Multnomah Falls Hike 7

The holiday season is behind us (let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief) and a brand new year awaits! Whether or not you have a Pro Photo Supply gift card burning a hole in your pocket, we’ve put together a list of new year’s resolutions to help you find the best way to spend your photography budget and get back to shooting in 2014!

Put your camera on a diet.

Don’t get us wrong, at Pro Photo Supply we will never give up our DSLRs, but sometimes lugging around ten pounds of gear just to photograph your kid’s birthday party doesn’t make sense. A smaller camera will allow you to be a participant in the action, not just an observer. It won’t just make your job easier, it will help you find new perspectives and photo opportunities that may otherwise be missed. This is where an advanced compact, such as Canon’s stellar S120, is perfect. And for those who simply can’t sacrifice image quality, take a look at Sony’s RX100 II or Panasonic’s diminutive interchangeable lens compact, the GM1. Picking up a small prime lens for your DSLR is another option, like Canon’s 40mm f/2.8 “pancake” lens or Nikon’s 35mm f/1.8 lens for their DX cameras.

Resolve to resolve more.

Megapixels are getting a little crazy. Nikon’s entry level DSLR, the D3200, has 24 of them. But did you know that most people will never realize the true resolution of these new cameras? If you crave the maximum quality from your camera, be it a point-and-shoot or DSLR, technique matters. To maximize sharpness, use a tripod. The pixels in modern cameras are so tiny that even at high shutter speeds, minute vibrations from your hands will cause microscopic amounts of blur. This blur will become noticeable when you view your images at 100% or in large prints. Pick a tripod suitable for your camera: you don’t need to spend $500 to support your point-and-shoot, but for heavier, more expensive cameras, remember that a tripod is an investment. You wouldn’t put cheap tires on a Ferrari, after all.

Find new inspiration.

Sometimes, taking better photos truly has nothing to do with using better gear. While we always welcome you to come in and buy a new lens or two, we also want to be realistic: photographers take good photos, not cameras. If your camera is spending too much time collecting dust, you may just need to jump start your creativity. And one of the best ways to do that is to get outside and explore some of the amazing landscape of the Pacific Northwest. To help facilitate this, we recommend visiting our friends at Outdoor Project, a great web resource to plan your next adventure. It also offers a place for you to share your photos when you get back, to help inspire other adventurers.

Go back to school.

There is always something new to learn. Maybe you just want to brush up on the fundamentals of photography, or perhaps you’ve always wanted to get into studio lighting or finally learn how to do the Photoshop thing on the computer machine. Newspace Center for Photography offers an incredible repertoire of classes and workshops for all walks of photographers. Keep an eye on their website, or stop by Pro Photo Supply to pick up their latest catalog. (Also, be sure to watch our own events page.)

Wherever you plan to take your photography in 2014, we want to help you get there. Here’s to a great new year!

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