Finding the right camera for you

Trying to figure out the right camera to buy can be challenging. The endless research can be overwhelming. So I offer you my love story with my cameras.

The first question I’d ask you is why do you want a camera? Once you share your passion and excitement then’ll I’ll crush it by asking how much money do you have to buy it?

The point is to get the soul purpose of your desire. You might be selling yourself short if you answer about your budget first. I saved up for my DSLR for 6 months and paid for it cash. I had learn having debt for equipment can be dangerous, you can get too excited and waste money on gear you don’t need. 

Why do you want a camera? I wanna have fun taking photos – Any camera can do.

Find any camera and play with its effects. Look at thrift stores or eBay. I recommend an old film camera, you’ll fall in love with photography!

I think the most fun I had with a camera was my Diana 35mm film camera I got at Urban Outfitters. It was first stressful learning how it worked because its suppose to be “easy”, which made things complicated. Once I figured out how to use the camera, I had fun trying out different effects it offered. 

I wanna start learning photography. – Film cameras

You won’t like this answer – I know you wanna run out and buy an expensive camera. I recommend buying a 35mm camera with a detachable lens to teach you the fundamentals. Test the shutter to see if it works before you buy. You will bond with this camera and people will call you strange. Little kids will ask to look behind the camera wondering where their photo is. But you will learn how to frame up, expose, and capture a moment. Every exposer will cost you – $2 for each shot (development and film.) You will feel the mistakes in your wallet but you’ll also learn how to use the camera without a computer thinking for you. The photos you take will surprise you, and show you what kind of photographer you wanna be. Because those will be the picture you take most.

I want a camera to take with me while I travel. -a digital point in shoot

We all have this romantic image in our head of walking down the streets of Italy pointing and shooting our camera capturing people in the market place, beautiful architecture and of course our self in front of landmarks. But the reality is, you will leave your heavy camera in the hotel and settle for your camera phone – this my friend, you will regret. Sure you got 50 likes on FB but the day will come when you want to print the photo and there you will see the truth of how bad camera phone pictures are- they suck. The good news, because of iPhone technology advancing, they are getting better but until then, I recommend a point and shoot that cost more than $200, anything cheaper will have low pixels. I found the Nikon CoolPic 300 produces great photos! I bought it for the manual settings. Although I hardly use it because it takes too much time to set, instead I use the auto settings.

When traveling you are going place to place so fast, you only have time to frame up. Plus this camera is easy for other people to use when you ask a stranger to snap a photo of you. Its very rich in color, wide in frame and great at night.

I want to start filming/shooting professionally. – Canon or Panasonic with audio inputs

If you are starting a photography and video production business or if you are hired to film, the poplar DSLRs is what you are looking for. The quality is great without having to spend so much on a camera. The audio is bad which you’ll need a secondary recorder for that. But if you are getting B-roll type footage or plan on creating wedding montages that don’t need audio, then this camera is best to use. You will have to invest stabilizers but they aren’t too much. You do have the choice of buying a cheaper DSLR for $700 which is great for filming because they have the flip screens or go pro $2000 which would be ideal for photography. Look up tech details to see what best fits for you. I would recommend if you are starting out to start with the cheaper camera until business kicks in. The last thing you want to do is put all your money into something that you later find out you don’t really enjoy or find that the area you live in doesn’t have a market for it. Keep in mind its the LENS that really affects the quality, that is where you will need to invites your money in.

When it comes to filming you’ll want to record audio. Make sure there is an input to plug a mic in.

As you can see, you don’t just have to pick one camera. If you love photography, you’ll love cameras, and each one is different. I go thought many different phase just using one type of camera. When I get bored of my work, I search for a new camera that can spark up some fresh creativity inside me. You don’t have to spend thousand of dollars either, sometimes the right camera ends up finding you.

Photos: Capturing the Everydays

My favorite pictures to take are of my nephews. I love watching them play and interact with each other. They remind me of life’s greatest joy, having each other. When I arrived at my sister’s house I told David I was there to play and visit with him and Jacob (instead of using the babysitting term.) They welcomed me with open arms and allowed me in their world.

Its amazing when I think about the days when my sisters and I use to play together.  Time passes by so fast, if we don’t take the time to stop and notice, soon, the years would have passed by. Good thing for photos and video, they help us remember what we’ll probably forget. They capture the everydays.

Short Film: The Prodigal Father

Reality is, the past few generations have grown up with out a father. My mother’s father was a drunk and his father disowned him. My dad on the other hand, has been there from the moment I came into earth.  Most of my childhood photos he is holding me in this arms. My dad has been there for me through every season of my life. His wisdom has put me on the path I am on today. He leads me. Yes, I am talking about my earthy father.

This is how I can comprehend God’s love for me. I know the Father’s love because my earthy father loves me. I know my value cause my dad values me greatly. My dad would die for me, and that is how I know my Heavenly Father did. Having a dad love and honor God, is the reason I have lived doing the same. My dad forever changed generations by dedicating his life to God back in 1982.

Even though most people don’t have their dad around, they can still learn the characteristic of what a father should be by embracing the one and only Abba Father. All of this to bring me to the short film I created for Father’s Day.

I was inspired by my cousins father who was in prison most of their life. When their dad finally got out, he gave his life to God and began to spend time with his now adult children. Since then they’ve grown this beautiful bond with each other.  I’ve witnessed how God has restored their relationship. We can forgive the unthinkable cause He has forgiven us.

“Happy Father’s Day”, rather you have an earthly father or not.

One thing I did realize when creating this, I want to make films that bring healing and hope to people. I know, I’m crazy. 🙂

Photography is Video’s Friend

The reason why I got in to photography was to help with my video work. Before photography came in to my life, my video shots were random, shaky, and slopping.  My color grading was horrible. I didn’t know what to look for when adjusting colors in after effects. Here is a screen capture of one of the first videos I did at the Rock Church.

I’ve been learning about photography and color correcting for the past three years. I edit my photos in Lightroom and love the set up. I’ve been reading up on color correcting and been collecting color graded videos that I like to keep as color reference.

I recently filmed a wedding with my Canon 7D, and today I edited it together. I am now color grading it in After Effects and for the first time I know what to adjust to give me the color that I want.

It feels great to know all the work I’ve been putting in to photography has made me a better camera operator, video editor, and color corrector. I highly encourage you to put in the good work in your craft. One day you will have a moment where you see how far you’ve come along. You can read my post on how to color grading here.

Travel: San Francisco Video

Last May some friends and I went up north for a short holiday trip in San Francisco. It was the most random trip but we had so much fun. I even got to hang out with some friends I had met on twitter and youtube. Lucky Cory & Justin were harmless. By the end of the trip Justin and Cory because our BFFs.

I remember I had just gotten my canon 7D, I really didnt know how to use the video part, so watching the footage made me smile at how much I’ve improved. It took me forever to get around and put this video together. I couldn’t seem to find the right song. For someone reason, “In my Life” by the Beatles worked our perfectly. Here is our adventure. You can also check out some photography shots I took there. San Francisco.

A New Style with Julia & Erica

The past few days I’ve been watching CreativeLive with professional photographer, Bambi. This woman is amazing at posing people and lighting her subjects. I was so excited with all advice she had given during the three day on-line course that I set up two photo shoots. You can buy Bambi’s course online at Creativelive.com.

I asked Julia to be my first model. As I began to direct her and pose her, I was astonished at the photos I was capturing. I kept looking at my shots asking myself, “Did I takes these?” It was amazing the dramatic difference in my confidences and language in directing a model. I finally knew what to do and how to say it!

The second photo shoot I kinda tricked in to happening. I was filming Erica sing a song for a special project her and I are working on and after the filming, I told her I was going to snap a few photos. She began to tell me she was horrible at taking pictures. I first tried to pose her but soon noticed she wasn’t feeling comfortable, so as Bambi would suggest, I took photos of the subject in an environment they were familiar with. I asked her to play her guitar and it was then that I was able to get some really nice shots of Erica.

From these series of photos you wouldn’t be able to guess that this week has been a very hard week for me. I guess this just shows the power of God’s joy in my life. He renewed my dream and therefore my heart can smile.

Photo-Videos

People have appreciated photography from the day it was born. Video however, well, that’s a different story. You would think by now people would see how powerful video are. But lets face it, video has a bad rep. Home videos are shaky, youtube is full of awful clips that somehow get millions of views, and the common person just doesn’t know how to document life well. When it comes to everyday video, no one would really calls it beautiful. As a video editor and a photographer, I now mesh filming and photography together to create a new generation of what I call, photo-videos.

Over a period of time people might begin to feel disconnected to their photos, it could feel like a life time ago. But with photo-videos, there is something powerful when watching those moments come to life. It’s as if you get to live them again.

Jacob

I filmed my new-born one week old nephew and took a few photos. The photos came out great but to watch this clip and see how he is learning how to move his hands, not able to control his moment, laying their helpless, in need of care and 24 hours surveillance, is something a photo would have left out. And he lays there in perfect peace, with not a care in the world. When I watch this, I see a miracle of God.

 

Madison

My friend’s best friend’s family came from Scotland to visit California. Their little girl brought everyone so much joy. The photo I took of her shows how adorable she is but the video shows just how much she loves broccoli. Just a small detail in her life that one day her mom will say, “Remember when you used to love broccoli?” Now little Madison can see for herself.

 

Digital cameras are getting better and better. I recommend to not only snap photos with it, but also take some photo-videos. Ten years from now, you will look back at your footage and wish you would have recorded more. Life moments are so sweet they deserve to look good. So hold your camera steady and share the joy of life with the world.

VIDS: Capturing Memories

I’ve had my 7D canon camera for about six months now.I bought it having in mind creating some short films, do some photo shoots and use it for work. Well, I haven’t created any short films lately but I have rediscovered the root of my love for video and photography. I always thought graphic design was the root of my discovery to become a video editor but it goes back to when I was a teenager playing with my dads camera. I loved capturing the day on video and then calling everyone over to watch it. I would have “première” parties and display my latest work.

Now with my new camera, I have returned to my first love. I’ve record more of my life, edit some clips and now share them now on youtube or vimeo. I absolutely enjoy this. Though I may never get paid to capture my life moments, no payment is needed.

Here is my latest video from this weekend. Hanging out with Mark, that boy cracks me up. I laugh at the end every time.

I made this one last month to share with my young adults group at church. I loved sharing this one cause so many people were involved.

I am currently working on a few others. The list is getting long.

 

 

Death to Life

Death to Life, originally uploaded by Monica Briano.

Photo of the Day May 25 2010
My friend wrote me a letter asking me how I felt and how I was doing. I looked to my night stand and looked at my dead flower. At the moment I related, then I heard in my heart, “Behold I make all things new.” Rev 21:5. So I created this sequence that displays what God does for me when I spend time with Him.

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