So many people ask me what camera I have, and how much Photoshop I use. Especially when they see some “sick” photos like these (the fact that they all represent pyramids is accidental… I just picked a few good ones):
Let me tell you something first: I have no clue about how to use Photoshop. That said, let’s go on with the photography equipment.
The answer to the “what camera do you have” question is very simple: nothing special. Here is a detailed list of the few tools and accessories I use. Just so that you know that to take good shots you don’t have to own a great (read: expensive) camera. For each lens I will add a photo taken with it, to give you an idea of what you can do with each one.
Camera body: an old, pretty much wrecked Nikon D40 camera. I bought it in New York after my photography course, when I felt like I knew how to use it. It was the most basic and cheap model, plus I got a refurbished one so I got a good deal. She has always done a great job and gave me a lot of satisfactions. It’s a relatively light and small model if compared to more advanced, professional cameras. I’d love to upgrade to a “better” camera body but the problem is always the same: money.
The camera body came with a classic Nikkor 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. At the beginning it was my only lens, but now I hardly use it. It’s not a bad lens, quite the opposite, it’s good but doesn’t really give the photo any effect I like. Plus the zoom is not that much and sometimes I missed my old compact Panasonic Lumix camera with its 10x optical zoom. This lens alone is not enough, definitely not enough.
In the need of a zoom, I asked Santa Claus for a zoom lens and he brought me a Nikkor 55-200 mm f/4-5.6 lens. There I started to take some pretty pictures… And understood that the lens really makes a huge difference. Not that this lens is the best on the market, but after all I’m not a pro and this works just fine for me. When the National Geographic will send me to Tanzania to shoot photos of lions 10 km away from me, they will probably provide me with a Nikkor 1200-1700 mm worth $40,000. But for now, I just don’t need it (thanks God in a way!).
For a while I didn’t buy any other lens. Then I realized that a wide angle could help me both with indoor and landscape photography, and I started to search for a lens like this. I finally went for the Tamron 10-24 mm f/3.5-4.5 lens. I was looking for the Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens but it looked impossible to find in Italy, plus it was way too expensive. Anyway I am very happy with this lens, it gives the photos a dramatic effect, and this is definitely one of my two favourite lenses. It was a great choice!
I was almost done with lenses, but there was just something missing. I didn’t have a good lens for portraits… So when I arrived to Cairo I bought a fantastic Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8. And that, for now was the last purchase (check the link for the post about my experience buying camera accessories in Cairo!).
This lens is just great! It allows me to take the best portraits and photos of close objects, both with daylight and low light.
So that’s all concerning lenses. I have a few more very basic accessories, and that’s it.
- 2 tripods (just because I forgot to take mine to Singapore and had to buy another one… but I’ll leave one in Egypt when I leave).
- 3 batteries (veeeeery important! The camera comes with one battery only, but it’s absolutely not enough when you are traveling).
- 1 external flash – I don’t like to use flashes but for parties it’s a must. I have a basic one, it’s enough for what I need.
- 1 circular polarizer – a filter to avoid reflections and to make colors warmer. Great effect!
- 1 haze filter – it reduces haze and excessive blue.
- 1 uv protection filter – it protects your camera from uv rays and prevents your lens from scratching.
- 1 “soft” filter – it minimizes facial imperfections… but I never use it!
I think this is all!
I really really want to buy a new camera, but first I need the money, then I need to understand which one to buy. I want to stay with Nikon. Any suggestions?
What do you use for your travel photography? What’s your favorite lens and effect? I am super curious to know about your gear : ) As you can see I am not professional at all. But some of my photos turned out very well! If you want to see more photos by me please visit my online gallery and let me know what you think : )