Digital photography’s limits entertain me to no end. The ability to capture a slice of light and time is interesting, but stretching that out to a larger slice of light and time is more interesting.
I read that I could use cheap welding glass instead of expensive neutral density filters to get a start in long exposure photography. The only problem is that you have to rig it on with rubber bands and welding glass has a strong green tint that must either be converted to black and white or color corrected in Photoshop.
It’s nearly impossible to find anyone who can print a black and white photo properly, so I didn’t want to work in black and white. I was happy to see that my conversion to color worked. It’s amazing that this green tinted photo could be tweaked to look normal. I have to laugh more now at the, “I don’t like it, it’s been Photoshopped.”, crowd. Photoshop does incredible things. Saving me huge amounts of money on filters and producing a viable result like this is another.
Now, I have a few more tweaks to make this a workable solution.
After 30 seconds with this setup, strange things started happening due to light leaks. I ordered a lens hood to rig up a better mount. The way I had it mounted even messed up the focus, blurring the photo too. Also, a remote trigger is on the way so that I can use the bulb feature better for exposures longer than 30 seconds. Once I get that and I get to a spot that’s more interesting than my backyard, I’ll be ready to learn to create cool long exposure photo.
These are the cameras I am using for the my 365 Project.
Canon T5i Rebel
It may appear that I’m a big fan of Canon and it’s not really the case. I like them, but wouldn’t dismiss other camera companies as being lesser. The reason I like Canon is that they do a good job and I’m familiar with them. Nothing more to it really.
A take the Lesser Photographer approach in my own way. The camera is just a tool used to create images. I believe that cameras should only be as good as the photographer needs. To much camera, you’ve thrown money away that could have been used for accessories you need, travel, or education. To little and your output will suffer and you’ll become frustrated trying to overcome the challenges that your lacking equipment gives. I believe it’s up to the photographer to decide and if you start at the lower end and work up, you’ll arrive at what you need in a logical way.
I have arrived at a combination of cameras that I enjoy working with. Here is how I arrived at this set of cameras. I could have done this with any of the major brands.
The Canon 20D
I lusted for a DSLR for many years, but just couldn’t justify the cost. Bridge cameras worked great for me, but I could not produce Bokeh and I always liked the look that only a prime lens can create. A friend was selling a used 20D, so I bought it and a new 50mm prime.
This camera has worked great for teaching me more about controlling the camera to produce the image I want. I keep it around as a spare and for practicing full manual control with the technical constraint of an older DSLR. They’re not really worth much money if you sell them anyhow.
The Canon SX50
I wanted zoom lenses for the Canon 20D. They were to expensive. Good zoom lenses are just out of reach for a hobbyist like myself. They’re also a pain to lug around. The Canon SX50 has the equivalent of a 1200mm lens and that’s more than I could dream of.
Before you get excited about the zoom of the SX50, keep in mind that’s just the zoom equivalent, not the quality equivalent. The quality of the images are lacking and a lot of light is required to produce an image on the higher end of the zoom range. If I were a serious wildlife or sports photographer, this camera would never do.
The unexpected benefit of the SX50 is the wide range of images that can be produced with it. From the wide distortion to the extreme compression, I’ve made photos that no other camera could do.
The SX50 is fairly compact. Compared to carrying multiple lenses, its quite easy to carry as a second camera.
If I could only have one camera, the SX50 would be it. With a little effort, there are ways to work around it’s shortcomings. The flexibility it provides outweighs all of it’s problems for me.
The Canon G15
I wanted a small pocket camera that was capable of high quality shots in low light. Zoom was not important. The G15 is a very capable little camera, even though the price is a little steep for a smaller sensor. Here’s a list of things that make me really like this camera.
Focus stacking is great for landscape photography.
It’s easy to take on my motorcycle rides.
Night mode is really good for easy night photography.
Build quality is high.
Fully manual capability.
I can easily carry it anywhere.
The Canon T5i Rebel
I have had a love/hate relationship with the Canon T5i Rebel. It is an amazing camera that brings out my faults and lacking. It’s capabilities keep pushing me to where I want to be with photography.
First and foremost, the T5i’s touchscreen is great. One of the features I like most about all Canon cameras is their menu systems. The touchscreen takes that one step further and in my opinion, makes this DSLR camera the easiest to operate.
I really like the quality of the RAW photos taken with the T5i. I hate it’s size and the expense of the lenses. The 18-55 kit STM kit lens is pretty good. I also have a 40mm pancake lens that works well.
Plans For Future Equipment
My plans for the future are to buy as little as possible. I’ll replace these as they wear out. There are already new versions of all of them. It looks like Canon likes their lineup as much as I do and they’re going to just keep upgrading what already works well.
It would take some really innovative technology to convince me to change course. Some of the new mirrorless is coming close, but I’m still not that excited about it.
A Journal Of Photography, Motorcycles, And Other Cool Things