Friday, June 5, 2009

I've started to get a lot of questions related to my camera--in both the comments and my e-mail inbox. I'll try to post stuff like this here, so that I only really have to answer it once (or, at the very least, I'll have somewhere to point you all!).

OK, so let's go over the basics.

I shoot with a Canon Digital Rebel XT. It looks like this:

We bought it in November 2006, and I shot for a few years with it primarily in "auto" mode. Around Christmas this past year, I decided I wanted to stretch my photographic legs a little bit and decided to start playing around and learning more about manual settings. I have not been back in automatic mode since then.

We bought the camera with the kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6). It's OK, but I don't use it much anymore, unless I need to take wide angle shots that I can't swing with my favorite lens.

The favorite lens? It's the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II that we bought back in January. It looks like this:

And I love it. It allows you to open the aperture wide, so it's good in low-light situations. It also gives you those narrow-depth-of-field shots that everyone always drools over. This lens doesn't zoom; it's one fixed focal length (50mm). Therefore, it's not appropriate for every occasion, but generally, it is a nice all-purpose lens.

Also in January, I became extremely frustrated with the lighting for my indoor shots. It's one of those things... my preference is always to shoot with natural light, but let's face it: in the wintertime, natural light is hard to come by. I found that the built-in flash on my camera was not cutting it. So I invested in one of these:

It's a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II. And it is SO MUCH BETTER. I still prefer to shoot with natural light, but when that's impossible, this thing is my best friend. I almost never use it shooting straight forward, though. I always use it as a bounce flash, bouncing the light off of nearby walls, windows, or even the ceiling. Love it.

For those instances when we don't want to lug around our camera bag, we have this pocket-sized point-and-shoot, the Canon Powershot SD1000. (Can you tell we are Canon people?) This is actually our second Canon point-and-shoot. We upgraded in December 2007 after having our first one for several years. It looks like this:

We have no complaints; it is a great little point-and-shoot, and we love that we can just throw it into my purse or into Michael's pocket.

There is another fun camera accessory we invested in, just prior to our honeymoon: an underwater case. We bought one for the point-and-shoot, as I would never dream of taking our SLR underwater. We used it for all of our snorkeling adventures, and it was pretty awesome. Definitely a great purchase. It looks like this:

It makes the otherwise compact point-and-shoot kind of bulky, but it was so worth it. We followed all of the directions to a "T" every time that we used it, and we didn't have any leaking or fogging problems. If you want to see some of our underwater pics and videos, check out the honeymoon tag over on Road to the Aisle. (Check out the Maui posts. We didn't have much luck with snorkeling in Kauai.) We're disappointed we're not going to a beach location for our vacation this year since we won't have an opportunity to use it! Note to self: Plan another vacation during which we can use our underwater camera case!

That's basically it--the start of what I hope is a long relationship with camera equipment. It's just too bad it's all so expensive. I hope to upgrade my camera body in the not-too-distant future, and I would love love LOVE another lens or two. (I wish the lenses weren't as expensive as the cameras!)

A couple of people have commented that I should share photography tips. I don't know that I can do that yet. I'm still learning myself, I definitely don't feel qualified to be teaching others! Maybe someday...

Hopefully that begins to answer some of your questions, though. If there's anything else, let me know in the comments!

P.S. If you're actually in the market for any of this stuff, shop around. I linked to Amazon just so you could all go read up on the specifics of the products if you so choose. But the prices? Yikes. We got much better deals on most of this stuff by purchasing elsewhere.


Michelle June 5, 2009 at 10:09 PM  

Thanks for sharing your camera info. We got our Canon dslr a couple of months ago and I have been reading up on shooting tips non stop, trying to break out of auto mode. I actually have a couple of pages of notes that I am trying to memorize for our anniversary trip this weekend.

It is tough to remember what to change everything to but I think practice makes perfect. Your pictures are great though!! I can't wait to see the pics from San Francisco through your lens!

Lindsay June 5, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

Thanks so much! I was trying to chose between the Nikon D60 and Canon XS, I never even looked at the XT. I am leaning toward Canon but I have to find a better Great post!

Gia June 5, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

Thanks for the info! I am looking in to purchasing a Canon or Nikon.

I think your pictures are great!!

Krystie June 6, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

word to the wise. Look at BHphoto for equipment. They usually have the best prices around. Another tip. Try best buy. They beat online competitor pricing!

Sara June 6, 2009 at 3:37 AM  

thanks for the advice. My good friend is starting to get into photography and it seems like everyone is catching the "photo bug!" One of these days I am going to get a SLR camera....::wishes::

Jacki,  June 6, 2009 at 9:29 AM  

We have one of those waterproof cases for our canon (SD 750) too!
Best investment we ever made! Jake must've took over 100 underwater pictures on our honeymoon last year. And some of them are really fantastic. You'd never get that quality from a disposable, that's for sure.

Julibean19 June 7, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

My sister and I are really interested on how you manage to find such great car rental prices on We've never used priceline for anything and are wondering how that whole process works. Do you know if it's possible to do when the drivers of the rental cars are under the 25 year old cutoff where they charge you a ridiculous amount of fees? Thanks so much and have fun on the west coast!

Colleen June 8, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

Don't you wish it wasn't such an expensive hobby?! Thank god for birthdays and christmas! :)

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