7 Sites Like SmugMug – Paid and Free Options

When it comes to online image hosting and portfolio building, sites like SmugMug are tough to beat. For professional photographers, the convenience and opportunity that come with these platforms can be indispensable.

Earning money from your work means being able to store and share it with the world. Social media can be great for exposure, but lossless storage and sharing is something that the likes of Facebook and Instagram just can’t offer.

If you’re taking your photography seriously, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.

If you’ve tried SmugMug and are looking for alternatives, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the internet to find our favorite sites that offer similar services and features. We’ve considered a ton of factors including price, convenience, availability, and much more.

Looking for a SmugMug Alternative? Think About This First

The good news is that there’s a ton of SmugMug alternatives out there if you know where to look. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons which we’ll dive into a little further down this page.

In this section, we’ll explore some of the main things to consider when searching for alternatives online. Check them out.

Which Features Do You Actually Need?

One of the great things about SmugMug is the number of tools it gives you as a photographer. You get access to stellar online photo storage, a portfolio site builder, and great commerce tools, to name a few.

Thing is, these are only worthwhile if you’re actually using them on a regular basis. If your main reason for using SmugMug is for photo storage, for example, you can almost certainly find cheaper alternatives online.

Price

With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about how much you’re willing to spend per month on sites like this. It all comes down to how often you use them and how much they’re benefitting you as a photographer.

Using them constantly and actually making money through sales, etc? You can probably justify the cost of sites like SmugMug.

Just starting out and money is tight? This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it, but proceed with caution.

Compatibility

SmugMug works on Android phones, iPhones, Macs, and PCs. Can you say the same of the alternative you’re considering? It sounds obvious, but it can be easy to overlook if you’re not careful.

Make sure that any SmugMug alternative you consider will work with your current setup. The last thing you want to do is interrupt your workflow with a silly mistake like this – trust us.

Ease of Use

One thing many SmugMug customers praise is how easy it is to navigate and use the site. Make sure that any alternative you consider won’t cause you headaches down the line.

This works both ways too – if you’re looking for some coder-friendly, in-depth features that SmugMug just doesn’t offer, it’s worth keeping an eye out for these tools during your search. It all comes down to the type of site you’re looking to build and your level of experience with this kind of work.

Sites Like SmugMug – Our Recommendations

Right, let’s get into it! The list below contains some of our favorite SmugMug alternatives in 2021. Some come with fully fledged features suites that are on par with SmugMug. Others offer a more minimalist approach that can save you money.

We’ve compared online reviews, feature sets, price, and availability to find the suggestions made below. Read on to find the best option for you!

22 Slides 22 slides screenshot

Cost: 30-day free trial then $10/month

Link: here

First up is the refreshingly simple 22 Slides. This is a portfolio website builder that’s dedicated to being easy-to-use yet powerful in the hands of the right photographer. You get a good impression of 22 Slides the moment you look at their ‘pricing’ page.

They offer one payment plan – $10 a month with absolutely 0 upsells or extra gimmicks to be found anywhere. This no-nonsense approach can be found throughout the 22 Slides platform.

It’s lean yet powerful throughout. Customers can easily build unique portfolio websites, integrate commerce tools, master their site’s SEO and much more. If you’re looking to set up your professional site as a photographer, this is a fantastic option in our opinion.

The site builder and cloud storage on offer here are exactly what most people will be looking for. Over 200 servers worldwide for speedy load times? Check. Flawless Flickr and Instagram integration? Double check.

Free custom domains, coding tools, and flexible pricing features? Check, check check. The list goes on. Long story short, 22 Slides is a phenomenal, no-nonsense SmugMug alternative in 2021. Check it out.

Pros:

  • Super simple pricing structure
  • Powerful, lean site builder
  • All the tools most photographers will need

Cons:

  • No smartphone app

Format format screenshot

Cost: 14-day free trial then $7, $15, or $25 a month

Link: here

The tagline used by Format is ‘where photographers get serious’ and for the most part, we agree with them. The platform comes with a slew of tools that make it easy to set up a site and start showcasing your work.

In some cases, this can be all a good photographer needs to start earning money through their images. The templates on offer here deserve praise in our opinion. Their award-winning design makes it effortless to build sites that are beautiful, easy-to-navigate, and effective.

Users will be able to upload their images at full resolution and showcase them in a number of convenient ways. The client gallery feature will be especially useful to headshot or real estate photographers who need a place to store and organize their individual clients’ shots.

Format starts at just $7 a month, but you’ll have to pay significantly more if you want access to the full suite of features. This basic payment tier only grants access to the platform’s ‘starter’ templates, for example.

Pros:

  • Great portfolio tools including client galleries
  • Award-winning templates
  • Convenient hosting options

Cons:

  • A three-tiered pricing structure that limits access to customers who pay less

Adobe Portfolioadobe portfolio

Cost: $10 for Portfolio tools or $50 a month for the entire Adobe suite

Link: here

Adobe has been an industry-leader in the world of photography and software editing for quite some time now. Their Portfolio platform is designed to add one more tool to their already substantial suite of creative online tools.

The primary purpose here is to help creatives set up a site, set their pricing, and start selling to customers. There’s a ton of beautiful templates to choose from that are designed from the ground up to showcase your work in all its glory.

If you’re already a Creative Cloud subscriber, you’ll be able to access Adobe’s portfolio tools for no extra cost. This of course is only worthwhile if you’re already subscribed for other tools, but it’s worth mentioning.

With killer features like Lightroom integration, password protection, image hosting, and much more, Adobe Portfolio is another great alternative to SmugMug, especially if you’re already using Adobe’s other programs.

Pros:

  • Great templates
  • Optimized for practically any device
  • Free for Creative Cloud subscribers

Cons:

  • $50+ for Adobe’s entire suite might be too expensive for some

Pic-Timepic time screenshot

Cost: Free (with 15% commission on sales) or $17, $34, or $50 a month

Link: here

If you’ve built up a collection of high-quality work but are just starting out professionally, Pic-Time might be a great option. Unlike the other platforms discussed so far, it’s possible to build and maintain a site on Pic-Time without paying a monthly subscription.

Instead, the site takes a 15% commission on any sales made through your galleries. Once you start earning as a photographer, this might be a bit of a steep cut. If you’re a newcomer to the profession, though, this could help you cut costs early on.

The platform comes with plenty of templates to choose from and most of the pro-grade tools you’d expect. It’s easy to set prices, tweak SEO, automate commerce functions, and much more.

We’re big fans of the simplicity and convenience on offer here.

Pros:

  • A great free option for beginners
  • Commission-free paid options for pros
  • Lovely templates and powerful tools

Cons:

  • Not suber robust for self-coding fans

Zenfoliozenfolio screenshot

Cost: $4-$10 a month

Link: here

Another SmugMug alternative that’s worth considering is Zenfolio. Like the other options listed on this page, it makes it super easy to start showcasing your work to the world. Expect convenient templates, simple selling tools, and hosting that should be more than enough than most people.

In general, we found the site builder to be pretty easy to use. If you’re used to the in-depth, power-user features of platforms like WordPress, you might find Zenfolio a little too simple. For most people, however, you should find it refreshingly easy to build what you’re looking for.

This platform has done a great job of cross-device optimization. Once your site is up and running, it will look just as good whether you’re viewing it on a Mac, PC, smartphone, or tablet.

The pricing here is particularly compelling – you can get started for as little as $4 a month!

Pros:

  • Pretty affordable for most people
  • Great cross-device optimization
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Not great for power-users

Dropboxdropbox

Cost: Free, or $8-$18 a month

Link: here

We’ll cut right to the chase here – this isn’t the option for you if you want to build a portfolio website. If the main appeal to you with SmugMug was the file hosting, however, Dropbox might just be a welcome alternative.

It’s one of the world’s leading cloud-based file storage solutions (as if you didn’t know that already). It comes with a surprising number of tools that make it really easy to share your files with other people.

The platform has put a lot of effort in recent years into their collaborative tools. They’re designed to help people come together virtually and interact with files online. When sharing or tweaking content with a client, this might be more than enough for your needs.

Dropbox can be used for free, but if you want to take advantage of higher storage volumes, you’ll need to subscribe.

Pros:

  • No-nonsense file storage
  • A surprising number of collaboration tools
  • Access your files anywhere

Cons:

  • No site building or portfolio features

Squarespace squarespace

Cost: $10-$30 a month

Link: here

If you haven’t heard of Squarespace before, where have you been the past ten years? The platform has reached legendary status in the world of website building and online commerce.

There are plenty of photographer-focused templates on offer here that make it really easy to share your work with the world. If you’re more technically minded, Squarespace also makes it possible to tweak things to your heart’s content.

Coding, SEO adjustments, HTML changes, and much more are all just a few clicks away. Keep in mind that Squarespace is built to be an excellent website builder, but it’s not a purpose built photography tool like some of the other options on this page.

There are premium plans available for more intensive image hosting, but the switch from sites like SmugMug might take a little getting used to for some people. In general, though, this is a fast, convenient way to build a photography website with impact.

Pros:

  • Loads of high-quality templates
  • Plenty of more in-depth tools
  • Super intuitive

Cons:

  • Not perfect for high-volume image hosting

Sites Like SmugMug – Verdict

We hope you’ve found the recommendations on this page helpful. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits all approach here. We recommend taking advantage of a few free trials before pulling the trigger. A huge amount of your decision-making process should come from actually using the tools described on this page.

Until you’ve tried them for yourself, it can be hard to know which will be a good fit. Consider your requirements, budget, and experience level and try to choose a platform that fits.

Whichever option you choose, we hope it serves you well for many years to come!

When it comes to online image hosting and portfolio building, sites like SmugMug are tough to beat. For professional photographers, the convenience and opportunity that come with these platforms can be indispensable.

Earning money from your work means being able to store and share it with the world. Social media can be great for exposure, but lossless storage and sharing is something that the likes of Facebook and Instagram just can’t offer.

If you’re taking your photography seriously, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.

If you’ve tried SmugMug and are looking for alternatives, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the internet to find our favorite sites that offer similar services and features. We’ve considered a ton of factors including price, convenience, availability, and much more.

Aluminum VS Carbon Fiber Tripod – The Lowdown (With Recommendations)

Aluminum VS carbon fiber tripods – which is the better option for you? We encounter this question a lot on our photography escapades, especially among newcomers to the hobby. If you find yourself scratching your head when looking at tripod listings online, help is at hand.

On this page, we’ll dive into the details of the aluminum vs carbon fiber debate. Spoiler alert – it all depends on the kind of photography you’re doing and the budget you’re working with. But what should you do?

If you read through this page, we promise things will become a little clearer. Let’s get to the bottom of this once and for all!

Aluminum VS Carbon Fiber Tripod – Our Comparisons

As with most things in life, there’s no clear winner here. It all comes down to what you’re looking for. We’ve split things into categories to hopefully make it easier for you to make your own decision.

Weather Proofing – (Choose Carbon Fiber)

If you do even a small amount of shooting outdoors, the weatherproofing and corrosion resistance of your tripod should be towards the top of your priority list. That shiny new accessory might look great now, but is it still going to hold up once it’s been exposed to the elements?

The good news here is that with even a small amount of maintenance, both aluminum and carbon fiber can stand up fairly well to occasional water exposure. Just make sure you thoroughly wipe down and dry your gear in between sessions.

It’s worth keeping in mind that aluminum tripods will probably show signs of water damage sooner than their carbon fiber counterparts. They won’t rust as poorly as materials like steel, but a powdery substance called aluminum oxide will start to show.

If in doubt, go for carbon fiber.

Price – (Aluminum Wins)

There’s a pretty clear winner here. If you’re trying to save money, you’ll find it much easier to find a good deal on an aluminum tripod. Don’t get us wrong, you can find excellent value for money in both categories. It’s just that aluminum products tend to consistently undercut carbon fiber products when it comes to cost.

Just make sure you do your due diligence if you’re pinching pennies. There are plenty of high-quality aluminum options out there, but you can get burnt if you’re not careful. Check online reviews and comparison sites like this one to be sure.

We make a few suggestions a little further down this page if you’re interested.

Stiffness – (Go With Carbon Fiber)

Stiffness is one of the biggest things to think about when picking up a new tripod for your gear. The whole point of using an accessory like this is to reduce camera shake and the resulting image noise it can cause in your photos.

The stiffer your tripod, the less shake you’re going to have to deal with. As a general rule, carbon fiber products offer a far superior stiffness to weight ratio than their aluminum counterparts. This means that per pound of weight, a carbon fiber tripod will serve you better when shooting.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should abandon aluminum options altogether – the weight of your camera plays an important role. If your gear is a little on the lighter side, you might not notice much benefit from a stiffer tripod.

Those shooting with heavier DSLRs should consider carbon fiber, however.

Portability (Carbon Fiber Wins)

While we’re on the subject of weight, how easy will it be to cart your tripod from place to place? Photographers who move around a lot between different shooting environments will definitely want to consider options that aren’t going to weigh them down.

Both aluminum and carbon fiber are relatively lightweight materials. It’s worth noting, however, that carbon fiber is a clear winner here. The nature of the material means that inch for inch, it’s much easier to carry with you than other options.

When it comes to tripods, this might only mean a difference of a pound or two. Trust us, though – if you’re carrying it with you all day, you’ll notice the difference.

Tripod Stability – (Choose Aluminum)

Another area where weight is worth considering is the stability of your tripod. A heavier weight overall can actually make a tripod more stable and less prone to wobbles caused by the wind when outdoors.

For this reason, the slightly bulkier aluminum tripods can actually serve you better when it comes to keeping your gear stable. To help you with your decision, consider how often you’re likely to be working outdoors in windy environments.

Outside all the time? Think about aluminum. Usually in the studio? Carbon fiber might be the right way to go.

Overall Quality – (It’s a Draw Overall)

Most good camera equipment doesn’t come cheap. It’s important to find products that will stand the test of time and stay useful for you for many years to come. The good news is that there are some incredible options out there in both the aluminum and carbon fiber camps.

One thing to think about is damage from accidental drops or bumps. The nature of aluminum means that it’s quite susceptible to dents and warping. Even a light bump could cause grief with certain models.

On the other hand, it’s not uncommon for the outer casing on carbon fiber tripods to crack after a bump or two. It all comes down to the specific make and model in a lot of cases. Check out online reviews and pay as much as you can afford to on your new tripod.

Availability – (Aluminum Wins by a Hair)

A product could be the best thing in the world, but it’s going to be useless if you can’t actually buy it anywhere! The availability of a product is worth considering if you’re in certain parts of the world.

Broadly speaking, both aluminum and carbon fiber tripods are pretty easy to find. That said, aluminum tripods have been around for longer. As aluminum options tend to be cheaper, they can be significantly easier to find.

You shouldn’t have much trouble either way, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Check out our other tripod articles:

Some Great Aluminum Tripods

So, we’ve established that carbon fiber tripods tend to be stiffer, more durable, but more expensive, while aluminum products are a little looser, more stable, and easier on the bank account.

The bottom line is that you can find excellent accessories made from both materials – you just need to know where to look. That’s where we come in. We’ve scoured the internet for options, considering price point, quality, and online reviews.

The recommendations below are a few of our favorites. Check them out.

K&F Concept 62” DSLR Tripod, Lightweight and Compact Aluminum Camera Tripod

K&F Concept 62'' DSLR Tripod, Lightweight and Compact Aluminum Camera Tripod with 360 Panorama Ball Head Quick Release Plate for Travel and Work (TM2324 Black)

Compact, relatively lightweight, and super-configurable, this aluminum tripod from K&F is unlikely to disappoint. The brand has been producing stellar camera equipment for quite some time now and their experience really shows.

The ball-head design used here makes it super easy to adjust your setup to your heart’s content. Taking a great photo means having accuracy and speed on your side. Tripods like this one give you one less thing to worry about.

Something else that deserves a mention here is the locking mechanism used for each of the legs. Everything can be tweaked and secured in a matter of seconds and the mechanism seems refreshingly easy to use.

With a max height of 156cm and a minimum configuration that reaches just 47cm, you’ll have plenty of wiggle room to get your shot just right. As far as aluminum products go, this is a great one in our opinion.

Pros:

  • Very portable for an aluminum tripod
  • Super easy to set up and adjust
  • Decent max height

Cons:

  • There are cheaper options out there

ZOEGATE 79” Tripod, Camera Tripod for DSLR, 200cm DSLR Tripod Compact Aluminum Lightweight Tripod

ZOEGATE 79'' Tripod, Camera Tripod for DSLR, 200cm DSLR Tripod Compact Aluminum Lightweight Tripod with 360 Degree Ball Head and 10kgs Load for Travel and Work

We’ve included this option from Zoegate primarily for its versatility and lightweight frame. This compact piece of kit functions superbly as both a tripod and a monopod. This gives you a whole world of flexibility when shooting outdoors.

The height range is also very respectable, coming in at 47-200cm. Whether you’re shooting a sweeping landscape or keeping things stable for macro photos, this tripod is unlikely to let you down.

Just remember that carbon fiber will be the way to go if you need something super stiff when working. Overall, however, this is a fantastic tripod that’s currently offered at a pretty reasonable price. It’s worth a look if you ask us.

Pros:

  • Versatile mono/ tripod configuration
  • Great height range
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Not as stiff as its carbon fiber counterparts

Some Great Carbon Fiber Tripods

So, aluminum tripods just aren’t working for you and you’ve got the budget for carbon fiber? You’re in the right place. The two options below represent fantastic value for money in our opinion.

We’ve compared online reception for carbon fiber tripods to find the suggestions we make below. Check them out.

Neewer Carbon Fiber 66 inches/168 centimeters Camera Tripod Monopod

Neewer Carbon Fiber 66 inches/168 centimeters Camera Tripod Monopod with 360 Degree Ball Head,1/4 inch Quick Shoe Plate,Bag for DSLR Camera,Video Camcorder,Load up to 26.5 pounds/12 kilograms

This is another option that can serve as both a tripod and monopod. This can be especially useful for those who do a lot of outdoor shooting over unpredictable terrain. Thanks to the carbon fiber construction, you’ll have no trouble carrying this thing with you throughout long shoots.

The twisting adjustable legs used for this tripod’s design deserve a lot of praise in our opinion. They seem super easy to tweak on the fly and are built to a very high standard. Just remember that you’ll be gaining stiffness but losing some stability when working with carbon fiber VS aluminum.

Don’t worry, though – this thing is still plenty sturdy for most people. Unless you have a ridiculously heavy camera setup, you should be just fine. At a little over $110 at the time of writing, this isn’t the cheapest accessory in the world.

If you ask us, though, it’s worth the money.

Pros:

  • Tripod and monopod functions
  • Super portable
  • Easy to adjust

Cons:

  • The max height (168cm) is good but not excellent

Carbon Fiber Bowl Tripod, AS80C Heavy Duty Camera Tripod

Carbon Fiber Bowl Tripod, AS80C Heavy Duty Camera Tripod Ultra Stable & Lightweight Professional Camera Travel Tripod,Max Load 44lbs/20kg,65mm Bowl Adapter as a Gift(RT80C Upgraded)

An impressive 8 layers of carbon fiber make up the legs and body of this heavy-duty tripod. Whether you’re roughing it in the great outdoors or throwing it around a studio environment, this thing is plenty tough for most people.

The three-level angle adjustment used for this design gives users a ton of flexibility when working. You shouldn’t have any trouble setting up the shot you want and it won’t take you much time either.

Keep in mind that the max load for this product is 20kg. This will be more than enough for most people, but those with heftier lenses and camera bodies may need to look elsewhere.

Overall, this is an excellent tripod that’s well worth a look.

Pros:

  • Max height of 200cm for versatile shooting
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • 8 layers of carbon fiber

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive compared to other options on this page

Verdict – Which One Should You Buy?

As you can probably see from our discussions on this page, there’s no clear-cut winner here. It all comes down to the type of photographer you are and the budget you’re working with.

In general, keep the following in mind.

Carbon fiber is better for:

  • Resisting corrosion
  • Stiffness
  • Portability

Aluminum is better for:

  • Price
  • Stability
  • Availability

There are fantastic options available made from both materials. This means that your best bet will be to treat each product on a case by case basis. Does the tripod have the height range, weight capacity, and features you’re looking for?

Does it have a ton of positive reviews online? Whether it’s aluminum or carbon fiber, you’ll probably be happy with what you get. Whichever tripod you choose, we hope it serves you well!

 

15+ Indoor Macro Photography Ideas

Looking for indoor macro photography ideas? We don’t blame you. Macro work gets you up close and personal with the intricate details of the world around us. Take the dullest of subjects and it instantly becomes fascinating when viewed through a macro lens.

There’s just so much the human eye can’t perceive alone. A photographer with even a little skill and the right equipment can produce shots that stay with their viewers for years to come.

Thing is, a ton of macro photography takes place outdoors. This makes sense, as nature is teeming with incredible macro subjects. If you’d rather stay indoors, however, the suggestions on this page will be right up your street. Read on to spark your creativity.

How to Take Macro Pictures

Whether you’re at home or outside, it’s important to make sure you’re doing things properly. Check out our micro guide and tips below.

Use the Right Lens

For your photography to be ‘true’ macro, you’ll need to be using a lens that offers a 1:1 reproduction ratio. If it’s advertised as a macro product, it will be 1:1 out of the box. In short, this means that an object that’s 1 inch long on your viewfinder will also be 1 inch long in your final image.

Make sure it’s a true macro lens before shooting.

Confused? Check out our in-depth guide here.

Get the Lighting Right

As with every photography genre, it’s critical that you make good use of your available light. When shooting indoors, you might have less sunlight in your environment than is ideal. This means relying on artificial light sources instead.

Pay close attention to the lamps and overhead lights in any room you’re using for photos. Consider picking up some basic lighting equipment if you plan on doing a lot of shooting at home.

Use the Right Settings

Your shutter speed and aperture are perhaps the most important settings to think about when taking macro photos indoors. They impact the amount of light that enters your lens and also affect how long you’ll have to wait before you get the perfect shot.

Be prepared for a degree of trial and error when working. As you move from subject to subject and room to room, you’ll likely have to tweak things from time to time.

The more you practice, the easier it will become to make adjustments on the fly.

Keep Things Steady

A tripod is basically a must-have when taking macro photographs. Unless you have the steadiest hand in the world, consider picking one up for your shoots. The less you have to worry about camera shake and resulting image noise, the better.

Macro photography can be a finicky business at the best of times – keeping things steady with a tripod gives you one less thing to worry about.

These tripods are perfect for macro photography.

On a Budget?

The good news here is that macro lenses are relatively affordable when compared to most other lens types. If you’re looking to really pinch pennies, however, there’s a cheaper option out there for those willing to tolerate a lower-quality image.

Extension tubes can be a budget friendly alternative to macro lenses that produce reasonable results if you know what you’re doing. We discuss the pros and cons of these accessories vs a traditional lens here.

Indoor Macro Photography Ideas

The list below is far from exhaustive. It’s designed as a jumping-off point to help spark your creativity. Check out our suggestions and see what new subjects you can think of along the way!

The great thing about macro photography is that basically anything can become interesting once viewed up-close. In particular, look out for the following when finding your own subjects:

  • Textures
  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Patterns
  • Dynamics (moving VS still subjects)
  • Size

When looking at a potential subject, see if you can find one or more of the above-mentioned aspects that interest you. If you can, it’s time to get shooting!

Pets

macro photograph of a pet's nose

Our furry (or scaly!) friends can be wonderful macro subjects. Think about which parts of your pet you’d like to capture. Their textured little nose? Their intricate scales? Their paws? The world really is your oyster here – if you’ll pardon the pun.

Remember that pets can be a little frustrating to capture at first as they tend to move around more than you’d like them to. Practice by finding ways to keep your pet still when working. Treats and a little patience can work wonders!

Fruits, Vegetables

macro photograph of pomegrate

Macro images reveal just how fascinating fruits and vegetables can be. Look out for rough, bumpy textures and spectacular colors. With certain fruits, cutting them open first can be a great way to get the shots you need.

When going for a certain color palette, choose fruit and veg that compliments your theme. Check out our specific suggestions below:

  • Pomegranates (the spiky top and the ruby-red seeds)
  • Avocado skin
  • Apple cores
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Blueberries
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Dragon fruit
  • Blood oranges
  • Raspberries

Food in General

macro photo of tortilla chips

 

While fruit and veg can provide some truly unique textures for your macro shots, don’t be tricked into overlooking the rest of your pantry. There’s a ton of intrigue to be found throughout your whole kitchen.

A great ‘game’ you can play when taking macro photos is to try and mislead your viewer. How can you capture an image that makes people go ‘wait, what am I looking at?’? This is half the magic of macro photography – the ability to make the mundane magical.

House Plants

macro photo of leaf

Plants and their beautiful foliage are timeless classics of the macro photography genre. If you’ve got indoor plants in your home, it’s well worth putting them under your macro lens. As with outdoor plants, look for specific textures, lines, and shapes that catch your eye.

Is it worth including part of the plant pot? Which focus point will look just perfect? Answer questions like these when working and you’ll be well on your way to a killer image.

Textiles and Furniture

macro photo of woven fabric

What looks like a simple couch or cushion can become valleys of texture and curiosity through a macro lens. Take a moment to look at the different furniture pieces and textiles throughout your house. Don’t just rely on your eyes here.

Running your fingers over things can be super helpful too – it makes it easier to identify the awesome bumps and creases that only become visible through your camera.

Unique House Features

macro photo of drops on a window

Got funky wallpaper in your house? Do certain areas have hairline cracks or crevices that are hard to notice? This kind of feature can be perfect for macro photography. Showcase the weird and wonderful parts of your home and get creative with how you capture them.

Your chosen focal point and angle can be just as important as the object itself. Don’t be afraid to play around until you get things just right. One of the great things about taking macro photographs at home is that you have the luxury of time on your side.

Get to know your house on a whole new level with macro photography!

Vases

photograph of plant in a vase

The colors, patterns, and textures that come with vases can be excellent photography subjects. For clear glass vases, it might be a good idea to put some flowers in there too. The obscured roots and leaves through glass can make for some incredible shots if you know what you’re doing.

For colored and patterned vases, try to find spots that really pique your interest. If your eye is drawn there, chances are it’s the right spot to focus on.

Water

macro photo of food coloring in water

We’ve dedicated a few paragraphs below to water-specific examples. Water can provide a phenomenal canvas for the home photographer. The only limit here is your creativity. We outline a few ideas below that use water in all its forms. Check them out.

Droplets

A well-timed shot of a water droplet can be truly breathtaking. Be prepared, though – you’ll need a little patience to get the shot you’re looking for. Play around with your aperture, shutter speed, and exposure and try to maintain sharpness on this fascinating moving subject.

Definitely use a tripod if you’re trying to take photos of a moving object.

Steam

The snaking wisps that rise from a cup of coffee, the enticing mist that hangs over a gloriously hot bath – steam is an excellent choice for a stunning indoor macro image. Composition will be especially important here.

Think about what else you’d like to include in your frame. The rim of our aforementioned coffee cup? Some other source for the steam? Consider how you’d like your viewers to perceive your final photo.

Ice Cubes

Ice cubes are another great one and are far less dynamic than steam or falling water droplets. They’re especially interesting when beginning to melt at room temperature. Look through your camera lens and search for spots on your ice cubes where cracks and droplets are beginning to show.

Can you create the impression of a vast iceberg from within your kitchen? Macro photography makes it possible.

Add Oil or Dyes

It’s amazing what a little olive oil or food coloring can accomplish. Fill a transparent dish or container with water and then drop in a little food coloring or similar dyeing agent. Gently swirl the mixture and capture the result in all its glory.

Plenty of bright light will help for this scenario. The specific viscosity of your mixture will determine how quickly you have to take your image. Experiment, and have fun with it!

Smoke

macro photo of smoke

The snaking tendrils of smoke from a fire or candle can be rendered jaw-dropping with a little macro magic. Make sure that any smoke-related photography takes place in a well-ventilated room and with an abundance of caution.

Direct lighting in an otherwise dark room can work well when taking photos of smoke. No one knows your home better than you so feel free to play around with different lighting states until you find what works.

Cutlery

close up photo of a fork

Cutlery may appear perfectly pedestrian to the untrained eye but point a macro lens at it, and a whole world of stories emerges. Fingerprints, micro-scratches, and small dents can add dazzling texture to this otherwise mundane photography subject.

Overhead lighting can help reveal many of these imperfections when working.

Clothing

macro photo of a sweater

Fling open your wardrobe and have a root around for your next masterpiece! Sequins, intricate stitching, and woven patterns can all be great for macro shots. Think about which angles will work best for each piece.

Top-down? Parallel to the surface of your shirt? It’s up to you!

Jewelry

macro photograph of a ring

There’s a reason that most promotional jewelry photos are taken with a macro lens – the level of detail you get is hard to beat. Choose a few special pieces and dive into their intricate details. You might be amazed by how much you can capture with a little patience.

If you’re looking to learn more about photographing your rings, earrings, and other accessories, check out our guide here.

Toys

macro photograph of toys

Lego soldiers, plastic bricks, and any number of other toys can produce a stunning macro photograph. Think about the stories you can tell with your images. Does your chosen toy have a mucky fingerprint on it? Perhaps it’s been scuffed up by your kids. In the world of photography, this is a chance to capture more than just an object, but a memory too.

If your kids are particularly patient, you could even experiment with including their hands in the frame too.

Indoor Macro Photography Ideas – Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve found the suggestions on this page helpful. Remember that they’re just here as jumping-off points. If you think you can come up with better ideas, that’s great! The more you experiment and tinker with your photography gear, the better photographer you become.

Don’t forget to look for interesting textures, colors, and shapes that catch your eye. If you find it fascinating, chances are your viewer will too. Whatever subject you choose, we hope you have fun capturing it. Happy clicking!

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas for Models

Human beings are perhaps the best photography subject in the world. Nowhere else will you find such a rich diversity of faces, body shapes, colors, and intrigue. Shooting outdoors with your models can be a fantastic way to do your subject justice.

Trouble is, it doesn’t take long before the well of inspiration starts to run dry. On this page, we’ll explore some outdoor photo shoot ideas for models. They’re designed to spark your creativity and get you taking photos with impact!

We’ll discuss setting, ideas for props, and some general tips that will help elevate your results.

Outdoor Photoshoots – What to Consider

Many of these tips also apply to other areas of photography, but they’re especially salient for portrait work. If you nail the elements we discuss below, you’ll be well on your way to success.

Lighting is Everything

Good lighting is the bedrock of practically all photography. When shooting outdoors with models, you’ll have to rely almost exclusively on natural light. Take advantage of reflectors that can help you direct sunlight to where you need it to be.

The time of day you choose for shooting is also pretty important. If you haven’t heard of the ‘golden hour’ in photography before, it’s worth looking into. It’s the time in the day that provides the most warm, soft sunlight for easy shooting.

Read up on the different types of photography lighting here.

Check the Forecast!

Yes, it sounds obvious, but trust us – it’s easy to overlook. The last thing you want to do is invite your models to a shoot when it’s pouring it down! It’s a good idea to check the forecast for your chosen shoot a week in advance, then the night before, and then the morning of.

Better safe than sorry!

Match Your Season

Once you’ve got an idea of the type of weather you’ll be working with, it’s time to plan accordingly. Are your models going to be comfortable? Will there be snow, crisp fall leaves, or other seasonal elements that you can incorporate into your shoot?

Working with your circumstances can yield much better results than working against them.

Bring the Right Gear

A bad worker blames their tools, but good photos need the right gear! Make sure you’ve got a decent tripod for outdoor shooting and a reasonable camera and lens kit too.

Make the most of your existing gear.

Outdoor Photoshoot Ideas for Models – The Location

Enough talk – let’s get into it! The ideas in this section are all about the location you choose for your shoots. The people you’re working with should always pull focus in portraiture, but the surroundings you choose for them can make all the difference!

Landmarks

woman standing in front of a telephone box and smiling

Are you near iconic landmarks in your city? Are you within driving distance of a skyline that’s instantly recognizable? Cityscapes can lend some much-needed flair to your shoots. Well-known landmarks also provide familiarity for your work.

It’s worth taking the time to consider your city’s shooting environments in detail. Try to identify shapes, spaces, and colors that inspire you. How can you frame your model using the landmarks in your city? Can you direct the viewer’s gaze by instructing your model to look at key focal point in your scene?

Pick outfits and poses for your models that fit the character of your chosen city.

Rooftops

couple on a rooftop

Take your city backdrops to the next level – literally. If you have access to a rooftop for your shoots, it’s definitely worth using the views as a backdrop. This can be a great opportunity to experiment with bokeh and focusing tricks too.

Think about how much of your rooftop view you’d like to have in focus in your final pics. If you have an extending tripod and a wide enough lens, you can get really creative here. Images that include your model, your rooftop, and a glorious city skyline are tough to beat!

Open Fields

woman in a field

Looking for less hustle and bustle? An open field can provide a soothing, eye-catching canvas for portrait work. This is especially true through the spring and summer months when foliage and natural light will be abundant.

Make sure you have the land owner’s permission before accidentally trespassing where you shouldn’t be. Certain crops can be a great framing device for your models. Experiment with your available foliage and pay attention to what draws focus to the person you’re shooting.

Botanical Gardens

gardens

If plant life and nature are more your style, botanical gardens can be a great option. Many locations even offer free admission at certain days of the week. As with any other shoot, take the time to find the right spots for your models to work in.

You may find that different areas work best for different people. It’s worth finding at least 2 or 3 spots in advance so you’ve got the option to switch things up on the day. Choose outfits for your models that fit the color palette of the gardens you’ve chosen.

City Hustle and Bustle

hustle and bustle in a city

Let’s hop back to cities for a moment. If you’re looking for a great portrait photography challenge that can really pay off if you get it right, try isolating your model against a sea of passers-by. If you’ve got a lens that can handle a blurred background like this, try it out next time you’re working in a busy city.

Remember that you’ll probably have to experiment with settings like shutter speed and ISO to get things just right. With a bit of patience, though, it’s worth it in our opinion.

Brutalist Structures

hard edged structure

When it comes to framing your models with harsh lines and imposing shapes, brutalist architecture is your best friend. Some well-known examples include the Barbican Centre in London or 33 Thomas Street in New York.

This kind of architecture is great for shoots where you want to lean into the urban, concrete aesthetic that some cities can force on you.

Graffiti

​​ man in front of graffiti

Speaking of embracing the city aesthetic, why not find some awesome graffiti to use for your next outdoor photo shoot? There’s a ton of variety on offer here if you know where to look. If you’re lucky, you can find color palettes and designs that really elevate your work.

Just make sure the artwork doesn’t outshine the people you’re shooting! Play around with the color temperature and framing of your photos to get things just right.

Outdoor Photoshoot Ideas – the Model and Props

Your shooting environment is just half the story – the people you’re working with are just as important. This section is for those times where you’re feeling uninspired by your usual portrait routine. We’ve included a ton of tips and ideas for how to spice things up with your models.

We’re talking props, poses, and more. The more time you have to experiment with ideas like these, the better. Breaking from your usual routine can slow you down at first, but it can breathe creativity into your work in wonderful ways! Read on to learn more.

Mirrors

man standing in front of a mirror

https://www.pexels.com/photo/stylish-man-model-standing-on-sandy-coast-near-sea-6169695/

Struggling to fit your outdoor scene into frame? Looking to try something different for your portraits? A well-placed mirror might be exactly what you’re looking for. Remember that certain angles might put you in the shot!

Play around with mirror placement and you’ll find some incredible shots in no time.

Bike

man in front of a bike

A bike is an excellent prop to give your models for outdoor shoots. There’s a real sense of exploration and adventure that comes with a choice like this if you execute it well. A bike will be especially appropriate in fields and similar scenes with attractive, meandering paths.

If you want to go the extra mile, try to source a bike that matches or stands out from the rest of your scene. Think bright colors or complimentary paint styles.

A Book

woman with a book

A big part of good portrait photography is storytelling. Props like an iconic book can influence the way that viewers understand your final photos. If your chosen scene works with this kind of prop, try it out next time you’re shooting.

Experiment with different poses and actions for your models here too. Are they lying back and holding the book up to read? Quietly leaning against a tree? Think about the kind of story you’d like to tell and choose poses that match.

Dancing, Handstands, Etc

man doing a handstand on a skateboard

If your models have extra talents, don’t be afraid to use them! Some of the most memorable portraits involve models in spectacular poses. Ballerinas can be particularly valuable for this kind of shoot. While you’re outside, see if you can take advantage of what’s available?

Braver models could climb or hang from trees, for example.

Flowers as Accessories

girl with flowers in her hair

This next one should be done with care and respect for the environment. If you’re in a space with plenty of flowers and pretty foliage, why not make use of it for your shoot? Plants can be carefully attached to existing headdresses or other pieces of clothing.

If you’re feeling extra cautious, your models could gently lie down in a sunny field to surround themselves with beautiful petals.

Cast Shadows on Your Model

Shadows are a great way to add intrigue to an otherwise flat or uninspired shoot. While working outdoors, look for natural elements you can use to your advantage. The shadows of a tree branch across the face of your model, for example, could be exactly what your image needs.

Remember that every model is different and should be given equal attention when setting up your shoot. Some shadowy environments might be perfect for one person and too distracting for others. Approach the work on a case by case basis.

Don’t Lose the Sky When Working

One of the amazing things about doing photo shoots outdoors is the number of gorgeous scene elements you’ll have at your disposal. The sweeping, natural sky is just one of these tools you’ll have available. Experiment with how much of the sky you include in your photos.

Don’t be afraid to try out crazy angles when working. This kind of approach can prove especially valuable during sunrises and sunsets. The rich, vibrant colors that come with this time of day can elevate your work from passable to stunning.

Working With Models – Quick Tips

We hope you’ve found the suggestions above helpful. If you’re brand-new to taking photos of other people, you might find the tips below helpful. Working with models can be rewarding work, but it’s important to get things right.

Face Shape

One of the most amazing things about working with human faces is how much variety you’re likely to encounter. Keep in mind, however, that this diversity can be something of a double-edged sword.

Don’t assume that one lighting environment or framing that works for your first model will be just as effective with someone else. You’ll probably have to tweak your approach to best suit the specific person you’re working with each time.

Learn about 3/4 view here

Clothing

This one will of course depend on your budget, but try to find wardrobe choices that work well with your shooting environments. This is where checking the weather and season before shooting can come in handy.

Think warm fall colors during November, bright pastels in summer, and so on. You’ll soon learn what works best for your approach as you gain more experience over time.

Comfort

This is a big one that many newcomers overlook and is especially relevant when working outdoors. The comfort of your models is super important and can quickly impact your work if you’re not careful.

Make sure you’ve got a way for people to warm themselves up during colder months or get ready in between shoots. The happier your models are, the easier it will be to create incredible photos with them.

Outdoor Photo Shoots – Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve found the suggestions on this page helpful. Remember that they’re designed as jumping-off points. Feel free to get creative and see what new approaches you can discover!

Best Canon Camera for Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is a fulfilling career. It’s a lovely pleasure to photograph animals and birds in their natural surroundings. Having the correct photography equipment can further enhance the experience.

While various cameras can capture wildlife, those serious about the endeavor should invest in a Canon model that will repay the long hours (sometimes long hours of travel) spent bringing a wildlife subject in front of the lens. One should buy a camera that can capture the moment perfectly.

Wildlife photographers need to use AI Servo AF mode to track a moving subject. A camera with many AF points is crucial in this case, as it allows for appropriate subject framing.

Cameras used for wildlife photography; place a higher priority on durability and weather resistance than cameras used in other situations.

Why Canon Wildlife Photography Cameras?

Wildlife is often unpredictably unexpected and moves quickly. That implies a high frame rate is advantageous for catching the exact moment of movement, as is a superior autofocus (AF) system. Your camera needs to deal with low light and the physical demands of the outdoors.

When it comes to capturing amazing photographs in the wild, Canon cameras have a reputation for being the best. They’re razor-sharp, quick, dependable, and simple to use. Wildlife photography is challenging. You’ll need a sturdy camera that can withstand a lot of abuse in a variety of situations. Canon, fortunately, has you covered in this area as well.

Canon, likewise, offers a diverse range of wildlife cameras and compatible telephoto zoom lenses. It comprises low-cost cameras with only the most basic functionality and high-end cameras with numerous features and functionalities. As a result, the bulk of professional wildlife photographers solely use Canon cameras.

7 Best Canon Cameras for Wildlife Photography:

  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
  • Canon PowerShot SX620
  • Canon EOS 5DS R
  • Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera
  • Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera

When looking for the best camera for wildlife photography, there are several factors to consider. This guide will assist you in making that decision and selecting the best camera for your requirements.

1. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera (Body Only)

Although the camera’s resolution isn’t the highest, its lightning-fast autofocus, sturdy design, and indestructible weather sealing make it ideal for usage in the wild. The 14fps and 120fps shooting speeds in live view are best for filming running animals and flying birds. When photographing an adult cheetah sprinting at 120 kilometers per hour, you need that type of speed.

A continuous burst of up to 170 photos in uncompressed 14-bit RAW format is also available from the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. Again, having such a high burst rate makes photographing fast-moving wildlife much better. The camera also has a wide ISO range, so it performs well in low-light situations.

Pros:

  • The tough weather-sealed body
  • 61 autofocus spots for lightning-fast autofocus
  • Full HD video (1920×1080) at up to 120 frames per second (119.9 fps)
  • Outstanding low-light performance
  • Quick and accurate animal tracking.
  • The 14fps continuous shooting speed
  • Ideal for capturing quick action.

Cons:

  • Quite heavy
  • Expensive.

2. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Body

Although the 1D X Mark III does not have the highest resolution sensor, it is the best camera in almost every other way. It is Canon’s rugged and most weatherproof camera, ready for whatever the outdoors throws at it. When photographing birds in flying, creatures running, or even catching eyes between blinks, the 16 fps frame rate is incredible.

With a vast array of focus points for tracking the subject, the 1D X Mark III’s AF technology enables exceptionally rapid and accurate focusing.

The 1D X III is a popular choice for photographers who want to capture the action at huge events like the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and (insert any other event here), and it’s just as capable in the wilds.

This camera is not small, light, or inexpensive, but when getting the right image is critical, this one consistently delivers. If there’s going to be action, this is the camera I want in my hands.

Pros:

  • JPEG and Raw image quality are both excellent.
  • Low levels of noise and a wide dynamic range
  • Video quality and feature set are among the best in the industry.
  • HEIF HDR files are a good substitute for the old JPEG format because they have the best Canon autofocus ever.
  • Excellent touchscreen interaction
  • AF Smart Controller is a unique and practical device.
  • Build quality is durable.
  • Long battery life
  • Switching between stills and video is simple.

Cons:

  • Live view is a must for the best AF subject tracking, which is a bit impractical.
  • Menus are becoming more complex
  • It is a bit huge and heavy.

3. Canon PowerShot SX620

Canon Powershot SX620 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Bundle w/Tripod Hand Grip, 64GB SD Memory, Case and More (Black)

The SX620 has 25X optical zoom and is an excellent camera for birding. It also boasts an easy-to-use IS system; that allows you to keep the camera and image stable. The camera’s 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 image processing produce excellent image quality in all lighting settings.

The SX20 lacks 4K, which is understandable given its price and type. It does, however, record fantastic videos in 1080P high quality. It features Wi-Fi and NFC built-in, making it simple to share your photos and movies on social media.

Pros:

  • A very low-cost camera
  • It’s ideal for birding and chasing after fast-moving objects.
  • Intuitive IS 25x optical zoom
  • Exceptional picture performance

Cons:

  • The user interface needs to improve.

4. Canon EOS 5DS R

Canon EOS 5DS R Digital SLR with Low-Pass Filter Effect Cancellation (Body Only)

If you want your photographs to have a lot of detail, the Canon EOS 5DS R is a great camera to use. It’s also a superb landscape camera because of the resolution. A low-pass cancellation filter is present for improved clarity. As a result, it’s great for macro photography and close-ups.

The Canon EOS 5DS R is great for wildlife photography. In terms of burst rate and other capabilities (only 5fps), it lags behind the EOS 5D Mark IV. However, its massive 50.6-megapixel sensor outperforms all other cameras on our list in terms of image quality.

Pros:

  • Sensor with 50.6 megapixels
  • Excellent image quality
  • Images with a lot of detail
  • Landscapes, macros, and close-ups benefit the most from this lens.

Cons:

  • Slow Frame Rate.

5. Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera

Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D] with 18-135 is USM Lens | Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DIGIC 8 Image Processor, 4K Video, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and 3.0 Inch Vari-Angle Touch LCD Screen, Black

The announcement of the Canon EOS 90D DSLR’s arrival in 2019 came as a surprise, owing to Canon’s focus on mirrorless cameras at the time. This camera has proven to be a better replacement for the older EOS 80D. More importantly, it has evolved into a great wildlife camera over time.

The EOS 90D can record uncropped 4K video, which is a huge plus when shooting wildlife. In the same way, the 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor produces unrivaled photos and movies. It also enables you to make larger reproductions of your photographs without sacrificing overall image quality.

The EOS 90D, like all current Canon cameras, has Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus technology. When combined with the 45-point phase-detect autofocus system, it shines.

Pros:

  • A wide selection of telephoto lenses is compatible with this camera.
  • 1080P or 4K video capture with a 32.5-megapixel sensor
  • Autofocus using dual pixel CMOS
  • 10fps burst rate Intuitive touchscreen
  • Image quality is excellent.
  • The battery has a 1300 shot capacity.

Cons:

  • Buffer capacity is limited.

6. Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless

Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera + RF24-105mm F4-7.1 is STM Lens Kit, Black (4082C022)

The Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame mirrorless camera is ideal for wildlife photography, especially catching fast action.

The EOS R6 Full-mind-blowing Frame’s Dual Pixel CMOS focusing makes it a great Canon digital camera for wildlife photography and outdoors. The 1053-point autofocus system is simply incredible. A dedicated animal autofocus option is also present in the camera. In general, autofocus monitors every object with excellent precision. With time, the deep learning autofocus improves as well.

Shooting fast-moving birds and animals is a breeze with continuous shooting speeds of 12fps and 20fps and an electronic shutter. The low-noise full-frame picture sensor also produces high-quality photographs.

Pros:

  • The Autofocus system is excellent.
  • Sophisticated image stabilization
  • Sensor with a better dynamic range
  • Outstanding low-light performance
  • With the electronic shutter, you can shoot at a rate of 20 frames per second.
  • 4k filming at 60fps in a weather-sealed and durable body

Cons:

  • The number of megapixels is relatively low.
  • Quite expensive

7. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame DSLR Camera is an option to consider if you want an affordable professional camera for wildlife photography. The product is excellent for professional photographers and can come with a variety of lenses.

If you prefer a full-frame camera with a better CMOS sensor, this is also the best Canon DSLR for wildlife photography. The camera has a 30.4MP sensor as well as a 1x optical zoom multiplier. It also can capture video in 4K UHD definition. 4K Motion JPEG video technology is present in the camera.

Wi-Fi technology is available in the camera. It facilitates wireless communication by allowing users to share photographs with other devices. A built-in LCD makes it easy to organize your photos.

Pros:

  • 30.4MP CMOS sensor on a full-frame camera
  • Expandable ISO range
  • Continuous shooting
  • 4K motion JPEG video
  • Dual Pixel CMOS

Cons:

  • Low-resolution video recording
  • Continuous shooting at a low frame rate

Related

How to Choose the Best Camera for Wildlife?

Wildlife photography is distinct from landscape and nature photography. What works for one sort of photography might not work at all for another. As a result, if you enjoy photographing wildlife, keep the following requirements in mind while choosing the best camera for wildlife.

Autofocus

When it comes to wildlife photography, autofocus wins every time. Stunning wildlife photography necessitates great autofocus and object tracking. Choose a camera with phase-detection autofocus and a high number of points. Ideally, you should purchase a camera with at least 50 autofocus points.

Sensor Size

Photographers prefer Full-frame cameras because of their superior low-light performance and image quality. APS-C and other tiny sensors, on the other hand, can produce stunning images. When photographing distant animals, the APS-C format is the superior choice.

Shooting Speed

Taking fantastic photographs necessitates a high shutter speed or frames per second. If you have an intuitively fast camera, you can capture wildlife’s actions and emotions. One should go for a frame rate of at least ten frames per second to record fast-moving animals.

Decent Buffer Depth

A decent buffer depth is necessary to capture wildlife. You can take more shots in a single burst with a larger buffer. However, other elements, such as the memory card’s writing speed, play a role.

Lens Range

The best nature photographs have subjects that fill the frame. A camera with a large zoom lens is required to generate this look. The majority of bridge cameras come with built-in zoom lenses.

ISO Equivalence

One needs higher ISOs for wildlife photography because you often have to shoot near dawn and dusk or low light conditions. As a result, cameras with a wide ISO range are better for wildlife photography by definition.

Final Thoughts

Wildlife photography is an art form that requires a high-quality camera to perfect. Our guide to the best Canon camera for wildlife photography will help you pick the correct camera and establish a reputation in this prestigious hobby or job.

FAQs

What is the best camera for wildlife photography?

The best camera for wildlife photography: considering the specifications, lens compatibility, and pricing, is the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.

How many megapixels are good for wildlife photography?

There is no minimum megapixel requirement for a wildlife camera. The finest cameras for wildlife photography have at least a 10MP sensor, but for larger prints, at least a 24MP camera is good.

Is a 200mm lens enough for wildlife?

When it comes to the best camera for animal photography, most experts think that a 200mm lens is sufficient for capturing wildlife at a great angle.

How do you photograph wildlife like a pro?

Start with the best camera for wildlife and environmental photography. Make sure you have a good lens with picture stabilization. The lens should also not produce noise when focusing.

What is the best camera for a wildlife photographer beginner?

The best camera for wildlife photography beginner classes and sessions is the Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera.

Is Canon EOS 90D great for wildlife photography?

The Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera is a good option if you are still a beginner and focus primarily on wildlife. Canon EOS 90D is also great for other types of photography sessions.

The Best Place to Rent Lenses – Our Photography Guide

Wondering where to rent camera lenses? You’re in the right place. This page is our guide to renting lenses online. The cost of camera equipment can be pretty crazy. You don’t have to buy much before you’re putting a serious dent in your bank account.

If you only need a certain lens once – or even just occasionally – renting can be a good option. The good (and potentially frustrating) news is that there’s a ton of choice out there when it comes to which rental site you go with.

While this is certainly a good thing, it can make pulling the trigger a little harder. How do you even know where to get started? What’s the best place to rent lenses anyway? Further down this page, we’ve rated some of our favorite options out there.

We also discuss some of the things to consider when renting to avoid disappointment.

Best Lens Rental – Things to Consider

We make some pretty good suggestions lower down. That said, it’s still worth knowing what you should keep in mind when shopping. The more prepared you are when renting, the easier it will be to avoid the sharks. Read on to learn more.

Check for Hidden Fees

Unfortunately, the hourly rate you’ll be paying isn’t the only cost you’ll have to consider. It’s worth checking what other hidden fees you might have to deal with. Checking which party covers insurance, for example, is a big one that some people overlook.

Most sites offer insurance as part of the experience, but it’s definitely worth double-checking this before pulling the trigger. Shipping and subscription costs are also part of the experience on some sites. A little due diligence can go a long way here.

Look at the Returns Policy

No one enters into a rental agreement expecting to be late when returning things, but sometimes life happens. Be sure to double-check the late fees that each seller or site uses when you’re browsing online.

It’s best to know how much you’d be burnt before actually having to deal with it in real life.

Daily Cost VS Memberships VS Subscriptions

Most people will go with a small daily or hourly payment when renting. This often works out as the best deal, but it can sometimes be more cost-effective to choose other means to pay.

For example, some sites offer membership schemes that significantly reduce the cost of renting over time. Other owners offer subscription models that unlock different perks and savings.

Shop around a little and see what works best for your circumstances.

Insurance Coverage

If you break or damage the equipment you’re renting, will you be personally liable? This is the first question you should ask yourself before renting. To be honest, the answer is usually no, but it’s definitely worth making sure.

Is insurance covered by the rental site, the lender, or by you? This is another big one. Most sites advertise their insurance coverage pretty clearly. Read it closely before pulling the trigger.

Know Exactly What You Need

The world of camera accessories is chock full of different brand names, lens mounts, and proprietary connection systems. Renting a lens that isn’t actually compatible with your gear can be very frustrating.

Some inexperienced lenders can even mistake which product they’re offering (check previous reviews to work against this problem). Your best bet is to know exactly which lens model you’re looking for to reduce confusion as much as possible.

Best Lens Rental Company – Our Top Picks

Right – let’s get into it. The list below contains some of the best camera lens rental sites available in 2021. We’ve considered availability, price, and convenience when curating the list below.

Read on to find the best option for you!

BorrowLenses.com

borrowlenses.com

BorrowLenses.come is probably the most popular option for renters in the USA. It offers a sizable collection, easy-to-understand renting options, and a level of availability that some other sites just can’t match.

If you’ve ever rented lenses online before, chances are you used this site.

Selection

In terms of brand coverage, BorrowLenses does a pretty great job here. Options are available from the following:

  • Canon
  • Sony
  • Nikon
  • DJI
  • Panasonic
  • Others

This coverage may vary from month to month, but it seems pretty decent. If you’re not near a local seller, there are shipping packages available. In fact, if your rental comes to more than $149, you’ll get free standard UPS shipping thrown in for good measure.

‘Risk-Free Rentals’

One thing we like about this option is their ‘risk-free’ rentals policy. It’s possible to cancel or completely change your order at any time as long as it hasn’t shipped yet. This kind of flexibility can add a great deal of peace of mind when renting.

Backed by Experts

The BorrowLenses team is a little different from some other rental sites out there. Their staff is intimately familiar with camera equipment and how to use it. They regularly make video and visual content themselves.

This means you’re renting from a company that actually values the products that you’re looking for. When renting from an independent lender, this can be tough to find.

Verdict

The selection, free shipping, and expert backing that come with BorrowLenses all seem great. If you’re going to cancel or change your order, just make sure you do it before it’s actually shipped.

Lensrentals

lensrentals

Next up is another fantastic site called Lensrentals. These guys feature an impressive selection of camera equipment that can all be rented for way less than you might expect. If you’re new to lens renting, they might just be worth checking out.

Selection

As with the other sites featured on this page, Lensrentals has a ton of choice when it comes to both camera lenses and existing brands. They offer products from the following:

  • Canon
  • Nikon
  • Sony
  • Fujifilm
  • Leica
  • Micro 4/3 lenses
  • Pentax
  • More

Remember that this collection is changing all the time and your mileage may vary slightly. Shipping with this site is reasonable, but a little more expensive than some other options. Prices start at $25 and increase in increments of $5 per extra item.

Smart Packages

One thing that stood out to us when reviewing Lensrentals is the site’s ‘packages’ feature. In short, this makes it possible to rent curated bundles of useful equipment. Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer who needs to rent all the necessary gear – there’s a package for that.

Doing an underwater shoot? There’s a package for that. You get the idea.

Buying Options

If you rent something through Lensrentals and decide you love it enough to buy, we’ve got some good news for you. Their sister site, Lensauthority.com, makes it super easy to make things official.

Verdict

These guys have been operating since 2006 and their experience really shows. The size of their catalogue and the breadth of their offerings make this site one of the best places to rent lenses in 2021.

ShareGrid

sharegrid

Now for something a little different. ShareGrid is community-driven. Lenders can create a profile on their site and offer their products to prospective renters. ShareGrid claims to be the “largest, most trusted camera sharing community” in the world.

While the selection here is sizable, your specific location may impact what’s available to you.

Selection

The strength of a community-driven service can also be its downfall. Your area and its local sellers will determine what you’re able to rent through this platform. Usually, it’s possible to find options from the following brands:

  • Canon
  • Sony
  • Fujifilm
  • Pentax
  • Leica
  • More

If you’re somewhere like New York, you’ll probably be fine. Living somewhere more rural? Don’t hold your breath.

Insurance Options

As you’ll be renting from individuals rather than a big company, the insurance options here are worth a little scrutiny. Luckily, ShareGrid provides access to a range of coverage options to suit a variety of different needs.

Be sure to check out this support page before renting if you’re unsure.

Used by Industry Titans

The ShareGrid service is trusted by some pretty huge names in the content creation industry. The likes of Disney, AmazonStudios, HBO, and Facebook have all used the site to source equipment or other services.

This kind of trust from big names usually indicates a consistent track record and at least a decent level of quality.

Verdict

It all comes down to your location with this one. Community-driven sites are often amazing, but they definitely work better if you’re in a big city. At any rate, it’s worth checking out what’s available no matter where you are – you may just strike gold.

Parachut

parachut

This is an excellent option for working professionals who need access to a constantly changing array of camera equipment. As a subscription-based service, things work a little differently here. It’s likely too expensive for more casual users, but might be just what the pros are looking for.

Subscription Tiers

Three subscription tiers are available at this rental site. Tier 1 costs around $250 a month and gives basic access to some equipment. If you’re just after lenses, this option might be ok.

The good news is that your gear can be kept without any return dates, just keep paying your subscription for as long as you need the gear. Tier 2 unlocks some more advanced gear and costs $399.

For around $500 a month, you’ll have access to the complete Parachut catalogue. If you need the latest and best equipment, this might be the only subscription level that makes sense.

Shipping Included

While the monthly cost associated with this option is certainly expensive, you won’t have to pay a penny more for shipping. If you plan on renting a ton of equipment every month, you can save a fair bit of money with a service like this.

Optional Insurance

Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t come as standard with Parachut. However, it can be purchased as an optional extra that starts at $50. We recommend at least considering this option as renting without coverage can be very risky.

Verdict

The monthly cost of this site will put a lot of more casual users off, and that’s ok. Parachut is designed for pros who need access to a huge catalogue of cutting-edge equipment. If this sounds like you, we recommend giving it a go.

FatLama (UK Customers)

 

Last, but certainly not least, is FatLama. If you’re based in the UK – especially in London – this will probably be the best site to check out when looking for camera lenses. This is another community-driven platform.

This means that the selection could be phenomenal, but it could also let you down. It all depends on where you live.

Selection

If you’re based in London, the selection on FatLama seems to be pretty great. Expect to find lenses from the following brands:

  • Canon
  • Sony
  • Leica
  • Red
  • Fujifilm
  • Much more

Just remember that if you’re in a smaller town or city, a community-driven page might not be what you’re looking for.

Lender Guarantee

In terms of insurance coverage, you shouldn’t have much to worry about here. The site’s ‘lender guarantee’ covers each individual rented item up to the value of £25,000. This means that in the unlikely event that you damage what you’ve rented, you won’t have to fork out hundreds in damages.

Best Camera Lens Rental Site – Our Verdict

We hope you found our tips and recommendations on this page useful. The best option for you is all going to come down to where you live. If you’re in a big city, a community-driven site can offer some pretty great deals.

Those in quieter areas will benefit from the free shipping options on sites like BorrowLenses.com. Pros who need access to a ton of equipment should definitely consider checking out Parachut.

Whichever site you choose, be sure to double-check things like hidden fees, insurance coverage, and returns policies. The more you know before pulling the trigger, the easier it will be to avoid disappointment.

Best Tripod for Overhead Shots and Food Photography – a Buyer’s Guide

Finding the right angle for your photoshoots can be difficult at the best of times. When it comes to product or food photography, the stakes get pushed up a notch. Taking photos for clients and your audience takes a huge amount of attention to detail. Finding the right tripod for product photography is an absolute must.

Fortunately, your options are far from limited; there’s a ton of choice out there with a broad spectrum of different brands to choose from. The trick is knowing what exactly you should look out for when shopping.

In 2021, the amount of choice can actually be fairly overwhelming. How are you supposed to know when a tripod is right for your setup? Different photographers have different goals and means when it comes to food/products shots. How do you even make sense of it all?

Don’t worry, help is at hand. This page is our guide to the world of overhead tripods and product photography accessories. We’ve trawled through Amazon listings, considering customer reviews, feature sets, and prices to find the best options available online.

Be sure to check out our tips for finding the right tripod too!

Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod ,Black

So Why Do You Need a Tripod?

If you’re wondering why you even need a tripod, this section is definitely for you. Many newcomers overlook the utility of a good overhead or standard tripod. In our opinion, they’re basically indispensable if you want to take your photography seriously.

We outline the main benefits to using a tripod below.

Guaranteed Stability

Taking photos handheld provides a degree of flexibility, but it means that camera shake and motion blur are inevitable. This can quickly undermine the quality of your food photography. A good tripod will guarantee you some stability when working.

Taking the time to find the right angle, set it with your tripod, and then getting to work can dramatically elevate the final results of your images. If you’ve never worked with an overhead tripod before, we strongly recommend giving it a go.

Consistent Results

One key to product photography is consistency. If you can’t guarantee that you’ll get similar quality results every time, you may struggle to keep or even find clients. The tripods that we recommend below are all designed to improve your chances of getting the results you need every time.

When it comes to shooting professionally, flexibility and consistency will be two of your most important assets. A tripod can help improve both!

They Provide the Vantage Point you Need

Getting killer food or product photos calls for more inventive vantage points than you may be used to. Overhead shots are very popular in these photography categories. This angle makes it easy to capture your chosen subject in all of its glory.

Without a decent overhead tripod, you’ll really struggle to take this kind of photo. You can of course ‘cheat’ by holding the camera yourself, but this will be very difficult to maintain without any camera shake getting in the way.

They Boost the Rest of Your Skills

Working with a high-quality tripod means you have one less thing to worry about when shooting. Once you’re familiar with your equipment, the stability of your setup will require far less attention than before.

This frees up valuable energy that you can focus on the more important aspects of your shoot. The increased degree of control you’ll have at your disposal will also make it much easier to fine-tune the composition of your food photography.

Sharper Focus

As mentioned earlier, camera shake can quickly impact the quality of your product photos. When taking photos professionally, it’s important to make sure that your subject really ‘pops’ in your images.

Editing software can certainly help with this, but the best approach is to make sure every aspect of your shooting environment is well optimized for success. This includes maintaining a sharp focus for your shots.

A tripod is the best way to do this in our opinion.

How to Find the Best Tripod for Overhead Shots and Food Photography

We’ve found some excellent recommendations for the best overhead tripods. They’re featured a little further down this page. Before we jump into our suggestions, however, it’s worth exploring how to find a high-quality product on your own.

The more you understand about this kind of tripod, the easier it will be to find an option that works for you. Check out our tips below to become a savvy shopper!

Price

How much did you spend on your camera and lenses? Are the tripods you’re considering priced proportionately? There’s no point going over budget on a tripod until you have a very good reason to buy a specific model. There are plenty of excellent options out there that won’t break the bank any time soon.

Take some time to consider your own circumstances. How much are you willing to spend on a new accessory? Set a max limit for yourself before shopping to keep costs down. Your specific requirements will also influence this decision.

A professional working with clients will need a more expensive tripod than a beginner, for example.

Weight Capacity

This is an important one that many newbies overlook. The max weight capacity of a tripod tells you how much weight it’s able to hold before it starts to topple over. Consider the weight of your camera body and the lenses that you use for your food photography.

Make sure that any overhead tripod you consider can handle the weight of your existing gear. The last thing you want is to damage your expensive equipment – trust us!

Other Accessories – Tripod for Shooting Straight Down

For product photography and food photos, there are a few extra accessories that can come in handy when working with your tripod. For overhead shots in particular, you may need some of the extras listed below.

Extending Arms

An extending arm is usually designed to fit universally with most pro-grade tripods. They make it much easier to achieve the overhead vantage point you may be looking for. Good models are easy to adjust and fit securely in place once you’ve found the angle you need.

Weighting Equipment

Things like sandbags and weighted bags can be critical in professional shoots. They can either be hooked onto some tripods or placed around the feet of your accessory. This makes it possible to add even more weight to your setup.

If you want to take photos with a particularly heavy lens, for example, you’ll need an accessory like this.

L Brackets

L brackets, as you may have guessed, are L-shaped plates that fit onto an existing tripod. They make it much easier for users to shoot in both vertical and horizontal orientations with ease.

More importantly, they make it much simpler to switch between both orientations. For tweaking your setup effortlessly on the fly, an L-bracket might just be the answer. They can be super helpful.

Adjustability

When taking photos of food or other products, you’ll likely be making tweaks constantly as you work. For this reason, any tripod you consider should be as easy as possible to adjust. Our recommendations below are all effortless to tweak to your heart’s content.

Durability

There’s no point picking up a new accessory if it’s just going to break down on you a couple of months down the line. While most tripods out there are at least reasonably durable, there are definitely options out there that will disappoint quickly.

Look for high-quality materials and build qualities that are made to last.

Max and Min Height

Much like weight capacity, this is one factor that some new photographers fail to consider. The maximum and minimum height of your tripod will determine the kind of work you’re able to do with it. What are you looking for with your overhead shoots?

Choose a tripod with the heights that fit your requirements.

Stability

Rubber feet are a must with most tripods in our opinion. The whole point of buying this kind of camera accessory is to improve the stability of your shoot. This put stable, ‘unshakeable’ tripods at the top of our list.

Compatibility

When buying a new tripod arm for overhead shots, it’s important to make sure that it’s actually going to work with your existing gear. Most camera accessories are fairly universal, but manufacturers like Sony and Canon sometimes use proprietary systems for their hot switching plates.

Double-check the compatibility of any model you consider.

Quick Food Photography Tips

When taking photos of food, there are a few basic principles to keep in mind. Check out our tips in this section to keep your photos looking awesome.

Lighting

Lighting is the most important aspect of practically all photography. If you can nail your lighting environment, you’re much more likely to nail your final scene. Experiment with how you light your food, use as much soft diffused light as you possibly can.

Spot lighting and reflectors can also help to boost your available light when shooting.

Use the Right Gear

Do you want to use a macro lens for super close-up shots? Maybe a versatile 50mm lens instead? It all comes down to the specific results you’re looking for. Whatever your goals, make sure you’re using the right gear for the job.

For overhead shots, you’ll want a sturdy tripod with a high weight capacity and compatibility with extendable arms/ L brackets.

Think Twice About Flash

For food photos, flash shouldn’t ever be necessary. It can make meals look quite ‘washed out’ and unappetizing. Whenever possible, try to ensure that your shooting environment is bright enough that you don’t need to rely on flash.

Take Advantage of Food Hacks

Remember that the food you see in most commercials and posters isn’t as real as it seems. If you want to keep your subject ‘photo ready’ for longer, you’ll have to take advantage of some common hacks.

Practice Your Composition

Composition is everything when it comes to taking a great photo. Remember the rule of thirds when working and frame your food to make it look as delicious as possible. How can you draw attention to the meal you’re shooting?

What’s the best way to make the food really shine? If you want more in-depth composition tips, check out our guide here.

The Best Tripod for Food Photography and Overhead Shooting

Let’s get into it! We’ve curated a list of seven awesome tripods that we think would be amazing for both food and product photography. They would also come in useful for any kind of overhead shoot you might be involved with.

We’ve picked options from a range of brands and price points, so there should be something for almost everyone here! Read on to find your new shooting companion.

How We’ve Found These Recommendations

At Photography Focus, we’re dedicated to writing reviews with genuinely useful recommendations. The products featured on this page were found by comparing online reviews, comparisons and customer feedback.

Each listing is very highly reviewed on Amazon and offers a tripod that’s excellent for overhead shooting.

Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod

Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod ,Black

First up is this fantastic option from Manfrotto. If you haven’t encountered the Manfrotto name before, you’re in for a treat here. The brand has an excellent track record for producing some of the best camera tripods the industry has to offer.

They’re not the cheapest options out there, but they are some of the best. This model is compatible with a ton of L brackets and extending arms so you can shoot your overhead food shots to your heart’s content.

One thing we love about this calibre of tripod is how sturdy and stable it feels. Even a clumsy photographer should have little to worry about here. It’s also remarkably simple to adjust your setup with this tripod. You’ll be able to tweak your equipment with ease.

Why We Love it:

  • Easy to adjust
  • Compatible with overhead accessories
  • Sturdy design
  • Reliable Manfrotto brand

Some Drawbacks:

  • Quite expensive

Overhead Tripod for DSLR Cameras

Overhead Tripod for DSLR Cameras, Heavy Duty Camera Desk Mount Stand with Flexible Articulating Boom Arm, Camera Holder Table Clamp for Canon Nikon Sony Fuji SLR Mirrorless Cam Video Photography

This cheap and cheerful option won’t be perfect for everyone. For those on a budget, though, it could prove indispensable. It’s designed to clip onto most desks and gives your DSLR camera the overhead vantage point you’re looking for.

The adjustable crane arm doesn’t have quite the versatility that some pros will need, but it should be more than enough for most overhead food shots. With a max load of 5lbs, most mid to small camera setups should be just fine.

If you make content for TikTok or produce cooking content for YouTube, this kind of mount can be super useful. Throw in the fact that it costs comfortably less than $40 and you’re looking at an absolute steal in our opinion.

Why We Love it:

  • A great budget option
  • A simple way to get an overhead shot
  • Clips onto basically any desk

Some Drawbacks:

  • Not quite as versatile as a pro-grade tripod
  • The max load could be a bit higher

Geekoto Tripod for Food Photography

GEEKOTO Tripod, Camera Tripod for DSLR, Aluminum Tripod with 360-Degree Ball Head and Rotatable Center Column, 75-Inch Professional Tripod for Travel and Work

We’re huge fans of this premium tripod from Geekoto. It’s versatile, easy to adjust, and very sturdy when working. For overhead product photography, there’s a ton of compatibility with L brackets and extending arms. The 360° swivel base will also come in handy here.

Photographers who need a tripod that can handle anything will love what this tripod has to offer. It comes with a huge height range of 19-79 inches and can function as both a tripod and detachable monopod mount.

If you work in a studio that’s constantly changing its approach, you may want to consider this option closely. With a weight limit of 26.9lbs, this thing can handle practically anything you throw at it. It gets a huge thumbs up from us.

Why We Love it:

  • Very versatile and adjustable
  • Sturdy when working
  • 360° swivel head
  • Great for overhead accessories

Some Drawbacks:

  • Not the cheapest option out there

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP Aluminium Tripod with Multi-Angle Column and PH-32 Pan Head

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP Aluminium Tripod with Multi-Angle Column and PH-32 Pan Head

Vanguard is one of those names that just keeps delivering results time after time. The brand’s line of camera accessories has reached legendary status with photographers around the world. This multi-angle option certainly lives up to the hype.

The central column of this tripod is what makes it so special. It can be adjusted through a huge spectrum of different angles. In simple terms, this makes it possible to achieve vantage points with your camera that other tripods just can’t match.

For overhead food shots or experimental photographs, this one is a no-brainer in our opinion. The height range, max load, and durability here also all seem excellent. We strongly recommend checking this one out if you’re a professional or enthusiast.

Why We Love it:

  • Super versatile central column
  • Very durable and stable
  • Legendary Vanguard quality

Some Drawbacks:

  • It’s pretty expensive

Peak Design Travel Tripod

Peak Design Travel Tripod (5 Section Aluminum Camera Tripod)

This is our suggestion for those who prioritize portability when working. This tripod offers pro-grade performance while maintaining the ability to fold away to practically nothing. If your equipment bag is already packed full, you won’t think twice about adding this accessory.

If you’re hoping to add an adjustable arm for overhead shots, you’re in luck. The built-in weighting hooks with this model make it trivial to stabilize your setup for more experimental shots. Your product photography is about to get a welcome boost!

With a max load capacity of about 20lbs, this thing can handle most shooting equipment with ease. For portable, versatile shooting on the go, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. It gets a big endorsement from us.

K&F Concept TM2515T Professional 67 inch Camera Tripod

K&F Concept TM2515T1 Professional 67 inch Camera Tripod Horizontal Aluminum Tripods Portable Monopod with 360 Degree Ball Head Quick Release Plate for DSLR Cameras

This is another fantastic option that features a 360° swivel base. If you’ve never worked with this range of movement before, it can really elevate your work in certain circumstances. The ability to effortlessly adjust your gear to any angle can be a real Godsend.

K&F makes tripods that are tough and sturdy – it’s as simple as that. Even if you’re lugging this thing around from set to set, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. The quick-release hot switch works well with most common DSLR brands and makes adjusting things much simpler.

At around $125, this isn’t the cheapest option on the list. In our opinion, though, it’s well worth the investment. If you’re looking for something that can take your food photography to the next level, we think this option is worth considering.

ChromLives Overhead Video Stand Phone Holder Articulating Arm Phone Mount

Overhead Video Stand Phone Holder Articulating Arm Phone Mount Table Top ChromLives Scissor Boom Arm Articulating Phone Stand Tablet Phone Holder for Streaming Phone Baking Crafting

Last, but certainly not least, is this overhead phone stand from ChromLives. Listen, this thing isn’t going to fare very well with most bulky DSLRs. The thing is, a huge amount of contemporary video content is filmed with smartphones at home.

Plenty of professional studios making web content make use of high-end smartphones rather than more traditional cameras. If this sounds like you, we think this tripod clamp is worth a look.

It’s designed to fit seamlessly onto most tables and provides an adjustable overhead vantage point for your food or product photography. The anti-slip rubber pads seem to grip very well and the construction seems reasonably well made.

At comfortably less than $30, we think this one’s a steal.

Best Tripod for Overhead Shots

We hope you’ve found our tips and recommendations on this page helpful. Remember that everyone’s needs are different. The goals you have as a photographer will determine the tripod that works best for you.

Consider your requirements, budget, and shooting environment closely when shopping. Whichever option you choose, we hope it serves you well for many years to come! Happy clicking.

How to Use a 50mm Lens for Portraits – Make the Most of Your Existing Gear

Wondering how to use a 50mm Lens for portraits? You’re not alone. This is one of the most common queries we encounter online when it comes to this type of lens. The ‘nifty fifty’ format is immensely popular for a broad spectrum of shooting environments, including portraiture.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of portrait photography and offer some tips for how to make the most of your existing gear. Even the most ‘budget-friendly’ setup can cost hundreds of dollars. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you’re squeezing every last bit of usefulness from your equipment.

Read on to elevate your portraits and start taking photos with impact.

portrait photo

Why People Use 50mm Lenses

If you’re brand new to the world of photography, it’s worth exploring exactly what makes 50mm lenses so popular. If you’re looking for a format that will keep delivering the results you need, this format is usually an excellent choice.

It’s a firm favorite of photographers everywhere, and for good reason. Read on to learn some of the reasons why.

They’re Versatile

The FOV and light sensitivity of most 50mm lenses makes them remarkably versatile. For those who need a lens that can tackle practically anything you throw at it, this is a great format to go for.

In more specific circumstances, there are of course lenses that will do a better job. If you need a good ‘Jack of all trades,’ though, it’s hard to go wrong with a good 50mm. In fact, these lenses have grown such a strong reputation that they’re often referred to as ‘nifty fifties’ by photographers around the world!

They’re Ubiquitous

Versatile lenses are usually very popular. This is certainly the case with 50mm products. For this reason, they’re very easy to find no matter where you are. For a lens that’s easy to maintain, affordable, and compatible with your existing gear, this might just be the best format around.

They Take Great Portraits

It’s worth mentioning that this one is at least a little bit subjective. That said, 50mm lenses can take absolutely incredible portraits. Their focal length and ability to take in lots of light make them excellent accessories for portrait photographers.

The main thing is to make sure that you’re using the equipment properly. We’ll get into this a little further down the page.

They’re More ‘Human’

Many people talk about 50mm lenses as having “the same effective focal length as the human eye.” It’s important to note here that people say the same thing about 35mm lenses too.

Either way, many people prefer ‘nifty fifties’ for their natural, ‘human’ viewing angles which can make for some absolutely gorgeous shots. To get the results you need, however, you’ll have to make sure you know a thing or two about taking portrait photos.

Read on to learn more.

How to Make the Most of a 50mm Lens – Things to Consider

So, you’ve bought yourself a shiny new 50mm lens and are wondering how on earth to take decent portraits with it. Don’t worry – help is at hand. The tips below are designed to help you make the most of the gear you have available.

Keep in mind that much of this guidance will be useful no matter what kind of lens you’re using. We’ll also give specific 50mm advice throughout.

Lighting

If you take one thing away from this article, it should be that your lighting environment is the most important aspect of taking a good photo. This is true of portrait photography, but it’s universally important no matter what kind of photo you’re trying to take.

When it comes to taking portraits, the specific lighting setup you use will depend on your intended result. Generally speaking, you’ll want to be using plenty of soft diffused light that’s angled to flatter the face of your model.

50mm lenses usually come with great ISO ranges and can let a ton of light into your camera. You shouldn’t usually have to compensate much in terms of shutter speed or aperture setting.

If you nail your lighting, you’re much more likely to nail your photo. Looking for more lighting guidance? Check out our in-depth guide here.

Composition

Many newcomers to photography overlook composition when it comes to portrait photos. The reality is that composing your scene correctly is just as important with portraiture. As mentioned earlier, 50mm lenses have a very ‘human’ FOV.

It’s worth keeping this in mind when composing your shot. The scene around your model should be designed to draw attention to them. How can you position your camera and scene to best capture the person you’re working with?

Consider color, shape, framing, and your background for best results. Want to take your composition skills to the next level? We have a free guide on the subject here.

Distance

So how close should you stand to your subject when taking portraits with a 50mm lens? The good news is that the 50mm format is pretty resistant to both distortion and blur. This means that the best approach to determining the right distance is to experiment!

It’s a good idea to start about 1.5-2 metres away from your model and then adjust your distance accordingly. Do you want the background to be blurred out? How much of your model’s face do you want in your frame? Are you going for a close-up shot or a half-length photo?

Asking yourself these kinds of questions will make it much easier to find an appropriate distance when shooting.

Your Model

The model you’re working with should be one of the first things you consider when setting up for your shoot. The human face is an astonishingly varied subject so each person will take a different approach to shoot correctly.

Different faces will look better with different lighting setups. Experiment and tweak your setup appropriately for each new person you’re shooting with. Take advantage of your 50mm lens’ versatility; change your settings to adapt to each new model you encounter.

Eye and Face Detection

It should come as no surprise that the eyes and face are two of the most important visual elements of portrait photography. Most good 50mm lenses come with built-in eye and face detection these days.

If you’re looking for a specific brand recommendation, Sony tends to perform very well in this department (be sure to shop around though!). Eye and face detection works by adjusting your camera’s focus to better capture the face of your model.

If you’ve never used it before, it’s worth experimenting with it a few times to get to grips with how aggressive your specific lens can be. Remember that sometimes it’s best to stick with manual settings.

It will all come down to your specific lighting environment and model.

Focus

The focus results you’re aiming for with your portraits will likely change from scene to scene and model to model. As a general rule, however, you’ll want your subject’s face to ‘pop’ and appear sharply in focus in front of a soft background behind them.

An f-stop of f/1.8 usually works quite well for this when shooting with most 50mm lenses. Remember that your specific model will determine the settings that work best for you so you’ll almost definitely have to tweak this slightly.

Most 50mm lenses worth their salt come with at least half-decent autofocus modes. Depending on your scene, it can be very beneficial to experiment with manual settings to push things up a notch.

Consider a Tripod

We’ve already mentioned that 50mm lenses are usually pretty tolerant of things like distortion, camera shake, and image blur. That said, even the steadiest of hands could benefit from a decent tripod.

It’s just one less thing to worry about when it comes to shooting. If you can guarantee that your equipment will stay steady, you can focus your efforts on more important things like lighting and composition.

Some photographers prefer to shoot handheld and that’s fine. If you’ve never tried portraits with a tripod, though, we think it’s worth the extra setup time. Wondering which tripod to use? We have a handy guide on the subject here.

How to Make the Most of a 50mm Portrait Lens – Our Verdict

Making the most of a specific lens takes a little bit of know-how to get right. If you leave this article remembering just one thing, we think it should be that lighting is everything when it comes to taking a great photograph.

50mm lenses are typically very versatile and can handle a broad variety of different lighting conditions. With this in mind, the environment you shoot in should be considered as just as important as the equipment you’re shooting with.

If you can nail down your lighting, composition, and overall framing, a huge amount of the ‘heavy lifting’ has already been done for you. Remember to take advantage of your lens’ ‘human’ FOV and start taking photos that make a lasting impression.

Happy clicking!

How to Store Camera Lenses – Keep Your Equipment Safe

Knowing how to store camera lenses is one of the most important bits of knowledge for a new photographer to get to grips with. Even the more budget-friendly camera accessories cost hundreds of dollars. Damaging your equipment isn’t exactly kind to your wallet.

As with most unwanted things in life, prevention is miles better than fixing things after the fact. Dealing with things like water damage and dust breaches is no fun – trust us. On this page, we’ll explore lens storage tips to help you keep your equipment in tip top condition.

After all, the better condition your lens is in, the more value it will retain over time!

Are things too late for your lenses? Wondering how to fix things like water and fungus damage? Check out our guide here.

camera lenses

Our Camera Lens Storing Guide

Before we dive into the details, we wanted to make a video recommendation. This overview from Chris Winter on YouTube is fantastic in our opinion. Check it out:

In this section, we’ll explore the main things that can damage lenses and how to avoid them when storing your gear.

The Main ‘Lens Enemies’

In order to store your lenses properly, it’s worth understanding the main things that can cause lens damage and impact your kit’s performance. Check out our overview below.

Moisture

Moisture is probably the number one cause of lens damage for most people. This can come from rain when shooting outdoors, but it can also come from humidity in the air. Condensation from quickly changing ambient temperatures is another common culprit.

Once water has entered your lens, you’re looking at a big headache in terms of repairs and replacements. This means that any storage method you use should prioritize keeping things nice and dry.

Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures and sudden temperature changes are not great for the overall health of your lenses. Movements between hot and cold temperatures can cause unwanted condensation.

What’s more, electronic circuits can short when placed in extreme conditions. Camera sensors in particular are very sensitive parts of your gear. Your storage environment should maintain a comfortable, consistent temperature.

Dust

Dust is another big thorn in the photographer’s side. Tiny particulates can easily make their way into the body of your lenses. Once this happens, the optical performance of your equipment can quickly deteriorate.

Once you throw moisture into this mix, things only get worse. Fungus spores are fairly common in some household dust. They remain dormant until they make contact with water, at which point they begin to spread.

When storing your lenses, dust should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Tension and Pressure

Tension and pressure both from inside and outside your lenses can cause inconvenient damages if you’re not careful. Springs and similar mechanisms within your gear can put undue pressure on the unit.

Storing your lenses underneath heavy objects is also a bad idea. The pressure and potential for collisions here are far from ideal. The glass in most lenses is reasonably hard-wearing, but it’s best not to test its strength if you can avoid it.

Tension and pressure should be reduced wherever possible.

The Pro-Grade Approach

We’ll jump into some more general tips a bit further down the page. For most people, these should be more than enough. If you’re a professional or enthusiast, however, you’ve likely already invested thousands of dollars into your equipment.

If this sounds like you, it’s worth considering something called a dry cabinet. These are essentially dehumidifying storage units that are designed to keep electrical equipment safe for extended periods of time.

They’re not super cheap, but they can save you hundreds in the long run and offer a substantial amount of peace of mind. Check out our recommendations below.

Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinet (80L)

This option from Ruggard is a great example of what we’re talking about here. This dry cabinet comes with a roomy 80L capacity which should be more than enough for most people. You’ll be able to fit in a couple of cameras and accompanying lenses with ease.

Your gear will be kept nice and dry thanks to this unit’s dehumidifying design. Dust and similar debris will also be kept at bay by this cabinet’s airtight construction.

At less than $300, this might be a compelling option for some professionals out there.

Why We Love it:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Anti-moisture design
  • 80L capacity

Forspark Camera Dehumidifying Dry Cabinet 125L

If you’re someone with a ton of camera equipment, the listing above probably isn’t going to cut it. For more sizable collections, you’ll want something like this 125L cabinet from Forspark.

This thing has a ton of room for even the largest camera collections. As with the cabinet described above, everything will be kept nice and dry and dust and other contaminants kept safely away from your gear.

It’s not the cheapest product in the world, but for professional photographers, it might just be worth it.

Why We Love it:

  • Excellent dehumidifying features
  • Massive 125L capacity
  • Works quickly and efficiency

General Lens Storage Tips

But what if you’re just a hobbyist wondering how to store camera lenses? If this sounds like you, a dry cabinet will probably be overkill. The tips below are designed to help you maintain the value of your gear for many years to come. Read on to learn more.

Close to the Smallest F-Stop Possible

The springs and small mechanical elements of your lenses can place your gear under a lot of tension. When you’re not using your camera, this tension is useless and can even cause long-term damage.

When storing your lenses, close your aperture ring down to its smallest setting possible. This will help to reduce the amount of pressure placed on your lens when not in use.

Pelican Cases

Pelican cases are a slightly more affordable and portable version of a dry cabinet. They can’t actively reduce humidity, but they can certainly reduce the amount of moisture and dust that make their way onto your gear.

Cases like this one do a fantastic job and are relatively easy to pick up online.

Silica Gel/ Desiccants

You know those little ‘do not eat’ sachets that come with a lot of electronic products? These silica gel sachets offer a budget-friendly way to reduce the humidity of your storage environment.

Remember that while this kind of solution will reduce humidity to a degree, it’s far from the best option out there.

Store Lenses With the Front Element Down

As long as your storage surface is level (and ideally, padded), it’s a good idea to store your lenses with the front elements facing down. This prevents the oils on your aperture blades from slipping to where they’re not supposed to be.

Consider Your Environment

The location you choose to store your lenses is critical. Ideally, any area you choose should have all of the following:

  • Low humidity
  • Very little dust
  • Padded and level surfaces
  • A consistent, non-extreme temperature

It’s a good idea to vacuum and dust your storage area regularly. Take great care that this doesn’t displace dust onto your gear.

Lens Storage – Our Verdict

We hope you’ve found our tips on this page helpful. For most people, a budget-friendly pelican case is more than enough to get the job done. If you shoot professionally, it’s definitely worth considering a decent dry cabinet for your home.

Whichever method you choose, we hope your lenses stay perfect for years to come!

What is a Fisheye lens? A Photography Nerd’s Guide

We think photography is one of the best pastimes there is. It’s why we continue to write about the subject; we want as many people as possible to feel comfortable getting started. One thing that can be overwhelming about the hobby is all the equipment. For example, what is a fisheye lens?

When would you even use one VS the other lens options out there? On this page, we’ll explore the world of fisheye lenses. We’ll discuss what they’re for, when they’re useful, and how to get great results with them.

Read on to up your photography game.

What Does a Fisheye Lens do?

When you want to fit more of your subject or scenery into your final image, you need a lens with a wide angle or FOV. Fisheye lenses take this notion to the extreme and offer 180 degrees of viewing space.

The American inventor Robert W. Wood first used the term in the early 20th century when he compared the accessories to the view that most fish see underwater. This super-wide viewing angle is achieved by a whole bunch of clever optical engineering.

The focal length, glass elements, and several other components all work in tandem to produce some truly stunning images. Not everyone uses a fisheye as their go-to lens, but in the right pair of hands, they can produce some pretty impressive photos.

Why Use a Fisheye Lens?

Even once you know what a fisheye lens does, it can be tricky to find the perfect situation to use one. In certain contexts, these lenses can achieve truly breathtaking results so it’s worth understanding when they can be useful.

In this section, we’ll run through some of the most common reasons that people choose fisheye lenses every day. Read on to learn more.

You Want to Get Creative

The distorted frame edges and exaggerated curves that come with fisheye photography can put some users off. For some, however, this is exactly what they’re looking for. Photographers who are looking to get creative with their work can really benefit from the right fisheye lens.

If your subject is already fairly outlandish or ‘edgy,’ using this type of lens can really boost your results. Why not give it a try next time you’re shooting?

You Need a Ton of Space

City skylines or architecture shots are great examples of this. Some subjects simply need a ton of room. A good fisheye setup gives some photographers the frame real estate they’re looking for.

An added bonus here is that the distortion and curvature that comes from this kind of photography can really elevate the final result. It takes a little skill to get right, but it’s worth it in our opinion.

Your Genre is ‘Used to’ Fisheye Results

There are a few photography genres that have become closely intertwined with fisheye lenses. Skating imagery is one great example of this. It’s hard to imagine a skatepark shoot that doesn’t use a fisheye setup for at least a few photos.

If you’re working with a medium or in a field where fisheye lenses are expected, then feel free to let loose and get experimenting!

You’re Shooting Underwater

Following on from the discussion immediately above, underwater photography often makes use of fisheye equipment. One thing that can betray a fisheye setup is harsh or clearly defined lines in the scene.

Underwater subjects are far less likely to feature the straight lines seen in buildings or city scenes. Hence, they’re a fisheye photographer’s dream!

When You Want to Highlight the Scale of a Scene

The way fisheye lenses work means that objects closer to the lens appear much larger than they do in real life. This makes these accessories an excellent choice if you want to emphasize the scale of your scene.

Sprawling vistas, far-off mountains, and huge nature scenes can all benefit hugely from a fisheye setup. It just takes a little skill to get things right.

If You’re an Astrophotographer

There’s a reason that some people call fisheye lenses ‘full-sky’ or ‘whole-sky’ lenses; they’re a great fit for most astrophotography. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, they offer a huge viewing angle to fit more of the night sky into frame.

Secondly, they let in more light than a standard wide-angle lens. This allows the user to shoot much more quickly and avoid unwanted star trails and the like.

They Let You Get Up Close and Personal

The focal lengths that come with most fisheye accessories make it possible to get much closer to your subject than you might be used to. In the right environment, this can prove extremely useful.

Cramped interior shots, for example, can be made to appear far more spacious than they do in real life. Whenever you see a spacious-looking, landscape shot of an underground subway station, chances are the photographer was using their fisheye.

They’re Great for Portability

As a general rule, fisheye lenses are both lightweight and compact. You probably won’t think twice about adding one to your existing kit bag. For professional photographers who are already lugging around a ton of equipment, this can be a pretty big deal.

If it boils down to a choice between two particular lenses that could do the job well, many photographers will choose the option that’s less hassle to bring with them.

They’re Kind to Your Wallet

This one of course depends on the specific brand and model you’re working with. That said, there are plenty of options out there that are comparatively inexpensive. You can pick up a good quality fisheye lens for much less than you may be expecting.

If you’re looking for an experimental/ ‘just for fun’ lens, a fisheye can be a great option. Canon and Tokina are two names that make some pretty great options that are unlikely to break the bank any time soon.

Source

How to Use a Fisheye Lens

So now that we’ve covered the basics of fisheye equipment, let’s discuss how to actually shoot with the things. Check out our tips below and you’ll be more confident in no time. Remember that the best way to improve as a photographer is to practice.

The more often you get out there and actually use your gear, the faster you’ll improve.

Pay Attention to Hard Lines

We’ve already touched on how distortion and curved edges are two things that can impact the final result of a fisheye shoot. The main thing that will make this issue worse is the hard lines you find in subjects like buildings, streets, and similar scenes.

If you want to avoid obvious distortion, it’s best to choose a scene that doesn’t feature lines so prominently. Underwater photography is a great example of this; you’ll be hard-pressed to find many straight lines in the ocean!

Sometimes it’s just about reframing your scene to keep lines out of your frame edges. Try experimenting and see what works best for you.

Lean on Good Software When You Need to

You’d be amazed how much can be achieved with good editing software. While the best way to get the right photo is to make your shooting environment as optimized as possible, decent editing software can go a long way in improving your fisheye photos.

Adobe Lightroom has a handy panel called ‘Lens Corrections.’ This gives users the power to tweak and fix elements of their images that were caused by certain lens types, including fisheye. Try this feature out next time you’re editing your fisheye photos.

Consider Your Scene Closely

It’s always important to take stock of your chosen subject(s) in photography, but it’s especially worthwhile when using fisheye equipment. The distortion and curves that come with the genre take a little extra attention.

Take a look at your chosen scene. Are there any hard lines that will distort in your image? If so, are you able to frame in closer to avoid these elements? Wherever possible, try to find ways to avoid straight lines altogether.

That is, unless you’re going for the classic ‘fisheye look’ with your shots. Remember that these lenses are great at emphasizing scale. Big landscape scenes can come out great with a fisheye.

Ace Your Lighting

We reiterate this point on practically every photography article we write, and for good reason. Your lighting environment is perhaps the most important aspect of getting the high-quality results you’re looking for.

In most cases, you’ll want plenty of soft, diffused light to really make your subject shine. Natural, diffused sunlight is one of the best sources of this kind of light if you can find it. Remember that fisheye lenses let in more light than you may be used to.

Adjust your shutter speed and aperture accordingly.

When to Use a Fisheye Lens – Our Verdict

The main thing to consider when using this kind of lens is your scene. Take the time necessary to take stock of your shooting environment. If you think a fisheye might help, then go for it!

Use the tips outlined on this page to start taking photos that make a lasting impression. Happy clicking!