All Photos Courtesy of Dave Brosha
One of the most freeing aspects of photography is that you can literally shoot whatever your heart wants. Whatever feeds your soul, motivates your creativity, no matter how out-of-the-box it may be. This however, can also be the most daunting. As with many things in life, it is easy to get stuck in your comfort zone, limiting your potential and sacrificing your imagination. One photographer who will not confine his inspiration or limit himself to any particular label, who fully embraces total creative freedom, and truly believes in visual storytelling, is Dave Brosha.
Have you ever read anything that seemed to come to you at a critical time, so that it felt rather like it had been written for you? That page after page, you find confirmation? “Old Fields” by John Stilgoe is a transformational book. I’ve read nothing else like it.
If you want to make your pictures fit into the flow of words that go along with the prestige of photography, you will find someone to write something to relate the pictures you have made with one of these essays. There is a weird effect to this, it feels echo-chamber-y, as though there is an institutional confirmation bias in critical outlooks on photography. “Old Fields” stands out as a completely independent piece of sustained writing and thinking. Despite the title, I think many readers will feel the shock of the new. Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, “A Little History of Photography”, Roland Barthes “Camera Lucida”, and Susan Sontag’s “On Photography” make up the repeated titles that you come across in essay after essay that begin photography books.
Maybe you’re travelling. Maybe you want to create some content for your small business. Maybe you’re just really passionate about pizza and need to share in-depth knowledge of all the best pizza places in town. There’s so many reasons to start a vlog, and there’s a ton of options to get started with.
Here’s some ideas for a great kit to get you started for less than $1000:
1. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 Kit – The Canon SL3 is an affordable, compact DSLR kit with Dual-pixel Autofocus for smooth focus tracking in video mode. The camera also has a microphone jack and fully articulating LCD screen for easy filming, no matter whether you’re filming yourself or the world in front of you.
2. External Microphone – Great audio is a critical part of making a great vlog. Using an external microphone is a simple way to step up that audio. Pick a lavalier (lapel) microphone like the Deity V.Lav if you’re recording a lot of talking-head footage, or a small shotgun mic like the Rode VideoMicro if you want something easier to run-and-gun with.
3. Sescom Headphone Splitter – Improving your audio is a great step, but monitoring it can save you a lot of hassle in case of interference or disconnected microphones. This splitter allows you to use headphones while shooting on an external microphone.
4. Aputure M9 Compact LED Spot Light – Designed to sit right in the hotshoe on your camera, this daylight-balanced LED light is small and lightweight but powerful. Easy to recharge via micro-USB, this is a great piece of kit to keep you and your subjects lit in any situation.
5. Joby Gorillapod 3K Kit – Whether you need a little extra reach or a chance to set the camera down, Joby’s Gorillapod is a versatile, compact tripod solution that’s easy to bring with you. The flexible legs mean you can wrap the tripod around a fence post or tree branch, or any other predicament you find yourself in so that you can get the shot.
Video can be intimidating, but this is an example of some lower-budget tools that can make a big difference in your finished product.
Featured in this Article:
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 with 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS STM
RODE VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone
Sescom 3.5mm Attenuation Cable
Aputure AL-M9 Pocket LED Light
Joby Gorillapod Ballhead 3K Kit
Shimoda bags are a great line designed and tested for those who seek adventure, and want to carry their camera gear to capture it. Founded by snowboarder and explorer Ian Millar, these bags have been designed and tested by photographers and videographers who live for adventure around the world. People like Levi Allen, an adventure film director; Colin Adair, an outdoor and lifestyle photographer; and Paris Gore, a photographer and mountain biker. Built and supported by their community, Shimoda launched on Kickstarter and was completely funded in just over 30 hours. By the end of their campaign, they had exceeded their goal by 600%.
When it comes to portraits, the lens you choose has a huge impact on the final image. Good glass can make great portraits. Here’s five things to consider when choosing your next portrait lens:
1. Fast aperture = beautiful bokeh – With a lens that has an aperture like F2.8, or F1.8, or even F1.2, you can get beautifully blurred out backgrounds that look professional and draw more attention to your subject.
2. Sweet and sharp – Higher quality optics, such as Canon’s L-series lenses, translate to sharper images, and a sharpness that extends to the edge of the frame. This means you can fill the frame with your subject and still retain a stunning level of detail even in the wisps of hair to the edge of the image.
3. Go long to flatter – A longer lens, like an 85mm, 135mm, or even 200mm will compress the image, rather than distort it in an unflattering way. A longer lens will also give you more working room, so you’re not invading your subject’s personal bubble as much.
4. Prime-time – Prime lenses (lenses with a fixed focal length, like 50mm) are often sharp, small, and have a faster aperture as compared to their zoom counterparts at the same price point, and are often favoured by professional portrait photographers.
5. Zoom for less room – A zoom lens (like the popular 24-70mm F2.8) will take up less room in your bag than three or four primes within the same focal range. They’re also really handy if you’re trying to work quickly in a more confined space where you don’t have as much room to move around.
Investing in good glass is always a good idea – it will last longer than your camera and can make a world of difference in your images. Canon’s L-series are designed to be top-quality and perform to help you get the picture.
Featured in this Article:
Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM
Canon EF 135mm f2.0L USM
Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM
Canon EF 50mm f1.2 L USM
Canon EF 35mm f1.4L II USM