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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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