You’ve all asked…and asked so here it is! Today we’re talking all about our photography. Even since I’ve joined the IAMGALLA team I have noticed many of you ask what type of camera and lens we use. I’m gonna tell you but first a few basics. Before I knew much about photography I, like many, thought that a better camera meant better pictures. In a way it is kind of true but you have to understand your camera and know what it can and can’t do. You wouldn’t go out and buy a Ferrari and expect to be winning races the next day; you have to work your way up. I recommend doing some research and picking a camera that fits your knowledge. Give yourself a little room to grow and master the camera though.
Shutter speed, aperture, and iso (film speed/sensor light sensitivity) are 3 terms that will open up the door to a whole new world of photography. I learned the basics from these old Time Life Library of Photography books I inherited from my grandpa but there is plenty of free material out there to read (I’ll include some helpful links below). I also soaked a lot up from my dad who has done photography as a hobby since before I was born. Once you’ve got a basic understanding you can start shooting in manual mode. And shoot you should! Digital cameras allow you to try things out, make mistakes, instantly see your results, and improve right away.
Our camera is the Nikon D600, a full frame 24.3 MP camera. The full frame sensor allows us to take full advantage of our sharp lenses and the high pixel count allows us to retouch photos with minimal destruction. The D600 also has 39 focal points which help track your subject as it moves through the frame. I love that it can shoot up to 5.5 frames/sec because that allows me to capture a jacket or scarf caught in the wind at just the right moment. Make sure you have a fast memory card to take advantage though. The D600 is the perfect camera for everything we are currently doing at IAMGALLA.
You can have the best camera in the world but what really gives the picture that “look” is your lens. The main lens we use the Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 G. It costs a pretty penny but the results are quite clear. This super sharp lens is great at capturing portraits and producing gorgeous bokeh (that out of focus almost watercolor effect in the background). We also use the 85mm for full body shots. I like it because I can be far enough away that I’m not right in Adam’s face. I highly suggest investing in some good glass if you plan to pick-up photography as a hobby and especially as a profession.
When quarters are tight or we really want to capture the whole environment I’ll switch to the Nikon Nikkor 35mm 1.8G lens. It allows me to shoot a bit closer and still get that amazing skyline or landscape in the picture. We use this lens for full body shots. When you get too close (like with half-body/headshots) there is some distortion that happens to the face that’s not necessarily flattering.
Our kit is fairly small with only two lenses (no lights or bounce boards we use good ol’ natural light) but it does exactly what we need it to do. Plus it makes traveling to locations extremely easy! I could probably go on all day about photography so I’ll wrap it up. If you have any questions let us know in the comments!
On a side note, when I’m not shooting at IAMGALLA I use a Nikon D7100. Although it is not a full frame sensor, at the time I bought it it fit my budget and it is one step below the D600. My lenses consist of the Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.8 and the Nikon 50mm 1.8G. In fact, this article was shot using my D7100 and the 50mm lens I also shoot on a Yashica Mat 124G medium format twin lens reflex film camera but that is a whole other article.
Helpful photography article here!