One of the main reasons I decided to start a blog is because I love photography.
I love how much pictures can set the tone of a website. If you have a black-and-white feed, you come off as artistic. Super colorful and saturated photos mirror excitement and energy. Pictures with patricular patterns bring out particular emotions. Pictures really do speak a thousand words.
But when I started blogging, my pictures didn’t end up looking as great as I had imagined. Even though I have a mid-to-high-range camera (the Canon 550D, or Rebel T2i) my photo quality was crappier than the pictures my brother took with his iPhone X. I tried editing them, taking pictures in natural light, using fancy props…but nothing seemed to give me the desired effect I was looking for.
That’s when I discovered the secret:
it’s all in the lens.
I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this, but they should. Understanding what the right lens was for me, made my photography look like I had taken it from a digital camera produced in 2008 to, well, exactly what I wanted it to look like. The example below are completely unedited, taken 30 seconds apart at the same distance.
The lens that you decide to go for depends on what you primarily take pictures of. Now don’t get me wrong; if you decide to buy a DSLR and just use the kit lens, you’ll be fine. It does a standard job of taking photographs of pretty much everything. But if you’re like me and your main subjects of photography are portraits and architecture, the 50mm lens is the way forward.
Companies like Nikon, Sigma, and many others all offer their own versions of the classic 50 mm lens but the one that I went for was the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, otherwise known as the Nifty Fifty. Notorious for its affordable price ($125 in a world where a good set of lens usually cost $500 and upwards), this baby does everything your kit lens does, but better. It’s a total bargain, and after just a couple hours of Googling, I was sold.
If you know about the exposure triangle, it’ll make sense to you when I say that it allows your aperture to go as low as f1.8, which is great news when it comes to blog photography. For the laymen, aperture is just a fancy way of explaining how open or closed the iris of your lens is. So the lower the f-number, the wider the aperture, meaning a more open iris and thus lighter pictures. This is exactly what we’re looking for when trying to take the ideal blog photograph.
My only criticism and something I think you should be aware of is that there is no ability to zoom using the lens. This doesn’t necessarily deem as an issue, however in certain situations it can get a bit annoying. A good example is when I went out for dinner with my mom last night and tried to take a photo of the food in front of me. The lens was a bit too zoomed in, and even after I stood up to take the picture, the framing was slightly off. The picture also came out quite grainy, but I think that’s due to the lighting.
What do you use to take your pictures?