It’s mid September, schools are in session and this art teacher has just a slight twinge of longing to be in the classroom. Keep in mind I said slight, while I love teaching, I’m so incredibly happy to be at home with Ruby and having the freedom to do my own thing here.
And staying at home, doesn’t keep me from teaching! I’m starting a new series on everything you need to know on the basics of photography and how to use a DSLR. So, welcome to photography class, take a seat, and you may call me Mrs. Ryan if you choose 🙂
And just to give you my credentials, if you didn’t know, I have a B.S. in art, I majored in Art Education. (Are there any other fellow Miami of Ohio alumni out there?) I taught high school photography and visual art before we moved here, and absolutely loved it. While I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as visual art, I quickly grew to love my photography classes. Little did my students know, but I didn’t know too much about digital photography myself other than my own experience. My only formal photography training had been with film in a dark room.
I learned a lot in those years of teaching and even more this past year as I’ve had time and a muse as beautiful as our little Ruby girl.
It’s funny that I haven’t started this series earlier, but I guess for forever my blog was a little escape from work, which happened to be art and teaching. And now, that’s a lot of what this blog has become, which is fun and exciting for this art teacher. I’ll try my best to not get out my old powerpoints or go into length about photography art history, but I am excited to share a little of my knowledge with you.
Taking good photos requires more than just having a good camera and equipment. But, to take photos you need a camera, and these days maybe just an iphone. I get the most questions about photography and the gear that I use, so I thought I would start out by sharing what I use to take photos.
I am in love with my new camera that I just got last week. While I loved my Canon Rebel (linked below) their are some limitations, as it’s a crop frame. This camera totally fills in the gaps and does well in low light. Since I only use prime lenses, it also helped with the full frame, I know longer have to back up to fit everything in frame! This camera is actually very affordable for a full frame camera. I really hope to someday upgrade to the Mark III or IV.
Old Camera: Canon Rebel T3i
I’ve had this camera for a solid 4 years and never experienced a problem. The canon rebel is a great way to enter into the DSLR world. I highly recommend this camera to anyone with interest in photography. To use it well, I recommend shooting in manual, and learning about how to adjust exposure. Don’t worry, I’ll teach you how in this coming series! 🙂
My Canon Rebel is outdated, so if you are looking for an entry-level DSLR, you may want to look into a newer model like the Canon Rebel T6i, Rebel T5i, or T5 (for a less-expensive option) This Rebel T5i bundle looks like a good option with free goodies.
I bought this lens for everyday use and I do use it every single day. I still get out my 50mm (below) from time to time to get the lower aperture, but I find this lens works really well for everything I need to do. This is a prime lens, meaning it stays at one focal length, and doesn’t zoom in and out. This may be a disadvantage for some, but I love the low aperture, depth of field you get with this lens.
My starter lens, a 50mm (which is really cheap)
I never bought the standard 18-55mm zoom lens that often comes paired with cameras, because the aperture doesn’t go lower than f/3.5 (we will talk about this more later) I was also able to save money by just buying the base and the 50mm which runs around 100 dollars. In my research today, it looks like it doesn’t save you much by just buying the base, so in the case I would just grab the standard 18-55, it’s still a really great lens! you just won’t be able to get that really blurry background. I would advise that you save your pennies to get this lens, because it’s unbeatable for the price!
I absolutely love this thing. I throw it on my camera and put it in my purse. I also love it for when we go on hikes, because I can keep my camera in reach and protected. It fit my Canon Rebel very well, and with just my prime lens, it has been fitting my canon 6d, but I may need to look into getting a bigger size to make it easier to slide on and off.
If your using a DSLR it’s important to get a good editing software, especially if you’re going to shoot in RAW (we will talk more on this later, you just wait!) I absolutely love Lightroom, it can be a little confusing at first, but I’ll do my best to show you the ins and outs of this program. You can get lightroom and photoshop for just about 10 bucks a month.
Laptop or Desktop
I have been a long time fan of Apple. I saved up my money after my first year of college and bought my first macbook pro. It feels so ancient now! We now have a iMac and a Macbook (that Jordan let’s me use :)) I love both of them!
We’re currently working on finding a system for backing up and storing photos that works. So far we’re experimenting with storing photos on cloud systems, wireless hardrives, and the typical hardrive. I really hope to figure out something that works for us, any tips in this area are helpful!
This little thing comes in handy for our family photos when it’s just us 🙂
I don’t use this often, but I do get it out occasionally to take family photos our group shots, or even just some of my staged photos. I only get it out if it’s going to make my life a lot easier. While I do like this particular tripod I don’t love that I can’t shoot directly down, which would be helpful in taking monthly photos of Ruby or flatlays.
Well, I believe that completes my list! While I don’t use all of these items everyday, they’re definitely the ones that I use most often and probably my most essential items. I’ll be sharing some more specific posts in the future on more photography topics.
In the mean time, I would love some feedback! Please send me an email or message with your questions, or what you want me to talk about! I know I have lots of friends out there who are jumping into the photography world, so let me know what you want to learn about! (This is for you Ana, and all my other sweet friends)
Also, I’ve been loving this dress that I am wearing in these photos, I picked up while we were in Cincinnati the other weekend