Mark My Shots – Photoblog of the Week

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This week’s photoblogger of the week is Mark Lewin from Mark My Shots. One of reasons I’ve become a subscriber to Mark’s blog this past month is that he covers such a wide array of subjects – you never quite know what you’ll get and the quality of what you do is great.

In addition to this shot from Mark he’s also given us a rundown of his photography gear as well as some tips below.

Financial Fisheye-1

Mark’s Photography Tip

Well, I’ve thought about this question for a few days, and the only really great tip i can offer is this:

Go out, don’t worry about what you know and what you don’t know…. take a bunch of photos and have fun.

Take pictures not of what you think everyone will like, but what you LOVE. If you see something that really looks cool to you, take some photos of it… not one, not two, but ALOT.

Take them from different angles, different shutter speeds, different everything. When you open them up on your computer, see what worked, see what didn’t. See what aperture did what and what ISO speed didn’t. It’s how i learned what “my camera” could and couldn’t do well…Plus, it helped me zero in on what i loved. Don’t get discouraged if you take a hundred photos and only 5 or 10 turn out…. thats totally normal. Its a lot better then taking 10 photos that didn’t. I find that since digital photos don’t cost me money, why not take a bunch! *smile*.

Soon, you’ll find the photos that make you happy. I have a couple friends i shoot with, and one loves zooming in and getting pictures of birds and animals. I have another that loves buildings and rundown structures, and another that just LOVES high speed photography like sports and such….. I for one don’t own a zoom lens because i’ve found that i just don’t “get it” and don’t see an image that way. I like to get wide or really close (macro).

The key is to travel everywhere with your camera and just take pictures…. you’ll be surprised what you find.

Mark’s Gear:

When i started messing around with photography about 3 years ago, I bought a Nikon D70S with 18-70mm. After that I was obsessed with finding lenses for it. I ended up with the Nikon D70 and the 18-70 kit lens. Later it was the Sigma 105/2.8 EX Macro, Nikon 50mm f/1.4, NIKON 28-200mm, Peleng 8mm Fisheye, and the Nikon SB-800 AF Speedlight.

After about 2 years, i got obsessed with the Canon line. I would spend hours researching and looking at pictures. I convinced myself that Canon was the better way to go, so took the plunge and bought a Canon 5D with one lens 85mm f/1.8. Then, since i was horribly in debt with that camera, i rushed out to sell all my Nikon stuff. Afterwards, i started buying new lenses.

I settled on the following about a year later:

• Canon EOS 5D
• Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
• Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
• Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
• Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS
• Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
• Canon 430EX Speedlite Flash
• Nikon SB 28 for wireless work
• 2 Pocket Wizards for wireless flash work
• 1 Tripod with Ball Grip head
• Multiple Camera Bags ( can’t seem to figure out which one works the best for me)
• Two medium sized white umbrellas with generic stands

And I found out something interesting about all this. So far I haven’t matched my creativity i had with my Nikon. Canon might have some neat features, but i’ve found that its not the camera…its what you do with it. When i look back at all my thousands and thousands of photos, i wonder why I ever switched. It was fun buying another camera, but i wonder if it was worth it in the end. I wasted so much time researching that i lost sight of what was important….Im slowly getting it all back now….so finally i can stop obsessing about the next lens and just grab my camera and go take some great pictures.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • LV

    The besti tip of all… Love what you do… and Take a lot of pictures… priceless!

    Thanks

  • I agree with Mark’s ‘its not the camera…its what you do with it’. I spent lots of money on a camera and improved my photography eye. I soon realised that I could have done a lot of this on a compact. I guess spending the money forced me to invest in learning 🙂

  • sana

    I’ve heard all this before, but I can’t remember it being this inspiring and encouraging. Thanks! I’m grabbing my camera and leaving to take some fun shots waiting for me out there… 🙂

  • Cool. I’m browsing Mark’s shots right now, they are really good. And I like generalists.

  • great advice mark. you’ve gotta have the love.

  • Mark, your post made such an interesting read. I own a
    Canon Powershot A610 (the one that I can afford) and I totally agree with you – using your imagination to overcome your camera’s limitations. Also, I saw some photos taken with a pinhole camera and they are incredible. Creativity is boundless. Thanks for a wonderful post!

  • “I wasted so much time researching that i lost sight of what was important….Im slowly getting it all back now….so finally i can stop obsessing about the next lens and just grab my camera and go take some great pictures.”

    That line really speaks to me, I’m such a geek at heart, sometimes I have the same struggle with my tech obsession.

  • Roger W. Capone

    Mark: I began photogrpahing when in High School. (1930’s) with a Kodak Camera. I was in charge of the dark room for the camera Club. one of my cherished photos of my Motaher was made with a pin hole camera.
    Recently I purchased a Cannon A540 and love to take pictures of inanimate objects i.e. old stone walls, blades ograss on sand dunes.

  • MB

    Thanks for your positive, encouraging, and honest words. It saddens me when (supposedly) pro photogs tell you “You can’t do this… You can’t do that… You shouldn’t… because you’re not pro and didn’t go to an expensive school.” In any aspect of life, when you share what you know and help others, you only improve yourself. So thanks!

  • Well, what you say is true, but…
    … there are things you just CAN’T do with the camera you happen to own. For example, how can you shoot a medium-speed sports event on a cloudy day in a forest, if your camera has a 1/2.5 sensor? Whatever you do, you get grain as large as marbles.
    Besides, there ARE rules. They are for those who weren’t born talented, but still don’t want to produce tons of photographic dung.

  • Jam Samonte

    ..Hi, Darren I really appreciate the practical tips covered in this blog particularly when you said that we don’t have to worry about on what people say on what object you shot but what is more important is taking shots that really appeals to you as a subject of your own photography. Because I believe that every individuual has iits own taste and style.. Adjustments on appetures and ISOs are learned as we go along with our shots and I am really grateful for giving tips like these.. “Mabuhay!” – Jam S. from the Philippines

  • I like the last paragraph. Sometimes, we spend so much time researching and upgrading that we forget the most important thing – what you do with it i.e. taking great pictures.

  • Whoa! This can be a definite of the very most helpful websites We’ve actually arrive over about this subject matter. Essentially Magnificent. We are additionally an authority in this matter so i could understand your effort.

Some Older Comments

  • reena6y1s May 29, 2013 01:51 pm

    Whoa! This can be a definite of the very most helpful websites We’ve actually arrive over about this subject matter. Essentially Magnificent. We are additionally an authority in this matter so i could understand your effort.

  • MeiTeng April 22, 2009 05:20 pm

    I like the last paragraph. Sometimes, we spend so much time researching and upgrading that we forget the most important thing - what you do with it i.e. taking great pictures.

  • Jam Samonte January 23, 2009 12:15 pm

    ..Hi, Darren I really appreciate the practical tips covered in this blog particularly when you said that we don't have to worry about on what people say on what object you shot but what is more important is taking shots that really appeals to you as a subject of your own photography. Because I believe that every individuual has iits own taste and style.. Adjustments on appetures and ISOs are learned as we go along with our shots and I am really grateful for giving tips like these.. "Mabuhay!" - Jam S. from the Philippines

  • Trueash September 24, 2008 09:22 pm

    Well, what you say is true, but...
    ... there are things you just CAN'T do with the camera you happen to own. For example, how can you shoot a medium-speed sports event on a cloudy day in a forest, if your camera has a 1/2.5 sensor? Whatever you do, you get grain as large as marbles.
    Besides, there ARE rules. They are for those who weren't born talented, but still don't want to produce tons of photographic dung.

  • MB April 6, 2007 09:55 am

    Thanks for your positive, encouraging, and honest words. It saddens me when (supposedly) pro photogs tell you "You can't do this… You can't do that… You shouldn't… because you're not pro and didn't go to an expensive school." In any aspect of life, when you share what you know and help others, you only improve yourself. So thanks!

  • Roger W. Capone April 4, 2007 08:24 pm

    Mark: I began photogrpahing when in High School. (1930's) with a Kodak Camera. I was in charge of the dark room for the camera Club. one of my cherished photos of my Motaher was made with a pin hole camera.
    Recently I purchased a Cannon A540 and love to take pictures of inanimate objects i.e. old stone walls, blades ograss on sand dunes.

  • Mike2 April 3, 2007 01:04 pm

    "I wasted so much time researching that i lost sight of what was important….Im slowly getting it all back now….so finally i can stop obsessing about the next lens and just grab my camera and go take some great pictures."

    That line really speaks to me, I'm such a geek at heart, sometimes I have the same struggle with my tech obsession.

  • mekhala April 3, 2007 09:06 am

    Mark, your post made such an interesting read. I own a
    Canon Powershot A610 (the one that I can afford) and I totally agree with you - using your imagination to overcome your camera's limitations. Also, I saw some photos taken with a pinhole camera and they are incredible. Creativity is boundless. Thanks for a wonderful post!

  • tracy April 3, 2007 01:58 am

    great advice mark. you've gotta have the love.

  • Taavi April 2, 2007 10:38 pm

    Cool. I'm browsing Mark's shots right now, they are really good. And I like generalists.

  • sana April 2, 2007 10:00 pm

    I've heard all this before, but I can't remember it being this inspiring and encouraging. Thanks! I'm grabbing my camera and leaving to take some fun shots waiting for me out there... :)

  • joanium April 2, 2007 06:15 pm

    I agree with Mark's 'its not the camera…its what you do with it'. I spent lots of money on a camera and improved my photography eye. I soon realised that I could have done a lot of this on a compact. I guess spending the money forced me to invest in learning :)

  • LV April 2, 2007 01:39 pm

    The besti tip of all... Love what you do... and Take a lot of pictures... priceless!

    Thanks

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