I have only been taking photographs with a DSLR for about 2 and a half years now. In fact it was only in the summer of 2015 when I began my first 365 days project here on Tumblr. My first DSLR was a Nikon D3200, with a standard, 18-55mm “kit lens.” I have since gone from that first camera to another crop sensor camera, the D5500, and to a full-frame D750.
As I prepared for my trip last week, I didn’t feel like carrying my big, heavy D750. In addition to my luggage and all the computer and recording gear in my backpack–I was on my way to another digital storytelling workshop–I just didn’t want to carry a camera bag with other heavy lenses. Also my D5500 had been sitting on my night stand, looking lonely and unused. I realized that I have become so accustomed to using the controls on the newer camera that I had almost forgotten how to use this one. Finally, and most importantly, I decided to test my current knowledge of photographic technique and my vision by bringing only my 18-55mm kit lens and using it exclusively for the entire week. So for this past 7 days I’ve used my crop sensor camera and a “cheap” lens to make my daily photographs.
Verdict: I loved it!
I’ll admit, it was a little rough on the first day, but I think I improved over the course of the week. I can see my own growth in three ways. I was able to:
Recognize, or “diagnose,” the limitations of my camera and lens for the shot I was after. Some of the shots were from a moving train; others were taken in low light, and so on. There were challenges, for sure, but I think I was able to understand what the basic issue was and how to account for it via my settings.
Know what other aspects of the “trinity"–Aperture, Shutter speed, and ISO–and things like exposure compensation, I could (or should) adjust to make the image better. In other words, do my best to work within and around those technical limitations.
Know what to do to fix lingering problems in post-production to produce the image I wanted.
It was particularly gratifying to see that I have indeed learned some things over the past few years. What I’ve learned has made me able to manipulate the device, the digital camera, to get it to produce the images that I wanted to capture. I was able to use the processing of the RAW files in order to convey the feeling or mood that I wanted to convey when I first saw my subject. To me that is the most important thing of all, being able to share my thought or feeling with those who view my photos.
All in all, I am extremely happy with my results of this past week. Not because my photos were “perfect,” but because of the process and the progress I was able to see in myself as a beginner and a student of photography. I look forward to another chance to do this experiment. In fact I’m thinking it might be a good idea to take a few days or a week each month to just get back to the basics, and in this case to the kit lens and to my crop sensor camera, to help me to test my knowledge, skills, and creativity.
This past week has been “eye-opening,” no pun intended (ok, maybe just a little one!). I’m just really happy to see that I’ve learned a little something over the past few years. I’m excited to keep learning, growing, and sharing.
Thanks for providing such an encouraging and inspiring community!
Nikon D5300 camera, 20.0 second exposure at f/5.0, ISO 8000. 18mm focal length with a kit 18-55mm lens.
I didn’t have a tripod so I put my Camelback on the ground and set my camera on it to stay steady for the duration of the exposure. The sky was completely black until I looked at my camera’s screen and saw the aurora; I was pretty excited. This is the first photo that I took that can be considered “astrophotography” and it definitely isn’t the last.
Taken on the border between North Dakota and Canada at the 49th parallel. 29 August 2014.
CHRONICLES FROM GREAT HEIGHTS (an exclusive interview with Louie Danganan)
Traveling has always been more than just a form of lifestyle and leisure. For some, it is a much-deserved escape from the concrete jungle they live in, or demanding life in the corporate world. For 26-year old Industrial Engineer graduate of Bulacan State University, Louie Danganan, traveling is his ticket to a braver version of himself. I’ve been friends with Louie since the golden years of Tumblr here in the Philippines. But in this exclusive interview, i discovered that he’s got a lot more dimensions in him that people need to know. His knack for
landscape, street, & night sky photography, local backpacking, waterfall hikes. His love for photo blogging, reading novels, poetry, indie rock/ indie pop & pop rock music to name a few.
We’ve known each other a few years back, when we were active on tumblr. When and how did you discover tumblr?
*Digging into my memory* It was around 2007 or 2008 when I heard Tumblr from a friend and looked it up in curiosity. I have had a few blogs before I stick to the project blog I have today which I started in 2013.
I see you’re into traveling now. When did your knack for it started?
My interest in traveling got piqued when I was sent for official business trips in 2011 to Visayas and Mindanao. Then further stoked by a 6-day hitchhike trip to Marinduque the following year, my first ferry ride. It was an epiphany to make the most out of my capable years. It is not for life that I am able and hale I thought then that then is the time to do something like it. Travels got frequent and more frequent and here I am still into it.
What is it with traveling you love the most?
Traveling is many exciting things. That’s what I love about it. I am exposed to the world, and I’m consistently challenged to outdo myself. What I would not typically do in the comforts of home, I find doing when I travel like reaching out to people, listening to their stories and socializing. Another thing is discovery. It gives me sense of accomplishment when I learn about a places despite physical and mental effort it requires. Travel allows me too to creatively express my self through photography while I let loose of myself in beautiful, foreign places.
How many places in and out of the country have you been to? Which among these places is the most unforgettable and why?
I don’t count. I’m after the experience as trite that may sound. For a fact, I haven’t been outside the country yet for reason that I personally endeavor to explore much of my native land first before I set out exploring other lands/ seas. I’m smitten by our islands, mountains and seas that I’ve dedicated my present blog for personally documenting how fascinating the Philippine archipelago is. And I take pride in doing it.***One remarkable experience I had to say was when I ventured out to do my first (unintended) solo travel to the southernmost tip island of Palawan called Balabac for five days in the summer of 2014. There I met a very good friend, listened to plenty of intriguing and in some occasions, unbelievable stories by my hosts ranging from his good young days of carefree, silly travels, to sea pirates and poachers in that area of Palawan, to crocodiles in local politics and literal crocs in Bugsuk Island, to extra terrestrials during the Marcos era.
Moments from that travel that are etched in my mind: Sailing the glass-like surface of the varying blue and green shades of the Sulu Sea; discovering a pink beach down south - Comiran Island; boat-racing with a pod of dolphins; riding a bogo, a local boat, across a stunning beach just to buy soda from a sari-sari store on the other side of the island; a simple supper of sweet, succulent crabs, fish and tomatoes while being greeted by a low hanging full moon, its yellow glimmer on the surface of the black sea; sleeping in a hut that stood by the white beach so fine, raw and vast it could equal two football fields; chased the sunset by doing nearly an hour of walk to the west side of the island through the inland woods and chased in return by the night on our way back to camp, only the patch of white sand and moonlight serving as guide; greeted by an unseen rustling in the loo in the middle of a pitch black night that turned out to be huge hermit crabs tramping on the floor.
I could go on and on and on and it seems glamorous in retrospect. But in fact, it was very simple and spontaneous, at times, unsafe even. Those days when I was stripped off of any personal material preoccupation, my appreciation was higher, and it made the experience truly unforgettable.
What is your key takeaway in every travel you have? Every learning experience, the frames that I take home, and the confidence I gain when on the road. I must admit I always get anxious whenever I set out to travel but I believe that taking that fearful leap is how I become courageous.
5 most essential things you need when traveling. (Aside from passport of course)
As I have not ventured out of the country yet, passport did not make it to the list ((: On top of money and phone, my 5 most essentials are:5. sarong (my all around cloth, blanket, towel, cover, etc.)4. sunscreen3. wipes2. headwear - bandanna or cap1. dlsr & gorillapod.
Your dream destination.
Locally, Babuyan Group of Islands . Internationally, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Which do you enjoy better, traveling alone or traveling with friends? :)
Traveling with one to a few friends.
By the way, what camera are you using?
I lug around a Nikon DSLR D5200 with 18-55mm kit lens. While equipment matters for performance and image quality, I believe the taker’s skills, perspective and motives are most significant in photography.
hey there, i love your photography and editing! I'm just wondering what camera you use so i can try to become as good a photographer as you?
My dude, this is probably longer then you were wanting, but I’m hoping it might help you out a little.
You could have all the equipment in the world and come out with crappy pictures.
Equipment doesn’t make a photographer.
A camera can’t tell you how to compose an image or which settings to use for ultimate quality.
I shoot with a Canon Rebel T5 and usually a 18-55mm 3.5-5 (a crappy kit lens). I’ve had them for about three years now, but only really started trying to improve my photography this past year. In the beginning I was really frustrated. I just spent all this money on this cool camera, and my photos were still crappy. I thought I needed better lenses.
I worked at it though, and slowly found I loved to photograph my dog, and one of my sisters was always up to trying small shoots.
I ended up doing a bunch of small portrait shoots, and two weddings, which made me learn a lot. It’s only recently that I’ve started more landscape photography.
I had some tips on my last blog, but I don’t know where they are so here’s a few.
1) Shoot. Just shoot. The more you shoot, the more you learn.
2) Google. Google types of photos you like, and try and get that kind of a feel in your photos.
3) Learn some photography rules and how to work with light (google is your friend). Learn the rules so you know them, then you can break them later.
4) Experiment. I enjoyed doing dark and bizarre photoshoots with my sister most, even though originally I wanted to do warm light photos.
5) Shoot manual. It’s painful learning, but once you get it, it’s amazing.
6) Don’t wait for a fancy camera. Shoot with what you’ve got now.
This was my first attempt to shot fireworks. Simple set up, a Gorillapod, above a prop post box in the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, and a Nikon D5100 with a kit lens (18-55mm). I tried to attach it to a pole, but that doesn’t work, so I had to find a spot that wouldn’t shake and with no people blocking the camera.
(3,6 sec @ f / 22, ISO 100)
The first shot I was just playing around with long exposure, to capture the sunset.
The second one was a few minutes before the show starts. Again, with long exposure.
(3,0 sec @ f / 10, ISO 250)
I was using a wireless remote control to trigger the shutter and set the camera to bulb mode. I set the ISO to 200 and the aperture in f 13 (for all the fireworks photos) and controlled the shutter speed with the control. Since the trails are really bright, you don’t have to worry about shooting with a high aperture and low ISO.
For the focus, I put the camera on the live view mode and zoomed in the castle, to make sure that it would be in focus.
I only started the exposure when the fireworks extended and stopped once the trails started to disappear.
( 2,5 sec @ f / 13, ISO 200)
Guess it works. Hope to have more opportunities to do this kind of photography.
I'm currently trying to take up photography and capture the beauty that the world and I was wondering what camera you use?
Hey! :) Thank you for the question. I made about 99% of the photos on this blog with either my Canon T5i (EOS 700D) or the older Canon T2i (EOS 550D). But more important than the camera body itself IMHO are the lenses. If you are just starting out, don’t let people fool you. Even kit-lenses can get you great photos. I started with the 18-55mm kit lens and the cheap 50mm 1.8II. With a kit-lens and a good 50mm prime, you can do a lot. Later you will see, which focal lenghts or which lens-speed you really need. So far I got three other lenses: a 28-135mm, a 70-300mm, and a 55-200mm (which I don’t use anymore). They fit my personal needs. All photos (except the phone shots) are made with one of these 5 lenses. Thank you for asking :) Hope you’ll share your photos here and send me a message, if you do!
Hello, my name is Wilhelm Gulliksen and I’m a twenty two years old amateur photographer based in the north of Spain.
I’ve been taking photos since I was sixteen, and I love it because photography allows you to see beauty in common things such as a cup of coffee or a traffic signal. At the moment I shoot with a Nikon D5100 with a 18-55mm kit lens and an analog Minolta SRT 101-B with a 50mm 1.4 lens. Some of the first photos in my blog were taken by an Olympus SP-620UZ (a compact camera). I hope you enjoy my photos.