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One of my favorite types of videos to watch on YouTube is when people share their secrets of what equipment they use to film or take photos. Although most of it’s way more expensive than I can ever afford…sadly.
However, it’s so fun to see how people get those images or what their creative angle is behind different shoots and things they do. It’s so inspiring and exciting. Today, I thought I’d share what I use to take my travel photos and how I take/edit them.
Before you read on, check out some posts with my photos in them, so you have an idea of what I’m talking about!
- Christmas Cruise, December 2016
- Traverse City, Michigan
- Leelanau, Michigan
- Other pictures can be found on my Instagram!
I use a Canon EOS Rebel T3I. You can find the camera here, but it is an older version (aka there’s better versions out there now, like the Canon EOS 7D Mark II). My camera was the cheapest one that I could find that still did what I needed. My Canon is a DSLR camera, which means Digital Single-Lens Reflex.
According to Photographylife.com, “a DSLR is a digital camera that uses a mirror mechanism to either reflect light from a camera lens to an optical viewfinder (which is an eyepiece on the back of the camera that one looks through to see what they are taking a picture of) or let light fully pass onto the image sensor (which captures the image) by moving the mirror out of the way.”
The camera I bought came with two basic lenses. However, I rarely use those and instead keep a Macro-Lens on. This was a gift my dad got for his birthday, but I’ve since…ahem…stolen it…sorry dad. This lens doesn’t zoom, but it’s great at focusing up-close and blurring the background, which is called Aperture.
Honestly, I haven’t used much else other than that camera and lens for most of my pictures, because it does what I need right now.
I also purchased a cute, yellow Polaroid Camera that I’m in love with. I haven’t used it a ton for travel pictures yet, but will be this summer. It’s just a great way to get that vintage-feel in a photo. Just be careful if it’s super sunny out, because the photos can be very over-exposed.
These are so much fun to hang up around your room, or just keep in your wallet. You don’t need to worry about going through the process of printing a ton of things out!
Sadly, you need to buy the film separately, but this is what I get: Click Here!
My phone just as much a necessity as my DSLR. Sometimes, I just get tired of lugging around a camera with a couple of lenses, and I leave it behind.
If you have a phone that takes relatively good pictures, you’re all set. It might not be quite the quality of a DSLR, but it doesn’t matter. Sometimes, I think my iPhone takes better pictures than my camera, especially when it comes to night scenes. There’s definitely a time for both of them.
Plus, you can take easy selfies on a phone’s camera. This is all the convincing I need.
Every DSLR camera will have a setting for Aperture Priority. On mine, it’s called “AV”. This means that the Aperture takes precedence over other camera settings in this mode. The lower you set your AP, the more blurred the background.
Normally, that’s the mode I’ll keep my camera on, because I love taking portrait shots or just shots where something is blurred and something else is in focus. However, my lens (mentioned above) is also great if you’re taking pictures where everything is in focus. A win-win for what I need.
I also always make sure to shoot in the RAW format. I’ve watched a few videos about this topic, and they convinced me to use RAW instead of JPEG. When shooting in JPEG, your images are more edited in the camera and harder to manipulate when editing on a computer. This means it can be harder to change coloring or lighting, if they look bad. It also means the photo could look better, and you’ll have less editing to do.
However, when shooting in RAW, the photo pretty much comes out like it does when you’re looking through the viewfinder. You have the opportunity to manipulate a lot more when it comes time to edit, which it what I like. I want complete control over how my finished images look, even if it takes longer.
Here is a page that explains the differences more in-depth.
When editing my pictures, I’ll use Adobe Lightroom. It’s basically an easier version of Photoshop. You can’t edit as much as you can on Photoshop, but that’s okay with me. I still have all the flexibility I need on this program, plus it’s more user-friendly.
When editing my iPhone pictures I use VSCO. I get that constant theme I’m trying to keep on my Insta, and I have a ton of control over how I want the images to look. Plus, the app is free!
I almost never edit my pictures in Instagram, just because they’re usually how I want them by the time I’m uploading them. However, Instagram has its perks too!
Do you have any other questions for me? I’ll do my best to answer them below,