I started taking photos around 2012 and in that time gained zero skill or technique after taking 24,000+ (that’s mostly a joke). People have asked me if the pictures I take are good, I usually reply that maybe 10% or less are actually good. What I learned going to SF Giants games and taking pictures from the stands, sports photography is hard! Having a consumer grade digital single-lens reflex camera trying to shoot baseball ends up with a lot of blurry or photos of the players out of focus, but the fans being perfectly in focus. But, you can get some pretty cool photos like this one of Kelby Tomlinson
Now these kind of photos are few and far between. Most of my shots come out looking like the following
You can see more on my Instagram account. I also enjoy doing some street photography when I travel to Japan. Most of the time I use a “nifty fifty” 50mm prime lens or 40mm pancake prime lens when walking around.
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January 2014 – On the way back from Meiji Jingu I passed by this girl who was with her family and in my broken Japanese asked if I could take her picture. Surprisingly she said yes and posed for me. One of the few "portraits" I've shot and one of my favorite pictures I've taken. #明治神宮 #渋谷 #着物 #日本 #teamcanon #eos600d #EF40mm #japan
As a starting photographer, I would recommend a Canon T3i body or another along the line (T4i, T5i, T6i, etc). This I feel is a good starter body and in all honesty, was a good place to start with experimenting and learning how to shoot and find a style that I enjoy. It’s versatile to shoot different scenarios, but it does have it’s limitation when starting to shoot more specific types of events. In my case baseball, where I find myself having to wait for the internal camera buffer to write to the media card before I can start taking more pictures. For a lens, I love the 50mm prime, it’s small and forces you to think about how you frame your shot and again zoom with your feet. If you do need a lens with a telephoto lens, the kit lens that’s provided in a bundle with the body is usually fitting for a beginner photographer.
Eventually, I’d like to upgrade to the 80D where it has some additional speed, geo taging, better low light performance, and better auto focusing system. But for the time being, I’ve hit the hardware limitations of the current camera body so I’m forced to work on my technique and other abilities as a photographer. Below is a list of the camera gear used during my time as a “photographer” linked via the Amazon Affiliates program.
Canon T3i (discontinued) – I would recommend the T6i if you’re looking to purchase a body. It’s main advantages it has is GPS tagging (would love to have when walking down that random street and trying to remember where that photo was taken), more points of focus, faster continual shooting, better low light performance, and also includes auto-focusing while in video mode (something that I WISH the T3i had).
Canon 50mm Prime Lens – My primary lens when I’m out walking around, especially at night, it’s not this massive intimidating lens and the bokeh that the lens produces is just so damn pretty. Only thing is that since it’s a fixed lens, you need to zoom with your feet.
Canon EF 100-400 IS II Lens – When I head to the ballpark, I rent one of these bad boys (shout out to Lensrentals.com where I rent all my lenses). I’ve shot with the predecessor during the 2014 MLB Post Season (Canon EF 100-400mm IS) and it was a great lens, but the push-pull zoom was not very user friendly. The twist to zoom version of the II in addition to the three image stabilization modes is welcome upgrade.
If you have any questions about my thoughts using the above hardware, feel free to tweet at me and I’ll offer any advise I can offer from my experience.
Hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed explaining the camera gear used in taking these pictures.