|My new baby, a Canon Rebel T3i, plus my lenses, 50mm f/1.8 II and 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II.|
I consider myself an amateur photographer, always striving to take the best photos I can with the equipment I have. For years that has been a simple Kodak point-in-shoot, but even with it I have been able go beyond just pointing and shooting and have learned to compose my shots, look for great lighting, and much more.
To the left is a shot I particularly love from that Kodak, straight-from-the-camera without post-production adjustments. Her skin is so nice and creamy because of the light from an open door the right of the camera, and I love the perspective.
However, for some time now I have been feeling as if I had outgrown my Kodak, and I have even felt my desire to take photographs waning because it. Just this week I have been blessed to finally upgrade to a DSLR camera, and after months of research and waiting, I opted for a Canon Rebel T3i . If my experience with my Kodak is any indication, it will be many, many years before I outgrow this camera.
Instead of purchasing the camera with lens kit, I opted to order the camera body and the lens I actually wanted separately. It meant I couldn't take my camera home the day I bought it (I had to wait a week for it to come in), but the price was actually $10 or so cheaper. Why bother? Well, do you love those portrait shots with the subject in perfect focus but the background blurred and dreamy? I do, and it's the lens that makes that happen. Well, specifically it's the f-stop of the lens. The Rebel kit lens' lowest f-stop is 3.5 and you need at least a 2.8 or so to get that nice blurry background. The 50mm lens I purchased has an f-stop down to 1.8!
Anyway, to help me quickly master this camera, I have decided to follow the 30 Day Photography Challenge that Life, Love, and Photographs hosted last June. I am taking some artistic license, however, as mastering the camera is my goal. So, for example, today I will post a portrait, not a self-portrait (and you can see how my lens blurred my background so nicely).
This was shot in manual mode, with an ISO of 800, f-stop of 2.8, and shutter speed of 1/160. There is a large window directly behind the camera, but it is tinted so it is a subdued light. This photo is straight out of the camera.
This is the same shot cropped and with a bit of post-production adjustment in Photoshop Elements (less than 3 minutes of work). That dreamy, blurred background makes me so happy! (Especially since those bookshelves are particularly messy and dusty right now ;).