Good photography isn't about fancy equipment, the latest gadgets, or the best lenses. It is about seeing great light. It is about being able to see how light shapes a face, or accents a feature, or conversely, how shadow masks an unwanted feature or element. Taking that light and then using your camera to capture its effects is what makes a photograph special.
The comments on the blog about sharing photography tips has been positive! A recent comment about how a reader has only a point and shoot made me want to post tonight and mention again that equipment has little to do with a great image - you can get wonderful images from a point and shoot, and even from a disposable camera - if you can harness the right light, and use great composition to enhance your images.
Now, I won't say that a great camera WON'T make you love your images more - it probably will! Not because your images will suddenly be improved (how can a new camera make the existing light work better for you!?), but because you will have greater resolution (if you are digital), or perhaps a faster lens (which will allow you to capture action better and avoid some blur), and because you will have more functions available to you on a higher-end camera...functions that, once mastered, can allow you to work creatively with your images in a way that an older point and shoot simply can't.
Professional-grade cameras are typically SLR's (Single Lens Reflex) cameras. Simply put, they are the cameras that can interchange lenses. Point and shoot cameras have one lens that does not come off, and typically have a digital zoom instead of being a true zoom lens, where you can adjust zoom on the lens barrel itself. SLR cameras have greater functionality in that they have a greater number of shooting modes to allow you to shoot in AUTO (never recommended and I will share why in another post) in MANUAL modes, and in the assisted modes as well.
The other benefit of the SLR camera is that there is no shutter lag. Clients often ask me why their camera is slow to respond, and why their camera always takes a picture seconds after they depress the shutter - missing the moment. Point and shoot cameras aren't terribly sophisticated, and need to "think things through" before the shot can be taken. Those micro seconds translate into missed moments. With an SLR camera, there is no lag. It takes the image when you tell it to - let's just say the SLR camera has a bigger brain, and doesn't need to think so much - it processes a little faster than those point and shoots do.
Do I have a point and shoot? You bet! I can't lug around my professional camera to sporting events, family picnics, and vacations. Iused to...but it became cumbersome. I have several P&S cameras, one which is in my purse at all times, to capture those little moments that no parent wants to miss.
Stay tuned as I start the professional photography tips this week, and remember...these tips are intended for the very beginner to learn more about light, their camera and how to take better pictures!