The Right Camera Equipment

As I decide to push myself forward in learning photography, I’m starting to go outside my comfort zone more and more. Recently, I signed up for an Ottawa Photography Meetup that will have me doing the following:

Join us for a morning of body art featuring the incomparable Kory as our model and the artistic talents of CR Gill.

The workshop will involve three sections over the three-hour period. First, you will be able to photograph the creative process as Kory acts as the canvas for CR’s designs, interleaved with various poses as the material dries. Once the design has been completed, Kory will then model the resulting latex dress. Finally, she will do a “tear-away” of the dress as a unique from of “trash-the-dress”.

The session will be a mixture of artistic nude and semi-nude. We will use continuous lighting augmented with on-camera flash in a parparazzi-style shooting arrangement. For the modelling of the dress, we may switch to single-photographer style with studio flash. The tear-away portion will be paparazzi style. Only studio lighting will be provided so photographers must bring their own on-camera flash.

While I’m super excited about this opportunity, I’m also very nervous. I’ve never shot a studio shoot before. I’ve never shot a model before. My equipment is still pretty amateur.

I am not used to doing things without knowing at least a few variables. Lately though, I’ve been doing a great number of things without knowing any major details, and it has boosted my anxiety a great deal.

There are so many questions I have regarding this shoot, and I want to do it well because I will have a limited amount of time, and I’ll be doing it in a group. I don’t want to be the weakest link.

I am considering buying a new lens for my camera, as I don’t have a good indoor portrait/whole body lens. My only L-series lens might be good enough if the studio lights are bright enough, but I don’t know. So many questions. Also, the best portrait lens isn’t necessarily very good for whole body or two-thirds body shots, which I’m assuming that I’ll want to take.

I will be bringing the following:

  • Canon 24-105mm f4.0 IS L
  • Canon 50mm f1.4 USM

I am considering buying something like the Canon 70-200 f4.0 IS L, but I don’t know how large or bright the studio will be. I could get the Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro IS L, but again, I don’t know the studio size, and on my crop sensor body, it would be a 160mm equivalent, which is quite long, but its performance is supposed to be pretty amazing, and would let me have the macro lens I’ve wanted to have for a while.

At the end of this year or next year, I hope to have both of these lenses in my kit anyways, but should I really buy them today when I still have so many furnishings to purchase for my apartment?

Photography can be a great joy, and I’m usually fairly happy with the results I get when I work hard at it, but sometimes, I feel like I’m being let down by the lack of equipment that I have. If only it wasn’t so darn expensive…

6 responses to “The Right Camera Equipment”

  1. Your photos at this shoot will be amazing whether you purchase a new lens or not. You’re a very talented photographer. Believe it!

    • Thanks. 🙂 I hope you are right. If only each of those lenses weren’t over $1k, then it would be a no-brainer. The next few months are going to be awesome for photography (Canada Day, Visiting Kingston, photo shoot, Fan Expo, etc..)

  2. I think the old saying “The best camera is the one you’ve got on you” applies here. It’s not so much about the equipment, but how you use it and knowing the strengths/weaknesses of whatever you happen to have on you, so you can play to it’s strengths and try to avoid it’s weaknesses. I wouldn’t worry too much about that, especially with most of the shoot being paparazzi style, since the lighting will probably be pretty erratic and such.

    Just have fun with it, and don’t worry TOO much about unknown details. Being out of your comfort zone breeds creativity…. I say just roll with it and see what happens. 🙂

    • Yeah, but when you pay money to do something, you want to get decent results from it. I have a pretty good understanding of the weaknesses of my lens, and that’s where the stress lies. It isn’t a good indoor lens, but if the studio lights are good enough, I shouldn’t have too rough a time. As for the flash, I hate flash photography, especially since I am not confident with the controls of my flash, nor do I have a diffuser so it isn’t so harsh.

      I have just enough knowledge to know when I’m doing it wrong…lol.

      I am still looking forward to it though. Should be fun.

    • I am trying to make sure I don’t change this hobby into a job. I have changed all of my other hobbies into jobs and it has sucked some of the fun from them… I might consider it though to cover the lens price.

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