It’s taken me quite a while to be confident with my photography. When I first started blogging I was pretty clueless. I didn’t know what camera to use, what settings were or that lenses could change things up so much. After more experience I’m finally in a place where I am pretty happy with my knowledge, and it’s helping me progress with each and every photo I take. It is true that you have to take a thousand photos before you get a good one. Unless you’re a natural or have experience then it can be quite daunting, but I’m going to tell you today how I overcame my lack of confidence and what equipment and software I use for my photos.
First things first, you don’t need to spend an absolute bomb and build a whole studio for your photos. As nice as that would be, it’s not relevant. After a few months of blogging I decided to invest in a DSLR camera as I had a cheap and old compact camera that just couldn’t give me that blurry background and bright images that I craved. Now, there are many compact cameras that I’ve heard are incredible, it just takes the right choice and in the future I will invest in one to so that I have one to take one the go with me. I have the Canon 700D, which cost me about £600 and it comes with an 18-55mm lens, which is the perfect beginners starter lens. It works for all types of photography, from landscape, portrait and blog photos. I still use this a lot today, but my favourite is the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, which is at the cheaper end of the Canon lenses at around £110. This lens helps you produce professional and high quality artisitc photography. It’s wide blurred focus ability is the perfect ‘blurry background’ achiever. Both of these purchases I believe were a really great choice of investment, and they are so easy to use and if you’re more of an intermediate they are great to as the 700D has endless settings.
I mainly taught myself how to work the camera and eventually I got onto manual shooting, which has improved my photography a lot. It gives you more control over what you want. However, the Auto setting is a godsend if you’re new to it. I would say, if you want a good affordable lens to get crisp bright photos with that desired blurry background, the 50mm is perfect.
In terms of camera settings, I use a low f/stop of around 2.8-4mm and an ISO of 100-200, with the white balance set to Auto with the 50mm lens. It all sounds quite technical, but once you’ve got the camera in the right settings you’re good to go. These settings help bring in light to the image, and the wide buy generic amoxil india aperture helps blur the background and focus on the object. I’m no expert but this is what I’ve learnt over the years.
My setup consists of my 700D and most typically the 50mm lens. For lighting, I use studio umbrella lights, which are essentially soft box lighting but easier to pack away. These lights work behind an umbrella by pointing the umbrella front towards your object to brighten and give you some natural white diffused light. This really helps for dull/dark days, and I always use them even when it’s bright as it adds brightness and means less editing. The lighting only cost me around £35 and you get two for that with stands and adjustments. I usually set up my blog photos on the top of my Alex drawers for a white background, or on white bed sheets. If you don’t have a white clear background and you want that, you can purchase white matte cardboard sheets from places from arts and crafts shop that work just as well.
By no means does all this make my photos ready to take from the camera straight to my blog, I always do a bit of editing to get the right brightness, contrast and all that good stuff. For this I use Photoshop, which I pay for in a package with all of the other Adobe software for a really good price. You can purchase or pay monthly for Photoshop alone. I generally do the same edit to most photos, which is to up the brightness quite a bit and the contrast a little, then add vibrance and lightness to the image. These settings on Photoshop are on the sidebar and are so simple to use, and make a huge difference. That’s all I do, and the lighting and camera settings help massively.
For Instagram images I use the same camera and setup, and use specific apps. My favourites and ones I usually use are Snapseed and VSCO. In Snapseed I up the brightness, add lightness and highlights and up the shadows a tiny bit, which gives the same effect as Photoshop. After I go into VSCO and add a filter, my favourites are F2, HB1, HB2, M6, S2 and T2. VSCO is great as every so often they release a whole bunch of incredible filters for free, and now I have all the filters for a tiny price, I’ve only purchased one or two. If you wish to add more of a particular colour to your image, Darkroom is really great for that.
An image edited with Snapseed and VSCO filter S2:
That’s everything for my setup, camera, settings, lighting and editing. I hope this helped you and if you have any further questions please leave a comment below! As I say, I’m by no means a expert but I’ve learnt what I’ve needed to over the years.
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