Those that have been around on my site, reading previous posts etc., will know I love to take photos. Let’s face it, there are quite a few on this site. I enjoy taking photos, keeping memories of the things we do now so that I can revisit them in the future.
It’s not an unusual thing to do after all. Most people take photo’s of places and the fun they have there. Many of us have photo’s of our kids growing up. I think part of the reason is that, when I was a kid we don’t have too many photo’s – though part of that was because I didn’t enjoy having my photo taken.
I really found my love being the other side of the camera and as we can instantly see the image we take – well, it makes it more gratifying.
Taking photography to the next level
This year, as part of that passion, I am going to be taking my photography to the next level. I’m going to be concentrating on that skill, practising, improving. It’s going to be my thing.
We all need some sort of escape – especially when we have very full on lives. We all need something to fill our thoughts when we have that down time – as little as it maybe on many occations.
In the past I’ve taken photo’s of the kids and where we were without thinking too much of the composition. Thinking, if I move to the left or right a metre, would that make it better? It has always been more a reactive that proactive thought.
To be fare, when you’re trying to get a photo of active kids, especially one with ASD who doesn’t like to sit still for 1 second and pose; it’s the only way you can take a photo. That’s not so true when it comes to taking images of the landscape. Stepping back and looking at the images I took over this past year or two, I see many places where I could have taken a moment and captured something better.
This year I plan to do that. In fact, I’ve been out and started to practice twice now. First time was just over a week ago and then again last weekend.
To help push me forward I also sold all my old camera gear and invested in 2 items. The first one was a new camera which I got the end of last year in a deal. The second one is a new prime lens which I will be using just for landscape photography – well plans too.
To give a little more detail, why don’t I list the gear.
Sony A7 – The camera
So, what is arguably the most important item – the camera.
I had previously been using a Nikon D600, which was also a full frame camera. I also had a Olympus E-PL8 (which I loved) and a Panasonic LX3 which was old but still gave excellent images.
The one reason why I was using the Olympus more than the Nikon was the size of the D600. I wanted something a little smaller, something that I could carry for a longer period.
So, I opted to buy a camera I had previously looked at which was the Sony A7. What helped was that it was on a deal at the time – for the first generation model – later models were just too expensive for
From the second I got the Sony A7 I loved it. It was significatly smaller and easier to carry around than the Nikon. It produces wonderful images with fantastic colour reproduction and clarity.
The 2 biggest things I love though are, firstly the EVF. You can see what your image will look like before you take it. With a mirror box camera you see the view you are taking the shot of. With an EVF you see the image as it will be taken – so the exposure and other elements.
What that means is I know what the image will look like before I actually take it.
The second thing I love, is when I am in manual I can easily change the ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed with just my right hand, without having to take my eye from the view finder.
The Nikon had far more controls BUT I found it difficult to find things like changing the shutter speed without removing my eye away from the view finder.
This means I can quickly update how my image is going to be taken, changing values to expose the photo correctly.
I just love this camera – as you maybe able to tell.
Zeiss Batis 25mm – The Lens
The lens, the second most important element when taking photos.
As I wanted to spend sometime taking more landscape and seascape images I wanted a wider lens. Something wide enough to capture the beauty of the elements around.
Originally I wanted to go really wide and opt for a 16mm or 18mm lens. I was really leaning toward the Zeiss Batis 18mm lens, but it was a little more expensive and I think, in hindsight, may have been a little too wide for what wanted now.
As I really like the look of the Zeiss Batis lens, I took another look and decided on the Zeiss Batis 25mm lens. I started to research what it could do. I started to view video and reviews. I decided it would be more than wide enough for what I wanted as well as still being ok to do close up shots.
so I started to look for a deal. This is the point I decided to sell my Olympus and Panasonic and other items to get enough money to cover the cost – it’s not a cheap lens.
So, I bought this Zeiss Batis 25mm lens and I could not be happier. It is just a fantastic lens to use. It can be used wide open at f2.0 if you get close enough, think it can focus up to 45cm I believe. You can get a fantastic shot even at this, just like the snow below
You can get right in there and get some great bokeh in the background too. However, for me, the strength lies in the colour pop of the Zeiss lens when it comes to landscapes and seascapes; as you can see from the following images.
All these pictures above were taken in the last week – even if the sunset images look warm (it certainly wasn’t I can tell you that – think it was around 1 degree
These are just a few of my starting to learn images. The colour pop the Zeiss lens gives – I just love it and it’s certainly worth the cost. It’s also weather sealed meaning I can take it out even if the weather not perfect.
Something for ourselves
I really think that having something for ourselves is important. Something we can do in our downtime.
The best thing about this hobby for me is that I can take my family with me on the times they want to come. They need to slow down a little at times so I can compose my images – but its not something I have to always do on my own.
So, all I want to finish up and say is; watch out this year for more photos. I will be posting many of them. Also, you can check out my Instagram or better still my Flickr page. You will see many more images I take and post on those (Flickr especially).
If you’re interested in my thoughts on my gear, then why not leave a comment or contact me for my direct thoughts.
I recently came across the following quote
“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
― Maya Angelou
This is my new goal in life. Not to conform to be normal, but to be amazing and I hope to inspire you to be amazing too.