There are two pieces of equipment you absolutely need. A Camera and a lens. OTher than that you dont really need anything. Now that is true, and not true...
I have seen many a commercial product that was sat down outside and shot just using the available light.
However we are going to want to make our images to be better than everyone elses, so we need to add to the list a few things,...
A tripod. Probably your most valuable piece of equipment. It is a pain to have to frame a subject, set down the camera, go fix something, and come back and try to find the shot you found earlier. Also, if you use a camera on a tripod, by using the camera's self timer or using a cable release, you can snap the image without touching the camera and signifigantly reducing vibration.
Also a tripod makes you look cool and that you know what you're doing. Many is the wedding i have shot where the people keep about a 10 ' distance away from my tripod cause it's a professional tripod.The cameras they didnt understand and ignored... but if i had a tripod, ohh... i was a professional..
light meter- a light meter is a doohicky that measures the light. Duh.. Your camera has one built into it, but unless you use the manual settings, your computer camera is going to think for you and measure the light and set the controls of the camera for you... usually they do it wrong... Most cameras use ttl metering, which means 'through the lens' metering. It is basically reading the light reflecting off your subject and trying to set the exposure using that data.. i'm gonna save this for later...
Flash- new rule... the lens can come off the camera and be used off of the camera. Some use infer red lights to trigger the flash to fire, and some connect to the camera and are set off that way..we use wireless controlls that send radio waves from the camera to the flash and tells it to fire when we shoot... find out if yours can and take it off... we dont use on flash cameras. THis is the first logical math thingy we have to learn... The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection..
This is how you get red eye... your flash fires in a straight line and hits your friend with light.. light bounces off the inside of the eye and reflects the bloodvessles on the inside out through the aperture of the eye... light travels directly back to the camera along the same angle..
using various products around your home, we'll show how to turn them into softboxes just using toilet paper, show you how to bounce light, how to take a toilet paper roll and make snoots out of them... all kinds o stuff..
My favorite flash is a vivitar 285. Most powerful manual flash you could get for the money... extremely accurate.. has nothing to do with digital...just needs some way to have the camera tell it to fire...
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- photo 101 - equipment