Course Content

Total learning: 7 lessons / 3 quizzes

What camera do you need?

This course is meant for all camera’s that have the ability to adjust your camera settings manually. Adjusting the settings is easier on some cameras than on others.

Do you really need to have the most expensive gear?

I can be very short about this. NO, you don’t need the fanciest camera and you don’t need to buy the most expensive lens. You just don’t need that to get good pictures. I started out with a Nikon D50 (the most basic camera body) and a 55-200mm lens. And with that body and lens combination, I was already able to take pretty decent photographs. For example, the photo below of the Victorian Crowned Pidgeon (the blue bird) was taken with this combination. Pretty decent don’t you think?

And the saying “the photographer makes the camera, not the other way around” does hold truth. A good photographer will be able to get great pictures out of any camera whilst a bad photographer will not be able to get a good picture out of even the most expensive equipment. Camera gear is less important than most people make it be.

The biggest eye-opener I’ve had in my photography career was when I did a photo session with birds of prey. A photo club organised a photo session with birds of prey. Also, photographers from outside of the club could enrol. I was one of those photographers. I arrived at the session with my Nikon D50 and 55-200mm lens, clearly the smallest lens and cheapest camera out of the bunch. Everyone had at least a 70-200mm lens, or even bigger/more expensive. I counted on my photographs not being any good compared to all those big lenses.

A week later we had an evening to discuss the photographs so we were able to see each other’s photographs. And you know what? My photo’s where in the top 3 (of 20 or so photographers). Can you imagine? All that expensive equipment? And I out-shot them with my cheap stuff… Just because a lot of them didn’t know how to use their gear correctly. They did not utilise the full potential of their gear. Most of them shot in automatic mode.

One of the photographers wanted to get a shot with a blurred background. He shot all his shots of the birds of prey on f8 and blurred the background in post-processing. He proudly explained how he had done so. If only he had known about aperture, he would have photographed at f2.8 and then the post-processing blurring would not have been needed and the result would have been better too.

p.s. If you wonder how I managed to create this shallow depth of field (the background is blurry) and want to know more about this. I am developing a course on this subject as well. Do you want to keep updated about when this course is released? You can subscribe to my e-mail list!

Example of a a small depth of field with a Nikon D50 and 55-200mm lens

So if it doesn’t matter what camera and lens to get… Why do you own the Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8?!

Fair question. More expensive equipment (like the Nikkor lens) make my life as a photographer easier. The Nikkor 70-200 does enable me to capture images I would not have been able to capture with the 55-200 mm lens. On 200mm the 55-200 mm lens has an aperture of 5.6 while the 70-200mm lens has an aperture of 2.8. This makes a big difference in how shallow you can make your depth of field. Als the 70-200mm lens is MUCH faster with focusing. This enables me to capture a horse galloping straight towards me. Something I would not be able to capture with the 55-200mm lens. So there are very valid reasons to purchase more expensive equipment.

What I’m saying, in order to get good photographs you don’t need the expensive equipment, but if you know how to use it, more expensive equipment does make your life as a photographer easier.

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