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Living Large

If I had a dollar for every inquiry I get about my equipment, I could have bought another one of these babies by now. In my former life, shooting film, I used Nikons and Hasselblads but chose Canon when I made the switch to digital 8 years ago. It was not a hard decision, I didn't have a huge investment in equipment, often renting what I needed and Canon seemed to have made the most strides in pro digital gear. I must stress that just buying a better camera will not make you a better photographer, even though many seem to think so.

I am in love with my Canon 5D Mark II which I bought back in February, upgrading from a 5D, which I had simply out-grown. You can now get pretty good deals on both of these excellent SLR's since Canon recently released a Mark III. Unless you are a full time Pro, I highly recommend saving your pennies and buying used or getting a slightly older camera body, or opt for one of the lower level models such as a 7D, Rebel or 60D, all of which perform well. It is the lenses that you want to invest your money in. This is what will really determine the quality of your images, well that and an understanding of light, composition and some innate talent & technical ability.  

Canon's best lenses are their "L" series and part of what makes a good lens is the maximum aperture, the lower the number, the better the lens. My favorite, used on both images above is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L the "1.2L" being key in knowing this is a quality lens by the letter L and 1.2 is what allows me to open up the lens and get a beautiful shallow depth of field. 

On the top of my wish list is their 85mm 1.2L lens. Fixed lenses (rather than zooms with multiple focal lengths) also tend to produce less distortion and are my personal preference. Though I do have a good 24-70, I often use. It really is all about the "glass".

I am also always on the hunt for a good camera bag that is also, dare I say, stylish! I just discovered some fantastic options by Kelly Moore. I especially love this one called the Libby with a built in memory card wallet and space enough for your gear and a laptop. If you travel a lot with your gear as I do, you might also like this excellent option by Think Tank.

If you're not quite ready for an SLR then I highly recommend Leica's d-Lux 5 a super compact point & shoot with the heart of an SLR. I was able to test one out a while back and just loved this top of the line point & shoot.



all photos & content © Lara Rossignol

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Reader Comments (8)

I am sure I am one of those people that asked you about your equipment! Even though I know it not what makes your work amazing since I find your "Phoneagraphy" equally awe inspiring. I do appreciate this info though and think your advice about the lenses makes perfect sense. I love that bag too, great find.
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMassie
I think this is an excellent post, so much good info. Love your work!
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVince Canter
Thanks so much for this! Love your photos and though I could never hope to so what you do, I love know how you do it!
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam Krauss
Thank you for this post, it was very helpful. I've had my Rebel XTI for yeeears and feel like a dinosaur... I have been wanting to upgrade, since it's just not cutting it at this point. At first I'd been thinking about the 5D Mark II but it's way too much for me right now. A photographer friend mentioned the 7D and that sounded more possible, or even the 60D, so seeing those suggestions from you as well makes it seem like an even better idea, especially to invest more in good lenses and not worry about getting the most expensive camera. Mostly I just really want to be able to shoot video, that would be amazing.
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
Thank you! I have been so enamored with your work for months now and had wondered about this. If you EVER offer a workshop I would happily fly down from Seattle to take it! Do you think you might?
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCallie Thomas
Thank you so much for posting this. I have been dying to ask you for camera advice, but I haven't because I figured you were overwhelmed with questions from readers. ;) But, again, thank you so much for taking the time to do this post. You take amazing photos!
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPiewacket Fan
Thanks everyone, and to Callie, I have thought about it, I love teaching. I will definitely post about here if I do.
November 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterPiewacket
Thank you for this post - exactly what I needed!
December 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElana

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