Jennie Tai

Inside A Foodie's Camera Bag

Photography is one of my favorite hobbies in the world! I receive questions about my cameras, equipment, and photoshop techniques every now and then, so I thought it would be lots of fun to create an informational post for you about what I pack in my bag. This post may be a tiny bit nerdy, but hopefully super helpful to my photog enthusiasts.

My main camera is the Canon EOS Rebel Xti I’ve owned since I was a sophomore in college. This is what I use to take most of the photos seen here on my blog. It’s a great beginner’s-level slr and you can find it super cheap online. The next upgrade I have planned is this beauty.

The lens I primarily use is the 50 mm 1.4 USM, which works wonders. You can have a mediocre camera body, but don’t skimp on the lens. The 1.4 is significantly more expensive than most lenses (and was more expensive than the body itself), but is what makes my pictures. It hones in on a single object and brings focus to it by artistically blurring the background. This lens is great for food photography, because it’s great for close-ups and taking photos of small objects you want to stand out from everything else around it. The next lens I plan on picking up is a wide angle lens.

Sometimes I’ll whip out my external flash and soft box–but most of the time (since the aperture has a really low setting on my lens) I don’t need it.

For low light situations at restaurants where bringing out a giant SLR to snap photos is frowned upon–I whip out my tiny point and shoot, the Canon Powershot S95. This sleek little thing is smaller than my phone, takes great quality photos at 10.1 MP and shoots crisp HD movies. Unlike most point and shoots, it has a Manual setting that gives you the freedom to adjust settings you would normally be able to adjust on an SLR–like aperature and ISO. However–the auto setting works perfectly (it has such a high ISO that it can snap quick, crisp photos in the lowest lighting), and is normally what I stick with when I use it.

Next up is… my phone! I use my evo  for spontaneous situations where I either forgot my to bring my camera or don’t have enough time to grab it. Nowadays, most camera phones have enough megapixels to create a drool worthy photo, so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s an evo or iPhone. With a bit of tweaking in photoshop and lightroom–you can get just about any slightly blurry camera photo to look like this…

Amazing, right? Considering it looked like this at first.

This is where Lightroom normally saves the day. Lightroom is what you use to fix raw photos before playing with them in photoshop (similar to bridge). I didn’t use photoshop for the photo above. Instead, I amped up the ‘fill light’ scale, balanced out the blues with yellow, cranked up the clarity, dialed back the blacks and added a bit of brightness and exposure–all of which you can do in Lightroom in just one window.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a peek at my favorite cameras! I had fun writing this post….. XO. Jennie

P.S. If you have a question–ask me in the comments below!

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