Equipment Used in Photography
- Camera lenses come in four basic varieties: standard, wide-angle, telephoto and prime. A standard lens comes with most cameras and can be used to zoom in slightly on a subject. Wide-angle lenses are often employed by landscape photographers, as they allow for a wider angle of view. Telephoto lenses are used to zoom in tightly on subjects at a distance, leaving the background blurry. Telephoto lenses are popularly used when capturing images of sporting events, animals in the wild, flowers and outdoor portraits. A prime lens is a fixed focal-length lens that generally delivers a sharper image than the other types of lenses, but has no ability to zoom; to change the composition of your photos you must physically move the camera.
- Photographic filters are small discs of glass that are threaded on both sides and screw onto the end of a camera lens. They come in many varieties, and have a multitude of uses. Several filters can be attached to a lens at once and used simultaneously. Two of the most popular types of photographic filters are UV filters and polarizing filters. UV filters lower the number of UV rays that enter the camera, which lessens the bluish cast of outdoor photography and cuts down on ambient haze. UV filters are relatively inexpensive (less than $20) and many photographers keep them permanently attached to their camera lens as protection from scratches or damage. Polarizing filters increase color saturation, sharpen contrast, remove reflections and deepen the color of the sky in outdoor photography.
- Tripods are essential for photographers documenting animals or sporting events; the ability to cleanly swivel the camera is a requirement when following fast-moving subjects. If you take pictures using a slow shutter speed, a tripod is necessary; any small movement of the camera during exposure will result in a blurry image. Tripods come in a number of shapes and sizes, but the most important features to consider are: the smoothness of the movement of the head, the height of the tripod and its stability.
- If you need lighting for your photography, there are a variety of light kits available. Full studio light kits include three lights and umbrellas to soften and reflect the light. Bounce boards may be used to throw light back onto very specific areas of a subject. For product lighting, tabletop light kits are ideal. When shooting outdoors, flash components can be purchased that attach to the camera itself.