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Beginning Photographers Need This Equipment To Get Started

Beginning Photographers Need This Equipment To Get Started

Take a look on Instagram real quick, and you’ll undoubtedly see hundreds of pictures taken by “fauxtographers”: selfies, pictures of food, and videos of cats – all poorly taken in a rush to upload them and start receiving comments and “likes” from strangers.

The fact is: taking pictures is now incredibly easy to do. However, taking a good picture is still incredibly difficult. Anyone with a smartphone can take a picture; if you want to consider yourself a photographer, you need to fully dedicate yourself to the craft.

You’ll need to pick up a couple items, too.

Camera

Well, duh.

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Of course you need a camera to get started as a photographer. But with so many out there to choose from, how do you decide which is right for you?

In truth, your first camera doesn’t have to be anything too special. Most cameras nowadays work well enough to get you started, and will allow you to try your hand at photography while you decide whether or not you want to dive deeper into the hobby.

The different specs can be confusing for a beginner, so don’t worry too much about comparing megapixels (or figuring out what that even means). This will all come in time.

One thing to pay attention to is the camera’s ISO sensitivity. Quite simply, a higher ISO means the camera is better able to take pictures in darkness. If you’ve narrowed your decision down to a couple different models, choose the one with the highest ISO, and try your hand at nighttime photography.

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Lenses

Purchasing lenses is perhaps where you’ll have to do the most research. Depending on your purposes, you’ll want to check out multiple lenses which can be used in different situations.

You’ll definitely need a prime lens to get started. Prime lenses have one focal length, and zero zoom capabilities. It’s recommended that you purchase both a 35mm and 50mm prime lens to use in different photographic situations.

A macrolens is useful for 1:1 magnification. In other words, with a macrolens, you can create a life-sized replication of a specific object. This lens is best used when aiming for intense, crisp detail in your photographs.

If you’re looking to photograph moving subjects – such as animals or athletes – go with a telephoto lens. The faster shutter speed on these lenses means you won’t end up with a bunch of blurry shots of an event that might not be too easy to replicate, such as a track meet or an encounter with the first robin of spring.

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Tripod

Once you have a tripod, you can probably consider yourself a serious photographer.

Tripod stands work wonders for patient photographers who wait for the perfect moment to snap their picture of a natural scene. Since your camera is safely snapped into the stand, it won’t budge unless you need to move it. This allows for a much steadier shot than would ever be possible by hand. This is especially important if you’re taking video of a special moment.

Tripods are also great for self portraits or group photos in which the photographer doesn’t want to be left out. Used in conjunction with the timer on your camera, the tripod allows you to take a picture with your family without having to resort to using an iPhone and a selfie stick.

Memory Cards

Gone are the days of having to bring your camera’s film to a department store to be developed. Nowadays, you can store thousands and thousands of photos on a small memory stick smaller than a baseball card.

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In fact, for a 32GB memory card, you’ll probably only need to shell out about twenty bucks. Just make sure to check your camera for whether it requires an SD or CF card. Otherwise, there’s not too much else to it.

Editing Software

This is a nonessential for photographers, but you should definitely consider investing in a good photo editing program such as Adobe Photoshop if you really want to dive into the world of photography.

While you don’t want to use editing programs as a crutch in place of actual photography skills, you can certainly use it to touch up photographs and issues such as red eye to make family pictures more presentable.

On the other hand, perhaps photography is only part of your overall process, and your true artistic talent lies in creating collages or other edited pieces of work. If that’s the case, by all means cut, paste, crop, blur… just don’t try to pass it off as true photography.

Featured photo credit: Photography / Ocean / Flickr via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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