Photography Equipment

10 February 2011 At Your Leisure
Baby Deer

Wildlife photos, landscape photos and family photos all help preserve the wonderful moments spent at the cabin. Life at the cottage is filled with unique events that just beg to be filmed or photographed. Why not have your own photo contest at the cabin this year?

Camera Equipment For Beginners

What equipment do you need to take great photos at the cottage?
Having the right equipment and understanding how to use it are key to getting fantastic photos at the cottage.

What is the best camera equipment for beginners?
While almost any camera today will take great photos, the advancements in camera technology have made it possible for the average cottage owner to buy an entry level SLR Digital camera with a medium range zoom lens for a very reasonable price.

The following equipment, along with a touch of patience and a few weekends of practice will enable the cottage photographer to take some spectacular photos at the cabin.

  • SLR Digital Camera with a wide angle close up lens.
  • Medium range (75 – 300) zoom lens
  • Cleaning Kit (brush, fluid, tissues, cloth)
  • Clear lens filter – for protecting the lens
  • Tripod
  • Remote Control Cable
  • Backpack
  • Plastic bags
  • Spare batteries – fully charged
  • Laptop computer – fully charged
  • Extra memory cards

Camera Settings

How do you use a Digital Camera?
Experimentation is the name of the game when it comes to getting to know your camera. The auto mode will suffice for many of your shots but being comfortable using all of the settings will add the skills you need to get the best possible cottage photos every time.

Use the tripod and remote control whenever possible. The more stable the camera, the sharper the image.

What is Aperture?
This is the size of the hole in the lens.  The aperture controls the volume of  light that gets through to the sensor by opening or closing the size of the hole. It works like the pupil in your eye. (When a person is in a dark room, the pupil is wide open to let in more light. When the light is turned on, the pupil closes to restrict the amount of light that comes into the eye.)

Note: The sensor on a digital camera acts as the film.

What are F-Stops?
The aperture settings are called F-stops.  F/4 is a big opening, and F/11 is a small opening.  The aperture setting is used to control how much of the picture will be in focus. This is referred to as the depth of field.  If the background is in focus, the depth of field is long and this is done by using a bigger opening.  If the background is completely blurry, and the nearest objects are in focus, the depth of field is short and the opening is much smaller.

What does the shutter do?
The shutter on the camera serves the same purpose as the shutter on a window of a house. When closed, it blocks out all the light. When open, it lets light in.  To take a picture the camera shutter has to open and let light into the sensor of the camera.

The timing of the camera refers to how fast the shutter opens and closes.  It is measured by parts of a second. A value of 1 means the shutter is open for a full second.  A value of  1/1000 means the shutter is only open for a thousandth of a second.

Faster speeds are used for moving objects so that the camera can try to catch a fixed moment of the moving object.

Slower speeds are used for situations with poor light such as evening shots when the camera needs more time to get all of the picture.  Using a slow speed requires the camera to be completely still or the picture will get blurry or smudged.

What is the Camera Exposure?
You combine the aperture and the timing settings to get the correct combination for a perfectly exposed photo. This means that the parts of the picture you want to be in focus turn out to be clear and sharp in the image.

Need more cottage photography advice?
Go to the Wildlife Photography Techniques page.