Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Photography Setup

Photography Setup

This post has been requested by a lot of you, and whilst I had a bit of time over the weekend I thought I'd snap my photography set up for you all. My photography setup has changed a lot since I first started blogging, and I am really happy with the setup I have now. I am in no way a professional when it comes to photography, but studying media at college and university allowed me to get a basic understanding of photography. When it comes to taking my blog photos these are settings I have learnt work for me from practise and I hope come in handy for you. 

Warning: This post will be long so read with caution.

Firstly since late November all of my blog photos have been taken with the Canon 600D SLR, I find this an amazing entry level SLR and very easy to use. I love that you can buy a vast array of lenses for this camera which can really effect that your photo turns out. 

The lenses that I currently own for my camera at the 18-55mm standard kit lens and the Canon 50mm lens. The 18-55mm lens is the standard lens that comes with the camera, and I don't use this much nowadays, however it's a great lens to start off with when learning about your camera. The one I use most often is the Canon 50mm lens, I find this a lovely lens for taking blog photos as it produces a sharp image with beautiful blurring of the background. The only downside is that you have to be quite far away when taking photos or recording videos (yes I have tested the lens so watch this space when I get round to filming).

Onto my setup, this is something that has grown from my little white card setup. I now have this lovely white table from Ikea and a larger piece of card from WH Smiths, I love this setup as it creates a white crisp backdrop for all my photos. You may notice in my photos I like to get a bit creative with little details including flowers and crystals, so I thought I'd show you a photo of these. My pink flowers are from the Range along with the smaller crystals. The heart crystals have all been purchased from eBay and like to store them in my candle holders when I'm not burning anything. 

As you can see in the first photo I like to take all my photos close to my bedroom window, with my bedroom being in the loft I always thought the lighting would be terrible but have come to love my room. I simply lift the blinds up on both windows so that I have light coming from both the left and right hand side of my room and it provides an ample amount of light that is perfect for photos. 

To take my photos I always use the Manual setting on my camera, this means I can adjust settings such as ISO levels and aperture. I have popped an image of my settings so that you can see the ones that I use. The first icon highlighted in green is the shutter speed which is calculated by seconds, this is how long the shutter stays open when it's taking a photo. I find my settings work well to my lighting conditions however if you want photos lighter or darker you just need to adjust this number. The F number stands for aperture which adjusts the sharpness of images, and the lower the number the sharper your image will be along with a blurred background. The ISO stands for the cameras sensitivity to light, and this for me is what really makes a photo. If it's quite light outside I will usually opt for 100 or 200 however if it's darker outside I will normally bump this number up to 400 and above. 

I like to view my photos on the LCD screen as I can see how the image will look when took, and I just find it generally easier. Depending if my camera chooses to focus I will go between automatic focus and manual - which allows me to choose where I want to the focus to be. 

My first L'Oreal photo is the original photo took from the camera with an ISO of 400, however I like to edit my photos on photoshop. The second photo shows the finished photo which has basically been brightened/auto curved/exposed and a little bit of saturation. I then have a Photoshop action that I compiled together to give me the vintage effect you can see in the final photo. If you are interested in the action let me know and I'll try and save it as a file for you all, it just basically involves a lot of curves and selective colourings. If you want to add an effect to your images you can Google a lot of actions to find anything from vintage to over exposed and it's all about finding what works for you. 

I do use a tripod, but you don't necessarily need one, I just find it helps steady my camera more than my hands. I also have a remote for my camera which is the best thing since sliced bread, as it provides ease for taking swatch photos such as lipstick and will come in handy for my videos. 

I have spoken about using an SLR but you don't necessarily need one to produce great photos, some of these photos were taken with my iPhone and if you want to venture down a good camera route I would definitely recommend a bridge camera these are in the middle of a point and shoot and SLR. It gives you the chance to get to grips with more detailed settings before making the plunge down the SLR route. 

If there is anything else you'd like to know just let me know, I hope I have covered everything.

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