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Photography 101- A new favorite lens

Sometimes all you need is simple and sweet when it comes to photography.
Something that gets the job done and does it well 
and doesn't require a handbook to use.

What if I told you that in the world of expensive cameras and lenses 
that a certain inexpensive
lens is a new fast favorite of mine?

It takes shots like this one 
with that incredible amount of blur in the background
and sharp details in focus.

And it takes shots like this one...
with a whole table in focus 
and capturing the right amount of light and dark layers.

It is versatile big lens- in a small body.

Something different about this one- 
no zooming or pulling back to capture more- 
this is not an adjustable zoom in or out lens. 

It is a prime lens- meaning it is fixed.

It takes some getting used to when you are used to normally being able
to zoom in or zoom out with a simple twist. 
Because when using this- if you want a closer or further view- 
you have to actually zoom yourself in or move further out physically

Hey, look at it this way- you burn a few more calories.
 You can do some squats or lunges as you move back and forth...
 it could be a great workout.
But even without zooming-
this lens takes amazing all around photos. 

And when I bought it- 
I was buying it literally for one reason.

It is small and light.

When I travel for a job and I bring my big camera along with me
and carry it all day long
those bulky heavy lenses can really start to really weigh on my shoulder after
hours and hours of lugging it.
And I usually have my computer in my bag as well-
 double heavy- double the damage. 
So I wanted a lens to swap my big do it all lens 
with a small one that does the job 
that keeps me from needing to see the physical therapist when I get home.

Hello new Canon 50mm  f/1.4 lens

This little cutie does a lot more than it looks like.
Depending on how you set the camera- it can take a large (but not super wide) shots- 
like this which was handheld while standing on a chair.

And it can take crisp close ups- 
I set the camera differently and was able to capture the tiniest bits of detail-
 this was handheld about 2-3' from the flower.

Even better- as I mentioned in a world of expensive cameras and lenses-
this one is about $350- depending on if you get it on sale.

So this lens won't break the bank
 or your shoulder

 but it will dazzle you
and it is a great lens to try for a good all around photography.

I am thinking of starting a series sharing a few basic photography tips
What do you think?

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

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  1. I have a Canon 50mm 1.5 and it doesn't do that! I need to look into the 1.4. Thanks!

  2. actually mine is a 1.8....and it was a lot cheaper. No wonder it doesn't do that! I am going to get one of those. Thanks for the info!

  3. Yes, it took me time to get used to the fixed lens. I have a 50mm and a 40mm.

  4. Amazing Courtney! Thanks for the tip! Have a great weekend!

  5. Such beautiful pictures! I wanted this lens, but ended up opting for the 50mm f1.8 instead, which is around $100 and love it. Can't wait to play around with it more!
    Nida | Caked To The Nines

  6. LOVE my 50mm and it's all I use right now!!

  7. Definitely interested in taking better pictures. I rent space in an antique mall and like to post pictures on my Facebook page featuring fresh merchandise. I just have a cheap point and shoot that I set on auto.I would love to take better pictures, and I am willing to invest in a better camera. Bring it on!

  8. Yes Courtney, I would love for you to share a series of photography tips. Thanks!

  9. Courtney,
    I would love to learn all I can about Cameras and how to take the best pictures!

  10. Cortney
    How do we add our pic to a comment we send to you? I se some of the girls post their photo.

  11. Those are amazing photographs you took with that little lens!

  12. Courtney,
    A photography series is perfect timing for me. I just bought my first Canon Rebel T6i. What would be helpful in your series is listing the camera settings to get the shots you show. Maybe writing the settings as a caption below the photo?


  13. Yes, please do share photography tips and how you go about taking the amazing pictures that are on your blog.

  14. Thank you for the tip! Yes, I'd love to learn more!

  15. I've put this lens on my wish list!!! You should definitely write a photography series!

  16. Yes! Yes! Yes!! You've done such a wonderful job of evolving with your photography -- but you were always talented. Just like someone suggested your settings would help -- A. Lot. My camera won't switch out lens but will let me do everything else. I've been wanting a "big girl camera" for the longest time. I'm considering a mirrorless camera for the very reason you mentioned -- lightness and portability. They are coming out better and better. The Sony has the Zeiss lens -- expensive glass. I can't wait for you to do your series. Thank you. Have a great weekend.

  17. Here I am back again -- sorry but I'm studying your shots and I already have a question. When you got the shot of the entire table you can focus on the entire table and then you change your focus point to just a flower if that's what you want?????

  18. This is fascinating. Though I think photography is a little like espresso making. Good equipment helps, but a skilled person can produce an excellent product even with basic equipment.

  19. I have a Canon rebel and the Lens that was recommended was a 50mm. I found a f/1.8 but I know so little, that a series like you are suggesting would be great! Like what is the difference between 1.8, 1.5, and 1.4!
    I was just thinking I needed to start using that camera again! :-)

    1. 1.8, 1.5 and 1.4 refers to the aperture, the amount of light that the lens allows in for your pic. The lower the aperture number, the more light is allowed in for your shot. A 1.4 allows more light to enter than a 1.8.

  20. It's my favorite lens as well, but you really make magic with yours!

  21. I didn't think your pictures could get any better, because they already look amazing. You take wonderful pictures and they are always an inspiration. Alaina

  22. I would love photography tips! Your images are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  23. What a stunning Beauty I breath every time I come and visit you here, dear Courtney
    thank you with all my heart

  24. Those are gorgeous photos! Really beautiful. Great lens.

  25. Beautiful Courtney!.....I have a fixed lens but it is so big and heavy that I rarely use it (Nikon)....the photos you took are exquisite!....Have fun with it!

  26. Hi there. I came over from IG. I have one ,love it also. Your so right about travel and lugging things around.
    Stunning images.

  27. I bought the $125 option - little better than the $100, and it is great. Yes, share tips. I always love tips, and there is so much to learn. Loved all your table shots.

  28. Yes to the photography lessons! And yes to this lens! I swear by the prime lenses. People wonder why I move around so much during sessions but it just beats the images in a zoom. I've had the 50mm 1.8 canon which is only about $100. It does pretty neat things for the price. I now use the 35mm 1.8 prime lens and it pretty much stays on my camera at all times. I can get a wider image if I want but still get the lovely bokeh when I want to. I'd love to hear more of how you create such stunning images!