Equipment

The camera and lens.
Expensive or cheap it does not matter, go out and
explore and exploit its potential, learn about what it can do for you. Be aware of the weakness’s.

Don’t get hung up on mega pixels or other technical babble (though we all do). Nothings perfect whatever you have, there will always be some kind of issue, compromise or button / menu feature that will drive you nuts and leave you head scratching wondering why that function or feature was incorporated into camera or menu design. 

Fiddle with your camera’s settings. Maybe all you need for that creative shot is to change the metering from matrix to spot or centre weighted, turn off some auto feature or go manual. Try to get the picture composition right in the viewfinder. Most of all have fun.

Many years ago a SCUBA diving friend told me off ! For lusting after kit.
– One camera, one lens – And the best camera is ? –
– The one you have with you – No camera no photo 😦

I’m currently using two cameras.
The Nikon D810 and the Olympus Pen F. 

So much has been written about cameras and lenses the internet is swamped with opinions. Here my two bob’s worth (English coinage expression). Actually you may find me very light on words as I’m just going to sum up my own very succinct thoughts on the items I have purchased and currently use. If I dont use it I tend to sell it on.

First and foremost a camera is for me, a tool and not a bit of bling with knobs and dials to fuss over. That’s not to say I’m not careful but it’s there to be used and enjoyed.
If I have a lens that I don’t use that much I trade it, or sell it for something that will be more useful. 

Nikon
D810 camera body. Small and lightweight (compared to my old D3s) reasonably well built 36mg full frame (FX) camera. It has better dynamic range and exposure metering than the D3s. In my opinion it is not as well built. I do like the solid robust and masculine feel of Nikon’s Pro kit as it feels like it is built to last. As an example look at the battery door of your camera and then compare it to a pro body.

Nikon 50mm f1.8G lens = love it for the price point, a bargain lens. 
Tamron 24-70 f2.8 G2 =  love it…Buy one its a very good lens.
Tamron web link
Both lenses need the  – Auto Focus fine tuning – adjusted on my Nikon D810.
Nikon SB900 flash unit = very good.

My Nikon D810 “Jpeg” camera settings (Set picture control).
“Standard”
Sharpening +5
Clarity +1
Contrast 0
Brightness 0
Saturation +1
Hue 0
The above settings work for “snapping photos” with slight adjustments made in Adobe Camera RAW. But if your going to take a serious landscape / portrait, then you will have to post process the RAW in either Photoshop, Lightroom or Nikon NXD.

nikon-d810-brochure

Olympus Pen F = Small lightweight, create the image in the camera on the fly. Flick the knob on the front to pick the colour, flick the one on the back and change the highlights and shadows and other settings. A very cool micro 4/3rd’s camera. Best of all I love its black and white rendering (My favorite is the mono profile 2 setting).

olympus-pen-f-brochure

olympus-monotone-profile-control-colour-profile-control

The Olympus Pen F has four main elements that I really like.
1: Colour wheel means no menu faffing about. Just turn the dial.
2: Black and white TriX look. – Mono Profile 2 –
3: Classic chrome film look.  – Colour profile 2 –
4: 5 Axis image stabilisation.
The Len’s are affordable and very compact with great quality.

Olympus 25mm f1.8 lens = love it.
Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens = love it.
Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens = love it….This one is my favorite.
Samyang 7.5mm lens = very good, but you cant use it all the time.

The Olympus is the most fun and enjoyable camera to use.

Post processing software.
I use Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CC to post process the images to my taste. Although I do have a copy of Lightroom and NXD I seldom use them.
All my photos are shot in RAW and Jpeg.

Photograph what you like, in your way, the way “you” see things.
Try not to be swayed by fashion and be true to yourself.

Photo websites I like and follow (in no particular order).
Ken Rockwell 
Steve Huff 
Imaging Resource
Photographylife
Robin Wong
Thorsten Overgaard
David Thorpe
OLaf
Matt Granger

On YouTube I like Darren Miles, David Thorpe and love him or hate him the
Angry photographer Ken Wheeler.