Join Joseph "PhotoJoseph" Linaschke for an in-depth discussion in this video Walking and shooting, part of Photography 101 (2012).
Let's say you're out for a day of shooting. You're out carrying your camera, getting some pictures on holiday or something like that. And you might have a camera bag with you. Well, that's fine. But here's a pretty common scenario. You have your camera bag, and you see something you want to take a picture of. Okay, hold on. I'll open the bag, take out the camera. Take off the lens cap, turn the camera on, and, where'd my picture go. Right? You just lost it. You lost the shot because the camera wasn't ready. It was stored nice and safely in your camera bag, but it wasn't ready for you to take a picture. So here's the thing, if you're going to be out shooting, leave the camera turned on first of all.
Turn the camera on and leave it on. All modern DSLRs will go to sleep after a few minutes, and then they'll wake up instantly as soon as you touch the shutter button. So you don't have to worry about turning it on or about losing batteries. Also, leave the lens cap off. If you have to take the lens cap off every time you want to take a picture, you're losing time. You also have to figure out where to put it. It's just a bad idea. Just leave it off. But now that it's off, how do I protect my lens? I mean that's what the cap is for, right? This is going to keep my lens safe, and obviously I don't want it to get scratched up. Well here's another thing. Most lenses come with one of these, a lens shade. If it doesn't come with it, you can certainly buy one for your lens. Now, what is this for? Well, what it's really designed for is to keep light out of the lens, so if you're shooting with a bright light coming from the side? The light's going to hit and refract in the lens, and just going to put a glare on there. So this protects it from that.
But here's the other thing. Let's put this lens shade on.SOUND and now with this lens shade on, not only is it protecting it from the sun,SOUND it's also protecting it from bumps. I don't have to worry about bumping my camera into something now, because the lens shade is protecting the lens. I also don't have to worry about when I'm carrying it, if I reach down to grab my lens, maybe I'm running, or something happens and when I grab my camera, I don't have to worry about accidentally putting my fingers on the lens itself. Because again the lens shade is in the way. So this lens shade protects from the light, and it protects from physical bumps, fingerprints and everything else. So now I've got this camera that's ready to go. It's turned on.
It's on my shoulder. The lens cap is off. And whenever I want to shoot, I can do it. I'm ready to go in an instant. So that's a really important thing to keep in mind when you're carrying your gear around. It doesn't mean that you can't carry your bag as well. Maybe have it over the other shoulder or over your back. But don't have your camera in there if you're going to be out shooting for the day. All you need to do is keep it on your shoulder, so it's ready to go. Now there's one more thing to think about. A lot of people will tell you that you should have a UV filter, or a skylight filter, over the front of your lens, and there's arguments for and against it.
Let me tell you what I think about it, and you can make your own decision. First of all, if you put on a cheap UV filter, maybe $20, $30 filter, you're going to find that it actually degrades your image quality. In the two photo examples that are up on the screen right now, you can see there's a shot with the filter and without. And see those little reflections in the glass, the kind of secondary lights that are showing up in the one with the filter? That's a reflection from that point of light that's coming through the filter, through the lens, bouncing off of the sensor in the camera and shooting back through the lens. And reflecting, or glaring, on that same filter that you just put on. So, it's actually hurting your picture.
If you want a filter that is not going to do that, you're going to spend at least $100 on it. So, now let's think about the cost of your lens. Could you spend two, $300 on the lens? Is it really worth putting a $100 filter on there? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. You might be insuring your equipment which might be a little bit easier to replace or repair if you do damage if you have it insured. Frankly I'm of the mind that you don't need a filter on there. I would much rather keep my lens shade on, keep my fingers off of it, and just keep an eye on my gear. That's how I work, but again its entirely up to you.
- Carry and hold that DSLR like a pro
- Stabilizing the camera: from hands to water glasses to tripods
- Using aperture, shutter speed, and ISO
- What the buttons do
- Manually controlling your autofocus
- Working with flash
- Thinking creatively
- Buying new gear