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What kind of equipment does a pro photographer use, whether its shooting celebs in the studio or podcast hosts in the hallway of an apartment building? In part 2 of this interview, Diana Levine will tell you. (Above… Diana sets up in Jim’s hallway).

Download the podcast from iTunes, or play it below:


Topics Covered:

– The importance of equipment for budding photographers and how the accessibility of equipment is changing entry into the business.

– What to look for in a digital camera
– Jim and Diana consider the great debate of Nikon vs. Canon

– The essential accouterments of a camera purchase (granola bars?)
– Diana explains why a camera lens is such an important feature of a camera and a worthwhile, long-term investment
– The lens you buy can be essential, but consider the reasons you are using it: sports, distance

– Diana shares some of her essential gear:
– Sandisk memory cards (Note: she accidentally said ‘Compact Flash Extreme Cards’ in the interview)
– 580 EX Canon Flash
– Bags, more than you will ever know
– Reflector and a friend you can easily boss around to hold said reflector.

– The importance of video in a photographer’s world. With a DSLR camera, video can be used as a video camera also.
– DSLR can be used quickly and easily, when there is no time to set up a fancy digital camera like a Red.

– The role of social networking and new media for photographers marketing themselves

– Jim shares some of his favorite and most detested online picture clichés, including the pointless squat, the kissy-duck face, and the much maligned ‘MySpace Shot”

– Diana offers some advice for taking the most flattering possible picture of yourself for your online photos.

Other topics include Jim’s rant about his superior one-handed photo taking skills (as in the photo below).

Jim theory: Why should you NEVER squat in a photo? As you can see here, in almost all cases, two things will happen:
1) You’ll get the photo back and realize you didn’t need to squat (plenty of room for the 2 women to stand and still be seen)
2) You’ll look like a dork


At the end of our interview, Diana was kind enough to show her expertise in several different photo situations. The picture below were taken

1) In a casual setting indoors, showing where I record my podcast

2) In super-bright sunlight outside (I call this look the “Author Book Jacket” pose) in a park near my apartment

3) In the hallway of my apartment (because it had a plain white wall as a backdrop) with an external flash. It’s amazing how extremely professional this came out given the surroundings. But hey, that’s why she’s a pro.


Photo Technical Details:
Podcast recording:
Shutter: 1/50
F-stop: 2.8
ISO: 1600
Focal length: 18mm
Author photo:
Shutter: 1/800
F-stop: 3.5
ISO: 320
Focal length: 173mm
Press Photo:
Shutter: 1/200
F-stop: 4
ISO: 200
Focal length: 200mm

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