On Wednesday, I went up to Santa Barbara to shoot a residence that has been exquisitely redone from its former heavy gothic Spanish style into an updated lighter modern Mediterranean home with unbelievable interior design. The interior designer has done three homes for the owner and when he bought this one, he gave her his complete trust and a free rein. The name "Hope Ranch" gives me hope that I will one day live somewhere like this. This house is truly amazing! I am just showing a couple of pics for now, because honestly, each room deserves its own post!! Then after the shooting was done, I met my mom at the best little Italian place on State Street, Bucatini.
I've been asked quite a few times about my camera, so here it is... My camera is a Canon 5D Mark II. When I started really working on making photography a 'thing," I was on a Nikon. I agonized over switching from Nikon to Canon. But I am happy I did. All in all, I think it's just your personal preference and what suits your needs best. And then with Canon, there are quite a few bodies, each also fitting different needs. So to say the 5D is the best, or the 7D is the best, is just silly. It's best for whoever thinks it's the best camera for their own needs. The Lenses: A lot of people think it's the camera that makes the difference, when in fact, the differences that they are noticing comes from the various lenses photographers use. And whatever field of photography you are thinking about, different lenses would be better than others. After going through quite a few to experiment with, I've narrowed (and lightened) my camera bag down to a few. My lens choice is quite simple. My favorite lens is a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. It's comparable to a Canon 24-70mm 2.8, but I happen to prefer a few Tamron lenses. I was in the camera shop pulling out my credit card for the Canon 24-70 at the time, and the owner that was helping me said, "Have you considered the Tamron?" He went on to tell me that Canon makes lenses, cameras, copiers, you name it, but Tamron specializes in just the lenses. After a little more of the conversation I was converted. Anyway, I love the flexibility of the 28-75 when shooting kids and active candid shots that the prime lenses don't offer. I love my Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens for portraits, some fashion, and when I want that shallow depth of field. For the interiors shots I used a wide-angle lens that I have since gotten rid of. So, I am on the lookout for a new wide-angle lens. Until then I use a rental company to try out a few until I find one I fall in love with. I also have a 70-300mm zoom for sports and other events, but I have to say, it doesn't come out too often. Oh, and, as I am about to say, I also love my little Canon point-and-shoot that's about 5 years old. It's always in my pocket, or in my purse, and it's about the same size as a small stack of my business cards. Whereas my 5D can weigh me down, seriously. And, get this, it takes HD video, too. It's great for anything I'm doing with my son. Besides my iPhone, and my apparant addiction to Instagram, it's usually the one I use for everyday stuff around my family. Now, I have a some lights, flashes, filters, gizmos, contraptions... I don't want to dishonest and let you think my camera bag is actually light... but, that's for another post. 😉 I want to upgrade my camera so that I can get great pictures. What would you recommend? My answer is that you can use any camera and get great pictures. Sure, an expensive camera with all the bells and whistles is a wonderful thing and I LOVE my camera, but I believe I've gotten some of my great shots from my little point-and-shoot and my older not-so-great camera. I don't think that anyone should start off with the best camera on the market. They will only be disappointed and overwhelmed. One of the photographers I admire most, Chase Jarvis, said something like, "The best camera is the one that's with you. Just take the picture!" (And then he made a coffee table book of photos taken with an iPhone!) A great camera won't help a bad photographer, and a bad camera won't hurt a good photographer. My photographer friend says it's the eye that takes good pictures, not the camera. There's even a joke I think of sometimes... While shooting a party, the host tells the photographer, "Wow, you take great pictures. You must have a great camera. And the photographer replies. "Well thanks. And my, the food was great. You must have a great stove!" (Hehe! I love that one!) Just be aware of composition and find good lighting. And practice practice practice, whenever you can. And an old teacher told me, don't be so quick to delete the bad pics... take a minute to figure out where you went wrong. Also, spend some time figuring out post-editing. While it won't make a picture, it makes a lot of difference. Speaking of, what do you do for post? I start out going through everything, and do minor tweaks in Lightroom 4. I love Lightroom. From there, I adjust a selection of the photos more deeply and as needed in Photoshop. Unlike some photographers, I love post! The other half of my career has been in graphic design, so I really love this part, I never outsource my editing. And also unlike some photographers, I really believe it's a vital part. In my little old opinion, if you don't know the histogram, how to adjust levels or curves and add your own personal style after the image is taken, you are missing half the picture, so to speak. Good Luck... and just go take the picture! I'd like to | View Kristina's Portfolio | Contact Kristina | Find Kristina on Facebook or Twitter