Friday, October 25, 2013


       I'm Chris and this is my introduction, as well as my first blog post. I'm looking forward to having a place to post my photographs and to explain what was going on inside my head while shooting.
       I've been working on building up the knowledge and acquiring the gear required to start building a portfolio for my photography. For those who don't know me personally, I actually got into photography by accident. I ran a YouTube Channel for a few years and when I started making videos for YouTube, I needed a camera. I actually bought quite a few different cameras. I was never quite satisfied with the quality of the video I was getting out of them, even after spending a good amount of money. Eventually, after speaking to a friend of mine who was big into cinematography at the time, I was convinced that a digital SLR would likely provide me with the quality I was searching for.

       Above is a picture of a Panasonic TM700 which is widely regarded as a pretty high quality, yet consumer level camcorder. It is however, the last "dedicated video camera" that I will ever purchase. I've been bitten by the DSLR bug and I've become hooked. There was this enormous world of video possibility laid out before me, a world filled with depth-of-field and interchangeable lenses. But when one is dealing with DSLR cameras, it becomes physically impossible not to dabble in photography, even for those like myself who are (were) dedicated to video. 

       Like many others who start into the world of photography, it was hard to justify a large budget. As a beginner I hadn't been able to see the value of the expensive cameras I saw throughout the market. So, in a similar fashion, I began with one of Canon's Rebel cameras... The Canon EOS Rebel T3i (600D). I quickly realized that there were limitations of this camera that I could not work around. Despite being a large step up from the video cameras I'd been using, I still wanted more.
       I actually cycled through a few bodies, debating Canon vs. Nikon, debating crop-sensor vs. full-frame, among other things. I landed hard on Canon, not trying to start a brand war but with my initial interest being from the video world there was really no comparable Nikon equivalent. The camera I chose after much research was the 60D. This was not necessarily because it had any better image quality than the T3i, but rather because there were features on it that the T3i just didn't have. It had an LCD on the top, and had a grip that filled my hand. These were likely the two most contributing factors to my choice.  

       Using the 60D was great for learning on. It provided a lot of the high level features at an affordable price point. I began looking at lenses and exploring the now overly compelling world of glass. Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Wide-Angle, Telephoto, L-Series, USM, IS... at first all the names and terminology boggled my mind. I again fell into the same trap of not being able to justify the price of a piece of glass for such a large amount of money but I came around. It really comes down to seeing the value of something based on the results it can give you. After a while of shooting with the 60D, I'd invested in a couple of lenses including:

1. Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6
2. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
3. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

       Of course I had the kit lens that had come with my 60D which was a (seemingly useless) 18-55mm lens that now collects dust, but it was a good thing to start with as it covered a "normal" range.
      I started spending hours, and days online watching videos, and reading reviews. I primarily began watching YouTube videos from Matt Granger (ThatNikonGuy), and Jared Polin (FroKnowsPhoto). Both of these photographers have hundreds of videos comparing lenses and teaching photography techniques that were extremely beneficial to me in my learning process. Then I came across the B&H Photo and Video page on YouTube (bhphotovideo) and became inspired by various speakers from their "Event Space" sessions, most notably Jeff Cable, who is not only an Olympic photographer, but is also involved in marketing at Lexar. To top it all off, he is an amazing teacher, and so very well spoken. I've learned most of the basics from his videos, dealing with DSLR features and Adobe Photoshop.

Matt Granger:

       About this time I started working for BestBuy in Framingham, MA. The employee discounts are nice there and it encouraged me towards being able to purchase a full frame camera. 

       I ended up buying a Canon EOS 6D. It's a fairly new camera body that included some cool features like integrated Wi-Fi and GPS which older bodies like the comparably-priced 5D Mark II did not have. The High-ISO performance was amazingly clean and the center auto-focus point is a gem in low-light situations. I know, I know... Tech Stuff!

       This is actually the camera that I am currently shooting on and I couldn't be more in love. I purchased a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L at the same time as the 6D, so now I had a much higher quality "walk-around" lens, that was versatile for video and photos. Unfortunately the 18-200mm lens that I had come to adore was an EF-S lens which meant it couldn't be used on my full frame body. But hey, you can't win 'em all.
       As I said at the beginning of this blog, I'm now working on a portfolio of work. That means that I'm always looking for things and people to shoot. I'll be trying to blog at least once a week here and i'll be posting my work, and my favorite images for all to see. So, if you like the things you see, feel free to contact me. Maybe you have something I can add to my portfolio.

Chris Johanson
c. (617) 966 - 3095
PO Box 313 - Medfield, MA 02052

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