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Photography Equipment – What To Use And When

Photography EquipmentPhotography can be as simple or complex as each person cares to make it. While it is easy for anyone to get out and start snapping with a basic camera, some effects and techniques require specialist equipment to perfect. Understanding the right time to use a particular piece of apparatus helps a photographer to produce images with new levels of quality and elevates their work to a higher standard. There is a huge variety of photography equipment available, including lenses, flashes, tripods and filters. The various pieces of equipment can be used to achieve numerous different results and a good quality photography studio setup will need to include all these items.

As with most photographic equipment, spending more tends to produce higher quality results. Beginners can buy lenses at reasonable prices, but are likely to outgrow them fairly quickly. Lenses start from around £30 and go up to thousands from there. A £100 investment will usually provide a reasonable lens for a beginner to start working with. Not everything will be so expensive, however; good quality tripods and filters can be purchased with limited funds. External flashes also vary in price dramatically. A simple one can be acquired for £50, while one of photo studio standard will cost around £1000.

Owning a variety of equipment will expand any photographer’s horizons; there are certain effects that simply cannot be achieved without using specialist equipment. Different lenses ensure a user can take photos in any situation. Landscape photographers, for instance, can capture vast panoramic shots using wide-angle lenses. Tripods are incredibly useful when image stability is important; they make long exposure and long distance photography clear and free from blurring. External flashes can help by offering a range of different lighting effects, while filters allow the photographer to manipulate how the camera’s sensor perceives the world.

The equipment listed above has a variety of specific uses. Macro lenses allow close up photos that can highlight intricate details in subjects. They can also magnify small objects to create surreal, distorted images. Long lenses allow for extended zooming and are particularly useful for sports and nature photography. A tripod will normally be required to keep these images clear and free from any blurring. Away from lenses, independent flashes are often used to bounce light onto a subject off other surfaces. Reflected light is usually more aesthetically pleasing, making this technique particularly useful in portrait photography. External flashes can also help the photographer to capture shots at high speeds, freezing the subject in motion. Filters can be applied to lenses to colour images manually or protect the camera’s sensor from UV rays.

The major advantage of owning specialist lenses is their versatility; the photographer will be able to capture any image the way they see it in their head and translate it accurately. The expense is a limiting factor, however. Many people are unable to afford the lenses they desire, so cannot achieve certain effects. Flashes are relatively cheap to acquire, but specialist knowledge is usually required to get the best out of them in a photo studio environment. Filters are inexpensive, but are easy to scratch and damage.

Simon Britten writes on behalf of CS Studios, providing Photography Courses in Kettering

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