So You Want to be a Photographer – Advice on Buying the Tools

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so you want to be a photographer - buying the tools

So you want to enter the world of photography but are wondering where and how to begin. Perhaps you are tight on budget, or you want to quickly accelerate to a professional level but are wondering which camera you want to start with. Though we won’t be able to explore the whole equipment range, this blog post gives you great general advice for starting out whatever your circumstances. There will obviously be other tools available but we will cover the very basics.

Firstly, you need a decent camera. Research the latest camera editions and remember to look at models just slightly older than the current ones, as they may be considerably cheaper with pretty much the same functionality.

Aside from the camera, it is vital you buy good quality lenses, as this one of the major factors that dictate the quality of the photo. Consider zoom lenses and research the effect of the different ranges offered by your viable options. A standard zoom lens might offer the focal lengths 18-55mm, which may be enough for your requirements, but if you want to take wildlife photography for example consider a greater range. As you may know the advantage of a zoom lens is the flexibility, however if you want better image quality, prime lenses should also be a part of your kit. Check out prime lens reviews and the clarity of images they would produce before you buy. Some great value lenses in the market sometimes come with slight tints, which may or may not be what you want. You may need to invest in more than one prime lens.

The next pieces of equipment are filters depending on the look you are going for. However also bear in mind that digital photos can be edited and have filters added in post-production to give the same look and feel as having used physical filters.

Next, invest in a tripod if the camera is going to be standing still in one position for a while for the photos; this may not always apply. If you need to move around a lot and need clear shots or want to record a video, consider options like a Steadicam.

Cleaning equipment and memory cards are essential but should not be difficult to choose from the options available. We sell a range of SD cards, which vary in size and capacity from 1GB to 256GB; choose one depending on you device and the quantity and quality of your photos. For a professional photographer, who usually takes photos rapidly, getting the fastest SD card is important. The same goes for if you would like to record video.

Now you are well equipped to take great photos, but what about post-production work such as editing? If you can afford an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription then the question is which of the suite to go for. Photoshop and perhaps Lightroom are essentials but are there other photo editors out there that are good alternatives. Do your research. If your objective is to print your work as opposed to post on digital channels, then make sure your editing software allows RGB to CMYK conversion so that your printout will have the colours optimised. For more information on this, read our blogpost on CMYK & RGB.

Printing out your photographs is the last but crucial step to get right. Experiment with colour and black and white prints, and invest in a good printer, photo paper, and cartridges. For a quick printing guide, checkout our blogpost ‘A Quick Printing Guide for Photographers’. Depending on your budget and requirements, you can choose from a range of available options. For example, for vivid photographs a combination of glossy paper and dye ink might be the best option. We sell quality compatible ink and toner cartridges at a fraction of the cost of the originals – these are a great alternative to original cartridges if you are short of cash. If you went for a HP printer, and want the quality of original cartridges and don’t want to go for compatibles, IBM replacement cartridges are great alternative.

Buying photography tools