Since 1990s I have favored the affordable and practical Canon Rebel cameras, having started with a Rebel film camera as used in The Gambia to multiple versions of the digital Rebel afterwards. Up until 2018 my longest lens was a Canon 70-300 mm and it served me well, not wanting to spend $4,000+ for a bigger lens nor be stuck to always using a tripod.
Then while on a trip to Danta Corcovado Lodge in Costa Rica in 2018 I met a young man with a Canon Camera and a Tamron 150-600 mm Lens which he hand-held. All other 500 mm and up lenses cannot be used off a tripod. I tried his once and was sold, soon ordering my new Tamron lens seen in the header photo of this page (for about $800 on sale). It is without a doubt the best photo equipment investment I have ever made which was confirmed when someone wrote to say how much better my photos had become! I still have the 300, a standard wide-angle lens, and even a macro-lens for close ups, but I use the 600 for almost all birds now and for wide angle and close ups it is hard to beat my Samsung Cell Phone Camera! Most of my photos are made on those two cameras. Sometimes I do not have the crispness or sharpness more expensive equipment would give me, but it is just a hobby! For fun! And it is fun!
What processing I do is now in Photoshop Elements v.8. I started off with the first Elements program then went to full Photoshop which kept upgrading too often at too high a cost and now an annual membership. So I returned to Elements and they are doing the same thing now, talking about an annual membership required. So I may end up checking out Coreldraw or something else if Adobe keeps pricing me out.
I used to print all of my images up to 13×19 on an Epson Stylus PHOTO R2400. It replaced my earlier 2200 version of the printer, both of which did superb jobs of printing with 100+ years color-fastness guaranteed says Epson. I was quite pleased and only used commercial printers for larger than 13×19 prints while trying to operate a photo business. For that I preferred Chromatics Nashville. I also used Dury’s Nashville which is also a good printer.
Because canvas prints are so expensive at Chromatics, I tried one mail-order company for one canvas print and was quite pleased. Now that I’m in Costa Rica without a great local photo printer and shipping here from the states is so expensive, I mainly see my work in the photo books I make and on my walls with metal prints from SmugMug.com. Anyone can order my photos printed in many different ways through my SmugMug gallery, just click the BUY button on any photo and follow the menus.
When selling in the states I made greeting cards with mats from Photographer’s Edge and had hundreds left which I gave away before Costa Rica! 🙂 They were nice!
And then I let CafePress.com print my photos on various products for a very small commission. They have some great products but do not treat artists and photographers fairly without me greatly increasing prices. If you buy an item on sale (nearly always a sale) I might get 25 cents commission. If you order direct from my page at list price I have scheduled a dollar commission for each item ordered. But it is the only place for my T-shirts, Calendars, Tote-bags, coffee mugs, etc.
So now I do not try to sell photos but just enjoy creating them as art for me! And if anyone wants my photography, it is available, just not promoted!
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~Thomas Merton