How can I become a better photographer?
AGuru’s key technique for skill improvement involves sneaking into the family’s heavily guarded money vault, dodging the laser net and spike traps, skimming off a few coins that won’t be noticed, then subtly throwing money at the skill that needs to be improved. His camera bag, overflowing with lenses, bodies, filters and the rest, is perhaps the most glaring example of this needless excess.
It won’t surprise you to learn that Ol’ GaGu wasted most of that money. Convincing one’s self that poor quality results are the fault of the expensive, exquisitely engineered equipment and not the slightly drunk operator is the curse of the open-wallet gadgeteer. A small photographic toolkit will carry you a long way, and realistically you only need three items to get started as an amateur: a good body, some versatile optics and a method of keeping that gear steady.
You apparently want to get better, so Guru will presume you’re not at the entry level and look a little further up the price scale than the £499 Nikon D3300 and £779 Canon EOS 800D, both tremendous beginner DSLRs. And we’ll avoid mirrorless cameras; practice with a viewfinder is all but essential. Invest, then, in proper DSLR kit priced in such a way as to stab you directly in the wallet. GaGu wouldn’t like to push you either side of the great divide – it’s really up to you whether you select the Canon EOS 7D Mark II (£1149), the Nikon D7200 (£920), or one of Sony’s tremendous snappers like the Alpha a77 Mark II (£949).
Don’t skimp on the tripod; Vanguard’s tried-and-tested Alta Pro 263AB 100 (£165) is hugely versatile, and slightly less bonkers than spending £819 on the Gitzo GK1555T82TQD Traveler. Your lenses are going to depend on the body you choose, so GaGu will refrain from specific recommendations, but make sure you have at least a 18-55mm lens (often supplied as a kit lens), a decent-budget 55-200mm telephoto and a fast lens – something along the lines of a f/1.8 50mm ‘normal’ or ‘portrait’ optic.
A small photographic kit will carry you a long way and you only really need th ree items to get st arted as an amateur
above Listen to Guru’s tips and become a killer photographer!