Photography wouldn’t be possible without the incredible invention of the camera. According to Kodak, “the use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the ‘Kodak,’ was first offered for sale in 1888.”
It truly is amazing how much the camera has evolved since then. In came the digital camera, and the debate between film vs. digital began. Today, people appreciate the merits of both, and choose based on their preferred aesthetic.
If you love the nostalgia of film, you’re not alone. Film offers a creative challenge for photographers. Shooting analog photographs is an art form that truly embraces the candid nature of photography. The excitement of having your film photos developed, anxiously awaiting the final images, is a feeling many people love. There is something to be said about the simplicity of shooting with film too; without a Photoshop program to edit with, the result is a much rawer, visceral image. There is also a great deal more thoughtfulness involved in film photography, as you are limited by the amount of film you have. This is one of the reasons why many people recommend starting out on a film camera, even if you want to shoot digital. Being forced to be more selective with your shots will ultimately make you a better photographer, whether you shoot on film or digital.
Meanwhile, if you prefer to shoot digital, there are plenty of benefits that come with the ever-evolving technology of digital cameras. They are more convenient than ever, and are constantly being upgraded with more advanced features. Photographers can choose from point and shoots, DSLRs, and even compact mirrorless cameras, depending on what the situation requires. Today, many digital cameras also come with added features such as WiFi and Bluetooth. This allows you to directly transfer images to your smartphone or tablet, making it super easy to share all of your great moments.
As digital technology has progressed, mobile phones have become the camera of choice for many people who wish to snap and share moments instantaneously. Some of you may remember seeing the #shotoniphone7 campaign, which inspired iPhone users to take incredible photographic shots simply using their phones’ camera. Today, millions of photos are uploaded every minute, allowing us to share our snapshots with the world in seconds, and find inspiration in the talent of other passionate photographers worldwide.
If you’re looking to upgrade your current gear, whether it’s a phone, film camera or DSLR, World Photo Day is a great time to see what’s out there and try something new. Our LDExperts can help you choose the right camera for your interests and needs. London Drugs’ selection of photography gear doesn’t end with cameras, either. We also have an extensive collection of lenses, camera accessories, photo printers and photo editing software to help you achieve the best images possible.
May is Photo Month, and it just happens to be Mother’s Day as well. On Monday April 27, London Drugs tech expert, David Levett, sat down on CTV Morning Live in Regina to discuss the latest cameras, camera accessories, and Mother’s Day gift ideas in celebration of Photo Month.
David started his discussion by mentioning the new camera upgrades to the Canon Rebel T6I. Since last year, a wireless system linked to a mobile device has been installed in the Canon Rebel T6I. By downloading an app, the camera can be placed on any tripod to take photos and zoom anywhere you like from the control of your cellphone.
The waterproof, shockproof and freeze proof Nikon S33 was next on the list of cameras to talk about. The camera comes with oversized buttons, which make it extremely user friendly. David matched the Nikon S33 with the Gorilla Pod, which can wrap around objects with its durable and flexible legs. This tripod is ideal for latching onto objects that usually wouldn’t act as a great surface for tripods, such as the branches of a tree.
The Table Tripod is a very straightforward Tripod that is compatible with any camera of camcorder. David also mentioned the Travel Tripod, which is made out of a carbon fibre weave. The light, airy fixture makes travelling easy and hassle free.
Finally, David discussed the well-known Selfie Stick that has been making headlines lately. The Selfie Stick can be hooked up to a device on your cellphone that will allow you to zoom and take pictures with the click of a button, which is perfect for those much needed group photos.
Darren brings us more glimpses of hot new photo accessories at the largest photography and imaging show in North America; The PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo.
First up, we get a look at the Flex Lens Shade. It mounts on any size lens you have in your arsenal. The quality of the build is backed up by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, so you can expect this shade is going to last. It’s straps easily to the end of your lens and can be maneuvered to block any unwanted light flares. Have a look at it here.
When I bought my first SLR camera in the year 2000, I was blown away by the photo quality. The same thing happened a decade later when I bought my first DSLR. The quality, the control, and the creative range opened up new avenues of creative expression.
Perhaps the best thing about a DSLR camera is its versatility: with a combination of settings, lenses, and accessories, my camera is tailor-made for me.
For those who have never considered DSLR accessories, let me assure you: they make a big difference. Accessories are not just for professional or serious photographers. Many add-ons are modestly priced and offer huge benefits to casual photographers.
Here’s a taster of the accessories that are available.
Neutral Density Filters
When you see a photograph with a beautiful blurred waterfall, you are likely looking at a shot taken with a neutral density filter.
Bright sunny days pose problems to photographers. The large amount of light limits camera settings: for a proper exposure, the aperture must be small and shutter speed fast. Neutral density filters block some of the light rays that pass through your lens. When you reduce the quantity of light, you can also slow your shutter speed, which gives you the lovely blurring of moving objects. Increasing your aperture allows you to focus on your subject, with the background and foreground soft and blurred.
See the Cameron Neutral Density Filter, available in many sizes to fit your specific lens.
Circular Polarizing Filter
On a bright day, strong light waves will reflect off a variety of surfaces. In photographs, these wonky light rays appear as a whitish glare. Polarizers block out errant wavelengths, preventing glare, deepening colours, and capturing more dynamic skies.
See Tiffen Circular Polarizer, also available in different sizes to fit your specific lens.
Pop-Up Flash Diffuser
Pop-up flashes ensure you get a proper exposure in low light, but the resulting photos are not great. Pop-up flashes are harsh, flattening details, over-exposing faces, and under-exposing the background.
One way to minimize the harsh effects of a pop-up flash is to use a diffuser. This nifty accessory fits on the hot shoe. Your flash pops up behind the diffuser, and when it goes off, the diffuser spreads and softens the light beams.
A flash diffuser may not give you the same creative range as an external flash, but it is light and portable and certainly improves your picture quality.
External Flashes and Off-camera lighting
Long, cold Canadian winters mean we do a lot of photography in poor lighting conditions. For me, the accessory that packs the most punch is lighting. I have an external flash, which transforms my indoor shots. I bounce the light off my white ceiling, and the result is a softer, more flattering photos. I also have an off-camera light, which I use in my makeshift studio.
When you are thinking about lighting, consider this. The larger the light source, the softer the light. Also, the farther away the light source from your lens, the more interesting the visual effects. As with nearly everything in photography, finding the right light accessory will be a balance between the ideal and the practical.
A beauty dish may be the answer for casual portraits, with a large surface area and portable construction.
Accurate, Comfortable Shooting
The LCD screen on the back of your camera has its limitations. In bright light, it can be difficult to see and tricky to carefully compose your photos. When you are shooting video, it can be next to impossible to control your shot in sunny conditions.
We have a neat product to help with this. The Hood Crane fits onto your hot shoe and over the LCD screen on the back of the camera. It shields the display from light and magnifies so it is easier to see. Although it looks unwieldy, the Hood Crane is lightweight and moves up and out of the way when not in use.
Display Monitor for Professional Results
For those who shoot a lot of video, this accessory is a must. A 7-inch monitor attaches to your hot shoe and gives you clear, enlarged viewing as you shoot. With the large visual, framing your photographs is easier, allowing you to control the different elements of composition.
If you are considering camera accessories, we encourage you to jot down a few things before you come into the store.
We will look at your individual needs and help find the accessories to suit you perfectly.
By Angela Ford, Amateur Photographer