Here are links to some of the gear I recommend in Camera Mechanics and Lightroom Workshops:
Canon T7i: This camera is the newest version of the popular Canon Rebel series. (In Europe, it’s called the Canon EOS 800D and in Asia, the EOS Kiss X9i, so don’t be surprised if you find reviews that refer to those names…) It comes with the newer, improved version of the 18-55mm lens, too. It’s definitely a welcome upgrade. With it, you can shoot stills and video, too. If you love photography and want a excellent, consumer-level camera, this is the one to choose.
Canon T6: What if you aren’t sure you’ll love this hobby but want to give it a try? Or, what if you want to give your child his/her first camera? If you don’t want to invest as much, this basic Canon camera shoots great photos and video and is very affordable. It’s also a great camera to learn on… Later, you can trade up to a fancier camera body if you want. It is an earlier version of the Canon T7i.
Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera: If you really love shooting with your iPhone but want to have more creative control, this is a great new option. It’s much smaller and lighter than a DSLR and has interchangeable lenses. You can buy it in kits with one or two lenses. The lenses are unique to the mirrorless line of cameras and aren’t interchangeable with DSLR lenses…
Cameras are like computers and become obsolete as technology improves. Generally, you’ll keep your lenses for a long time, but you’ll want to upgrade your camera more frequently.
In case you are wondering what camera I use, I use and love my Canon 5D Mark IV. It’s a professional camera with a very sturdy body, which comes in handy when you travel like I do. (My newest camera was only three weeks old when I tripped, walking up the steps at the Buddhist monastery in Oudong, Cambodia, and bounced it off the steps…Do not try that at home!!! 😱) It is considerably heavier than the cameras I recommend above, and does not have a flash. It has a full-frame sensor and handles digital noise very well. Oh… and it’s considerably more expensive than the models I recommend here. 😉
Canon EFS 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens: This is Scott Kelby’s pick for the best travel lens for a crop sensor camera, like the CanonT5i and T7i I recommended above. (It won’t work on full frame cameras like the Canon 6D or the Canon 5D Mark IV or on mirrorless cameras, either.) His theory is that travel is enjoyed more if you take only one lens. This one covers wide angle to telephoto shots! And weighs only 21 oz. A great choice for a safari! Be sure to add the optional lens hood to your order!
Tiffen 58mm UV Protection Filter: This will protect the glass on your lens-a really worthwhile investment! Buy it to fit the mm size of your lens! You can find that written on the front of your lens.
Camera Bag Insert – to make your own camera bag: Use this handy padded insert to create a camera bag. If the dimensions are right, it will work in backpacks, beach bags, etc. It comes in various sizes.
Tiffen Digital Neutral Density Filter Kit (ND 0.6, 0.9, 1.2 + Wallet): These are like sunglasses for your lens. They will allow you to shoot with a slower shutter speed. Buy them to fit the mm size of your lens! You can find that written on the front of your lens. This kit is a good value and includes three filter strengths.
Black Rapid Camera Strap: I love these camera straps! They take the pressure off your neck. I wear a heavy camera for hours and don’t feel the weight! There are many different designs, so you’ll be able to fit the strap to your personal needs. When your strap arrives, go to their website to see the video on how to fit it to your body.
Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet, Medium: I love editing my photos with this tablet. It allows me to control my edits with an electronic pen instead of a mouse, which is much easier. This is the size I use at home. For travel, I use a smaller version, the Wacom Intuos Creative Pen Tablet, Small. The larger version has more controls that you can program to work with your software. I don’t know any professional photographers who don’t use a Wacom!
X-Rite i1Display Studio: Have you ever spent time correcting the color of a photo and then shared it, only to find that the color wasn’t right? Worse yet, have you sent out your file to be printed and been disappointed by the color or exposure? Your computer screen is probably to blame. But, you can correct your screen, all by yourself! I use this small device to calibrate my screen. It is simple to use… you just follow the instructions. Hint: Laptop screens are notoriously bright. The first thing that it will do is to slightly darken the screen to correct for this. It’s definitely worth the investment if you are using editing software, like Lightroom or Photoshop. If you plan to submit photos to stock agencies, this is a requirement!
WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive – USB 3.0 – After trying many different brands of external hard drives, I think Western Digital is both excellent quality and value! They are very portable, too. I back up all of my photos on one of them, when I import them into Lightroom. And, I store my photos on another WD hard drive. Lately, I’ve been buying the 3TB version, but if you don’t have many thousands of photos, you’ll be fine with the 2TB version. If you have a Mac, you can buy a version formatted for Macs, but I wouldn’t bother. Before you use your new disk, just launch Disk Utility (in your Applications folder) and ERASE the disk. It will rename it and format it for a Mac. Takes no time at all!!!
X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo 2: This is a great tool to control white balance. You can use it to create a custom white balance calibration in your camera or in Lightroom Classic. You can also use it to warm or cool the white balance. You can buy a package that includes both the X-Rite i1Display Studio and the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo 2. Otherwise, it is a good addition to your camera bag, especially when you are shooting in a mixed lighting environment. What is that? Say you are shooting a birthday party inside your house. The indoor lights are tungsten and, maybe, florescent. If there is sunlight coming in the windows, that’s a third color of light. It’s hard for your camera to balance those different color temperatures. Instead, you shoot a photo with the ColorChecker Passport Photo 2 in it. Then, follow the directions to either set a custom white balance in your camera for that day, or in Lightroom, when you import your photos. I prefer to use it in Lightroom Classic. That way, I haven’t set a custom white balance and forgotten to change it after shooting. (Anyone who has ever set the timer on the camera and forgotten to unset it, knows just what I’m talking about! 😉)
Here are some books and training I recommend in the Lightroom Workshop:
The Adobe Photoshop Classic Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter): This is Scott Kelby’s newest book about setting up and using Lightroom. I wouldn’t be without it!
How Do I Do That In Lightroom? This is a great reference book from Scott Kelby. To quote Scott, “Don’t read it in order. It’s not that kind of book. This is more like an “I’m stuck. I need help right now” book…” It’s great to have on your desk for those moments when you can’t figure out how to do something in the software.
Lightroom CC Collection Bundle: This is training with SLR Lounge, a California-based photography school.
Lightroom Made Easy: This is California photographer, Phil Steele’s online training. It’s a good place to review what we learn in our workshop.
The Lightroom System: Great Lightroom training with Matt Kloskowski. You install this training on your computer.
The Photoshop System: You guessed it… great Photoshop training with Matt Kloskowski.
SITES I RECOMMEND:
Amazon.com: Need I say more? What did we do before they existed???
Dropbox: Need to send photos? Use Dropbox instead of email. Your friends will thank you!!! Also, great for online backup. And you can use it to sync your photos between your iPhone, iPad and laptop! Highly recommended!
CreativeLive: This site offers free online classes if you watch while they are broadcasting and recording live. Something always seems to interrupt me during the live broadcast (my dog, my husband, etc, etc…), but, luckily, you can buy the classes to rewatch at a later date. The classes are great!
Cricut: I love their products! If you are a crafty person, you’ll love how you can use your photos to create cards, gifts, etc! For my son’s wedding and then my daughter’s wedding, I made the gift bags for out-of-town guests. In each case, I used a silhouette I had taken of their dogs, a French Bulldog for my son and a Black Lab mix for my daughter. The Cricut Explore Air machine cut them out with incredible detail, and I glued them onto the bags. This would also be the perfect gift for the crafty person in your life!
DJI: I own their Osmo gimbal camera and love it! You can get incredible steady video with it! I lovingly call it my “drone on a stick”. On my list for someday is the Mavic Air drone!!!
Evernote: I use this free App on my computer, iPhone and iPad. (Also available for other phones…) It’s perfect for storing articles, photos, notes, and more.
GoDaddy.com: Domains, websites, email and more.
iStock.: My favorite source for selling and buying stock.
KelbyOne: You can’t beat the training you get at this website! And, your subscription comes with discounts and a subscription to Photoshop User Magazine. This is, without a doubt, the best training deal on the internet! They release a new class every Thursday.
MailChimp: The perfect site for sending email and newsletters.
MOO.com: The place to buy unique business cards, labels and postcards, just to name a few. My business cards always start a conversation!
SmugMug: Looking for somewhere to put your photos online? This is where you’ll find my portfolio. They’re a great company to work with! You can post and share your photos and also sell them!
Strong VPN: I use this to encrypt my data when I use the web in public. Works on my computer as well as my iPhone and iPad. I would never go on the internet in a public place without using Strong VPN! Great company!
Tailwind: I use this site to plan my Instagram posts. Give it a try! I think it’s awesome!
WordPress SEO plugin : A great SEO plugin for your WordPress website.
Most of these links are affiliate links. Clicking on them won’t cost you more… and I get a commission from the company if you click on the link and purchase something. A win-win for all of us! Thank you!!!