Thanks to some scholarships I gained additional cash flow to now take and turn toward investing in more gear for photography and videography. This loadout consists of a flash (fairly low end) Canon Speedlite 430 EX II flash in a kit with some nifty items such as rechargeable batteries, flash off camera cable, a bracking setup and diffuser. Having an off camera or standalone flash is essential to greatly improve photo quality, a pop-up flash creates awful red eye and other undesirable lighting situations. This is what the bracket shown below in my kit is for, it moves the flash away from being directly above the lens, the cable gives me the ability to offset it even more or place it on a stand a handful of feet away along with remotely activating the flash even further away.
For my cinematography and photography needs I am adding another lens to my setup, the Canon EF-S 10-20mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens. This gives me some serious wide angle options as far as shooting along with interesting portrait possibilities featuring distorted background perspective due to the wide angle. Fairly soon I will have a set of all the lenses I could want for facilitating any sort of effect, shot or composition desirable.
Another investment that was fairly cheap yet very powerful is a reflector kit and stand, light can be controlled easily with a simple reflector to greatly improve image quality. The kit gives flexibility in use as well because it can diffuse harsh lighting, block out a sun glare or add subtle glow to shaded portions of a subject. I wanted a stand to reduce the need of someone holding it and in my case I got free shipping by upping to the stand instead of only the reflector kit. This is an item that has long been on my “I should get this to get serious about photography” list.
Lastly in my stack of upgrades is an external monitor, this is a fairly pricey piece of gear considering it is a small 7” screen. The reason for the cost is because it is battery powered (same kind as my camera actually for added awesomeness). Also it supports up to 1920 x 1440 resolution along with built in speaker for audio monitoring. This is great because it is hard to see my focus and composition accurately on a small viewfinder or lcd screen built into the camera, this works as well for my vlogs or videos as a great way to show multiple people the camera’s view or myself as I am filming. Eventually I want to have a full shoulder rig with all this gear mountable making my camera into a regular professional video camera to create high quality mobile shoots. If I want to be able to offer adequate professional production I need the equipment to facilitate it, this is an investment both in my personal progress and my professional standings.
Now for that quick sketch I tossed out in a rush tonight to practice racing my hand across my art to express the essentials, basically this is an exercise to help me practice storyboarding which has been a common task for me lately even though it isn’t my key focus.