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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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