Camera Bag of Tricks

I’m a self professed photography junkie.  If I could, I would own ALLLL the cameras and ALLLLL the lenses.  Unfortunately, this little hobby of mine can be expensive, so little by little I save and add to my collection.  The great thing about photography, though, is that you can rent the equipment fairly easily, and there are also a lot of places to buy good used equipment.  If ever I need a lens for a special trip or just want to try before I buy, there are numerous resources available for renting.  A new toy is only a website click away.

That all being said, what is in my camera bag of tricks?  Well, I’m a Canon shooter.  I started out learning on the Canon Rebel XTi.  Once I outgrew its capabilities, I upgraded to what I have today: Canon 5d mark iii.  It’s my other baby (you know…the one other than the two I birthed).  I love it.

I also own a Sony RX100 point and shoot.  It has pretty good low light capabilities, can shoot in RAW, and is highly portable.  When I don’t want to pack my big girl camera, this is what I take.

In addition, I have a GoPro Hero 5 Black.  The whole family loves this little guy for all of our adventures. We use it when we hike, swim, and go to the beach!  It’s basically a point and shoot when used as a camera, but it will shoot in a raw file format.

As far as lenses go, I have the Sigma Art 35mm f1.4, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 85mm f1.8, Sigma 15mm fisheye, Lensbaby Twist 60, and Canon 24-70L ii f2.8.  Which do I love the most?  Gosh, that’s like picking a favorite child.  I love them all for very different reasons.  If I HAD to choose a favorite, I would probably pick the 85mm because duh… creamy bokeh.

Here are some examples of some photos that I’ve shot with each of my lenses and cameras:

24-70mm:  I love it for its versatility.  It’s the perfect travel lens.  My favorite thing about this lens is its ability to capture sky details at its wide end.  No sky swaps required!

24-70mm shot at 24mm
24-70mm shot at 26mm
24-70mm shot at 28mm. One of my favorite places to use this lens is the beach.
24-70mm shot at 68mm

15mm Fisheye:  This is my FUN lens.  Whenever I want to get creative, this is my go-to.  The skies are always fantastic when using this lens.  Wide open spaces are my favorite places to use it, but sometimes a cramped location can give an interesting perspective as well!

15mm fisheye. The beach is my favorite place to use this lens.
15mm fisheye
15mm Fisheye

50 mm:  This is the perfect beginner lens.  It was my first “real” lens, and for that reason alone, it will always have a special place in my heart.  It can capture both lifestyle type images and a pretty portrait equally as well.  It’s lightweight and packs the most bang for your buck.

50mm used as a portrait lens
50mm used as a lifestyle/documentary lens
50mm used as a lifestyle/documentary lens

35mm:  This lens is my go-to lifestyle lens, and it is sooooooo sharp.  It’s wide aperture makes it perfect for low light, so I primarily use it indoors.  If you see an indoor photo of mine, it was likely shot with my 35mm.


85mm: Last but certainly not least.  This is what I refer to as my “pretty” lens.  It’s really sharp and the bokeh it creates is beautiful.  I love, love, love it for portraits.  On occasion I will use it as an outdoor lifestyle/documentary lens, but you do have to step away from your subject a decent amount to grab the shot, so it’s best used as a silent observer for this situation.

85 mm. Sparkly bokeh is my favorite.

Twist 60mm:  This little lens is manual focus and creates the most dreamy swirly bokeh.  It is a sure bet for being creative and getting out of a rut.

Twist 60mm.  Love that swirly bokeh.
Twist 60mm

Go Pro Hero 5:  We use this on our family adventures mostly for video, but I love using it as an underwater camera as well.

Go Pro Hero 5
Go Pro Hero 5. This image was taken with a dome accessory to get the over under water shot.
Go Pro Hero 5

Sony RX 100:  This little point and shoot will shoot in full manual mode and in a raw file format.

Sony RX 100

So as you can see, each lens and camera has its place.  Which is your favorite?