Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photography Notes: About My Camera

A few of you have asked if I would share a little about my camera and some tips. I'm by no means an expert, but I love my camera and the satisfaction of taking a good picture, so I thought I'd put together a couple posts about photography and post them over the next three Wednesdays. First, about my camera.  Second, photo-taking.  Third, photo-editing.  I hope it will be helpful!

First, let's talk about what's in my camera bag...which is kind-of a joke because I still don't have an actual fancy camera bag.  I just use big Vera Bradly tote and try to pad with something or other - if you have a bag recommendation that would be so great!

This is my camera - a Nikon D90.  I got it a couple years ago - it was a huge investment.  Yikes.  But it seemed like the time to take the plunge when our kids were small, and I hoped to get photography business-wise eventually.  


 I decided on Nikon over Canon primarily because was I was completely smitten with The Pioneer Woman at the time and she uses Nikon.  Although she now uses a super fancy, full-frame model, her photography tips work for anyone with a DSLR.  You can find them {HERE}Sister got the Canon equivalent of a Nikon D90, I've noticed some minor differences and of course, I prefer mine since I'm more used to it.  However, Canon lenses seem to run less than Nikon ones, so that's a point in favor of Canon.

 Since I started, I've fallen in love with the Ashley Ann's blog.  I love her!  I love everything she does.   She uses a full-frame Canon.  This summer I took her online SnapShop class.  I didn't realize it was quite so beginnerish, but I still got a lot of helpful tips out of it and it would be PERFECT to take you from out-of-the-box-new to using your camera in Manual mode.  Also a good reason to buy Canon as all of her demo pics are of Canons.

If you're not thinking to do a full-on DSLR camera, I've heard the Canon Rebel is really good, giving you some ability to manipulate settings without getting too technical. 


  Anyway, I bought my Nikon D90 with the kit lens - an 18-105mm zoom.  It's the lens I consequently learned with, but now I hardly ever use it, mostly because you can't set the aperture very low, so you it's harder to get nice bokeh.  Really the only time I use it is if I want to photograph a whole room in my home like in this example.

So about 99% of the pictures you see on this blog were taken with my Nikon 50mm f/1.8D Lens. 

I use it for all the pictures I take of my kiddos and professionally as well as pictures of my home and food. It's a great portrait lens and allows you to get lovely bokeh - love it. 
The best part is that it's relatively cheap compared to other lenses - around $100. 


The only thing you have to keep in mind is that since the 50mm is a prime lens - not a zoom - your legs have to do the zooming,  so if you want to get a group pictures, for instance, you have to back way up. 

My next lens will most certainly be this beauty, and 85mm.  I've been saving for awhile an am about ready to take the plunge - so excited.

Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll try my best to answer them. Next Wednesday, I'll share some photo-taking tips.  Hope you have a lovely day!


  1. Awesome post! I look forward to the day that I purchase my SLR camera.

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  2. What a great post. I love photography tips, and I am really looking forward to when I can make a camera upgrade. Your pictures always look great. Thanks for sharing!


  3. I am super excited about this, Cailan! I really want to learn to take better pics of my baby boy. Plus I am ALWAYS inspired by your lovely shots. :)

  4. I am looking forward to the next few posts. I got a D90 for my birthday last year and am still feeling my way around it. Your pictures are gorgeous, so I am anxious to hear your tips.

  5. Thank you! :)
    I'm gonna book mark this for when we can get the camera we want!
    Have a wonderful day, Cailan!

  6. Well your photos seem to be lighter than my indoors ones. I love your photos. I use a Cannon Rebel (but with the pro L series lens a 135mm f/2.0). Even on the 6400 ISO, sometimes indoors without a flash is grainy. In seeing your photography, the indoors photos just seemed so much crisper, that I did look into a Cannon 5D Mark 4, which has a ginormous ISO like 25,000 as an option. Apparently in low light, it's not grainy like my camera because it is a full frame. The guy at B&H explained why my 135mm lens from my old 35mm camera acts like a 200mm lens on the Rebel digital since it isn't full frame. Wow learning a lot. I used to use a Mamiya 645 AF medium format camera (bigger negatives than 35mm) when I had my portrait photography business. It was amazingly crisp even in enlargements. The guy at B&H said for me to have the same quality of photo I can do the Cannon 5D Mark 4 or go with a digital Mamiya, at $17,000. I think you can guess that the Mamiya is not where I am headed. Do you have a really sunny home? What ISO do you use indoors? I am assuming you just use ambient light which I prefer when possible. Love your photography.

  7. Okay I have two questions!
    You said you want to get 85mm lens next - what kind of pics is that lens for??

    Also, I am looking at getting this camera
    I am a total novice but want to be able to take pictures for my blog and "grow" with my camera. Just wondered if you had an suggestions. I am loving your photo tips. Thanks for sharing!!