Hello there! Welcome to LightDiscovery, a blog about my journey in photography with some of my photos, tips and advice from along the way!.
This blog was started because I am always trying to learn more about taking great pictures of light interacting with the world around me, and I wanted to share what I learn with you.
Each of us must learn things for ourselves, but when we can also gain insight and advice from others, it speeds up our learning process.
I have had the opportunity to learn from many other great photographers and their input has been key to reaching where I am today. My hope is that I can help you in some small way to also get you to your goal.
All photos on this blog are taken by me, Peter Vanosdall, unless otherwise noted. If you’re interested in prints or using these photos, please contact me through the form on our Contact page.
My Journey and What Gear I Use
I started my photo journey while living in Thailand, where I discovered my little point and shoot camera just wasn’t able to capture the amazing world around me. For Christmas of 2013 I decided to treat myself and upgraded to a much better point and shoot, the Canon Powershot SX280 (link to amazon) which had much better image quality, as well as full manual mode. (I would probably not recommend the Canon Powershot at this time, because you can get plenty of other interchangeable lens cameras for $300-$400 now that have similar or better image quality and will allow you to do much more with them. That being said, I still like my little Canon point and shoot.)
I spent the next six months learning how to use manual mode, and understanding how aperture, shutter speed and ISO all worked together. Once I felt confident in my understanding, I knew it was time for another upgrade.
Initially I looked into a variety of entry level DSLR’s because that seemed like the next step. I considered the Canon T5i, the Nikon D5300, and even some Pentax options. But then I came across the (then new) Sony a6000 mirrorless camera (link to amazon). For the attributes that were most important to me (size/weight, image quality, advanced features, access to cheap lenses), the a6000 was the clear winner. I bought it, and it has served me very well ever since.
If you’re looking into buying a more advanced camera like a DSLR or Mirrorless, I fully recommend the a6000. It is very budget friendly these days, and offers plenty of great features, plus it is very portable. But you should determine for yourself what are the most important features you want on a camera, and choose the type of camera that best suits your needs. DSLR’s from Canon, Nikon and others, are great cameras. Fujifilm, Olympus and some other companies also make great Mirrorless cameras, so you’re not short of options.
Here are some of the lenses I use:
Rokinon 12mm f2.0 – My favorite lens, and the one that I leave on my camera most often. It is a manual lens, so you have to change the aperture and focus yourself, but it’s easy to do. Plenty of reviews for this lens, and it is very highly rated. Retails for around $350, and also goes by the name Samyang.
Sony 55-210 f4.5-6.3 IS – This is a decent lens, and I use it mostly for photos of surfers and occasionally other things. Best thing about it is the auto-focus and image stabilization. I found my lens on eBay for under $200.
Canon FD 50mm f1.4 – A really fun lens that is great for portraits and video work. At f1.4 the depth of field is pretty amazing. I found it for under $100 (maybe even closer to $50) on eBay. I use a $10 adapter that works fine. This is a manual lens, and takes a little practice to get the focus right, especially when photographing people or moving objects.
As you can probably tell from the images on this site, I enjoy taking landscape photos, especially sunsets. I love to watch a great sunset, and then try and capture to share with others.
I don’t know where my photography adventure will take me, but I’ll be sharing photos, updates and tips on this blog.
You can also find me on Instagram @petervanosdall
Thanks for reading!
LightDiscovery founded May 2015