What is a Wide Angle Lens?

You may have wondered “What is a Wide Angle Lens?

OR “Why are Wide Angle Lenses so expensive”

In the Video above I talk about what a Wide Angle Lens is as well as:

  • Why they can be expensive but not as much as Telephoto Lenses
  • The BEST use of Wide Angle Lenses (you definitely want to watch that part if you were thinking about using them for Portraits).

This video is the *missing Photo Snack #2* for those who saw the earlier posts EASYDSLR Photo Snack #1Canon vs Nikon and Photo Snack #3 Are Bigger Pixels Better?

If you are looking at getting a Good Quality Wide Angle Zoom for a crop sensor Camera (like Canon T5i or Nikon D5300) then I would seriously consider getting a Pro Lens in the range of around 16 – 35mm like:

These are top Quality Lenses and are not cheap but are much more affordable than their f/2.8 “bigger brothers”.

The reality is that most wide angle photos you are likely to be taking will need a lot in focus – meaning a large Depth of Field. This means you will be using narrower Apertures in the range of f/11 to f/22. So the extra cost for f/2.8 will not be justified.

On a Full Frame sensor camera the above lenses will be VERY Wide and I find I use a lens in the 24 – 70mm range more often (24mm on a Full Frame Sensor is fairly WIDE – I explain all this in my Composition Video in my EasyDSLR Course)

So for Full Frame Cameras these are my BEST recommendations (I use the 24-70mm on my Canon 5D Mark III around 60-80% of the time).

You may be interested in doing Video with your DSLR and want that super Narrow Depth of Field but may not be able to afford either of the f/2.8 lenses above – in the next article I will give you a great option for affordable Video lenses that will do the trick and not break the bank.


Are Bigger Pixels Better for Digital Photography?

In this EASYDSLR Photo Snack #3 I look at Are Bigger Pixels Better?

*if you were paying attention you may have noticed Photo Snack#2 was missing – I’ll post that later 🙂 *

Bigger Pixels on a digital camera sensor means more photons (light particles) per pixel.

The pixels are the single Photo sites that make up the sensor (the total count gives you the MegaPixel rating of your camera).

More photons per pixel means better sampling and less sampling errors between pixels – resulting in:

  • Less Luminance (light level) noise
  • Less Chroma noise (color variation from sampling errors)

Overall this gives better Image Quality (IQ) of your images.

A larger sensor camera (like a Full Frame PRO level DSLR) has larger pixels and resulting better Image Quality than smaller sensor cameras. It’s one of the reason you are paying a lot more for the Pro level cameras – or put another way – why it’s worth paying more.

So Pixel size DOES MATTER!

note: this is assuming you are dealing with similar sensor technology.




6 Step Cheat Sheet for More Creative Photos

6 Step Cheat Sheet to get off AUTO

6 Step Cheat Sheet to get off AUTO

A lot of DSLR Beginners know that to take Creative Control over their photos they need to get off AUTO.

This can be daunting. So I have created a 6 Step Cheat Sheet to walk you through getting off Auto. These are ‘baby’ steps that are easy to follow and will remove the overwhelm.

I recommend starting with Aperture Priority Mode (Av or A depending on Camera make). It’s a safe step because the camera will still help you get the correct Exposure BUT it will let you experiment with one of the key settings towards more Creative Photos.

The key setting is Aperture. Aperture affects Exposure but it also affects Depth of Field (DOF). Depth of Field is one of the most important concepts to understand and control for more creative photos. It’s the factor that can really separate amateur ‘snap shots’ from Professional Photos.

This cheat sheet shows you how you can control Depth of Field. The best Aperture for Portraits and the best Aperture for Landscape photos. It also looks at another key factor in controlling Depth of Field: Focusing Distance.

Basically: the closer you focus the narrower the Depth of Field. That means it is better for isolating your subject from the background. The background will be more blurred when you focus closer to your camera.

Experiment with these steps and see the effect on your photos.

The beauty of Digital cameras is that you can take hundreds of photos on your memory card AND you get instant feedback. Learning photography has now become much easier and quicker.

Click on the image on the left or Right Click on the link below and choose “Save as…” or Save Link as…” to download this Cheat Sheet.

6 Step Cheat Sheet to Creative Photos

I hope you find this helpful. Please Share and Like if you did 🙂

A little curious about learning more about DSLR photography?

… find out how you can get a great deal on my DSLR video training course for beginners here ->  EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course (includes all the details of what you can learn in 4 hours!)


Focus Shmocus

If you’re anything like me, you might often find yourself in a rut with your photography and just don’t know what to take photos of. So how do we get inspired? I have found one of the best ways to get inspired and stir up some excitement with my photos is to think outside the box. Do something different, something you’re not used to – that will require you to see things from a different perspective.

I joined a Flickr group a number of years ago called “Don’t Be Afraid of the Blur”. It opened up a whole world and hours of fun photo taking.

Basically… take blurry photographs! Switch your lens from auto focus to manual and explore the world of images outside the range of clear focus.  You can even aim your lens through glass bottles, the viewfinders of old medium format cameras, or off reflections in storefront windows!

Kailua Beach-2By manipulating focus you can create an atmosphere with your photographs that you may otherwise not be able to achieve. You may begin to think more about how the photograph makes you feel, as with these  shots I took on the beach one sunny day in Hawaii.

For these photographs, the blur gave me a nostalgic atmosphere. I makes me think of my childhood growing up on the beaches of the Jersey shore. They have a sense of the beachcarefree nature of childhood on the shores of a vast open future. In other words, it helped create a context that otherwise was might not have been there had the image been in focus.

Explore the different ways you can take your image into new and exciting places by manipulating focus as a tool and watch your focus change as you create new avenues to wander. This simple technique allowed me to loosen up, not worry so much about getting “the perfect shot”, and got me having fun taking photos.