Westminster fountain at sunset

by Jorge Córdoba

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Photography is one of my hobbies but due to the costs associated with it, I do not have/own the best of gear.

I have a 6 MP Canon DSLR with an 18-55 II lens and a 75-300 III f4/5.6 lens. I also own a wired release button and non-high quality tripod.

For my full time job, I travel a lot through the rural country and often more than not I come across older bridges, homes, or buildings (100-300 year range). These houses usually have character and charm.

Given my equipment, how can I maximize my photo taking experience (composition, settings, my location from the building, sun, snow, etc)?

As a note, my budget for new gear is about $100

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closed as not a real question by jrista Jan 15 '12 at 5:32

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4  
I think this is casting too wide a net. See the could this be a whole book? guideline in the faq and discussion on meta. Could you break this into separate questions? –  mattdm Jan 5 '12 at 11:58
    
do you have a CPL filter? If not, then consider buying it at least for the 18-55. I also take sometimes photos of architecture and also use 18-55 lens - here are some examples: picasaweb.google.com/109234102038340227301/… –  Juhele Jan 5 '12 at 12:00
    
@mattdm I agree to some extent. But I was looking for specific advice on using those lenses and my camera for shooting older buildings –  dassouki Jan 5 '12 at 13:03
    
@Juhele thanks for the comment, I just read about it, and the price seems to be within my range. I'll go try it out at the store today :) –  dassouki Jan 5 '12 at 13:05
    
Since those are a versatile set of lenses and a good camera (even if a few years old), and since they're pretty much the same as cameras and lenses from other brands in the ways that matter, I don't think that narrows things down much. –  mattdm Jan 5 '12 at 13:06

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Consider software not hardware

You can't really purchase any additional hardware within this price range that will maximize your experience other than the excellent and inexpensive 50mm f1.8 prime lens that can be picked up for around $100 or less used. You could use that for some detail shots with a background bokeh, etc. The CPL filter was also mentioned in the comments above and since you have a tripod and a shutter release you might also want to consider a neutral density filter.

However, given the listed equipment I would encourage you to use try using your tripod, shutter release and the 18-55mm lens to do some HDR shots. Old buildings against dramatic skies (which HDR will further enhance) look particularly interesting. To do this you might need to invest into some software such as the NIK HDR Effex Pro or similar to process the exposures into an HDR image. There is all sorts of software and plugin filters for various image processing applications that will allow you to be creative with your photos. I already mentioned NIK and I admit I enjoy using their plugins so I would also recommended the Color Effex Pro or the Silver Effex Pro for Black and white images. The plugins are more then your budget but still reasonable and they will surely make a bigger impact on your images then any $100 piece of hardware.

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