Tanya Weekes » Natural light photography

Camera and Lenses

I love all things light, bright and breezy. When I first started photography, I knew that the look I liked was fresh and clean with the blurred out background. I didn’t know the technical term for it, but I knew that that’s what I liked. I later learned through You Tube videos that this was to be the “depth of field” and it was to do with having a wide “aperture”.

The first DSLR camera I used was the Canon 550d with the 19-55mm kit lens. I was struggling to get the effect I wanted and came to realise that the lens simply didn’t open wide enough to achieve the blurred out look I wanted. Somebody told me that I needed a 50mm lens so that was what I set about getting. I was hooked. This lens went to a F1.4 aperture setting, as opposed to my previous lens which stopped at F3.5, F5.6 when you zoomed in.  The lower F number basically meant more light was able to come into the lens as the lens (like the pupil of an eye) simply opens wider to let more light in and also the depth of field (more blurry background) was greater. The 50mm lens is a fixed, prime lens, which means it does not zoom in or out (your legs do the zooming as you physically have to step closer/further away from your subject). I later learned that these prime lens tend to be of a higher quality glass and tend to have the wider apertures which gave me the blurred out look I wanted as well as being great in low light situations, perfect for lowly lit reception halls or in churches so I set about collecting these lenses over zoom lenses.

Currently I use the following on my Canon 5D MII* DSLR camera with my 35mm (F2), 50mm (F1.4), 85mm (F1.8) and 100mm (F2.8) prime Canon lenses.

* Update: I am now using Canon 5D MIII

Canon Camera Equipment

Although I favour natural light photography and making use of available light, I will also use my Canon Speedlight 600 EX-RT flashgun mounted on top of my camera at wedding receptions, which when used with my prime lenses gives me fresh crisp, vibrant images.

Canon Flash: 600EX