Christmas present, but a birthday one, but with them being close together I usually combine the two! As some of you may already know, I have been lusting after a 70-200mm f/2.8L for some time, and my very lovely and very tolerant husband said that I could get one for my birthday, but when it came down to it, I decided not to go for it. It's just too big and heavy for me - I really can't see me lugging that beast of a lens out just for a walk to the park! I also really do like my primes, and although they are not the most versatile, they do give the most amazing image quality without breaking the bank (or your back for that matter).  So, I've plumped for the 200mm f/2.8L lens.  Gorgeous image quality, about a quarter of the price of the 70-200, a third of the weight, and not quite as long. I'll use it for sports or anywhere that I need that longer reach, but also for candid portraits, where you can afford to be far back.  I've only used it once so far, to take some photos of Callum having his ski lesson (which I will share soon) but which unfortunately do not do this amazing lens justice! I can't wait to use it properly.

I'm excited to try all of these out - I think I must be a closet gadget geek.

Did anyone else get some new photography gear this year?








4 comments:

Cara@theprojectaddict.com said...

I have the same speed light. I am taking the phil steel flash course to learn how to use it. I got money for Christmas to put toward a new camera. Still have to save some more for my 6D. I also got some presets from pretty presets.

Anonymous said...

I recently found your site and am loving all the insight you have to offer... I have a real passion for photography and am really trying to learn how to come off manual and fully get all my Canon Rebel xsi has to offer... I recently purchased the 50mm f/1.8 II lens so I am trying to learn how to use it... My question to you is what program do you use to edit... Lightroom, Elements, Photoshow?? I really want to immerse myself into learning one program but I just don't know which would be the best for me... I am not looking to get into photography as a profession. Just a hobby I truly enjoy... Any advice would be great... Thanks!!

Audrey said...

Hi Cara - sounds like you got a good haul too!

Audrey said...

Hi there, I use Photoshop CS5 to edit, but 95% of the same edits can be done using Elements. In fact, now that PS "proper" has become subscription based, I may only buy Elements in future. Personally, I wouldn't recommend buying the full PS. I also have Lightroom, and it is much easier to Elements to learn, but not as powerful. However, I don't use this often and stick with ACR (the free plug in you get with Elements or Photoshop) and PS. Hope this helps!

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