Join Photo Insiders
The Joy Blog

BUDGET Photography Gear SHOOTOUT | ft. Daniel Norton | Ep 7

budget photography english
BUDGET Photography Gear

In the world of photography, it is often said that it's the photographer, not the camera, that creates great images. But what happens when experienced photographers are handed entry-level or outdated gear? In a thrilling showdown, we embarked on a budget photography gear shootout, challenging ourselves to capture stunning shots using inexpensive equipment that we wouldn't typically use. In this blog, we'll take you through our adventure and the unexpected results that unfolded. Join me, alongside renowned photographer Daniel Norton, as we dive into this unique challenge.

Setting the Stage: Excitement filled the air as we prepared for the shoot, but disappointment struck when my trusty Canon F1 film camera failed to cooperate. It seemed as if fate had a different plan for us that day. However, destiny had something intriguing in store as we both found ourselves equipped with the same gear for the first time, adding a new level of excitement to our friendly competition.

Getting Acquainted: Allow me to introduce my partner in this gear shootout, Daniel Norton, a photography legend known for his incredible work. With our ancient Canon 5D and a 50mm 1.8 lens in hand, we set foot in Asbury Park, New Jersey, ready to capture some captivating shots. The absence of modern features like live view and video capabilities added an interesting twist to our shoot, challenging us to rely solely on our skills.

The Shoot: As we embarked on our photography journey, we each had the freedom to shoot to our heart's content. The goal was simple: create captivating images and leave our mark on this unique challenge. The anticipation was high as we ventured into the world of manual shooting, embracing the limitations of our gear. I decided to start with silhouettes, drawn to the enchanting play of light and shadows.

Embracing Limitations: Without the luxury of advanced features, we relied on our experience and creativity to overcome obstacles. The vintage camera's meter indicated underexposure, but I knew the sky held the key to a perfect silhouette shot. With a few adjustments, I captured a breathtaking image against the backdrop of Asbury Park. Embracing the limitations of this old camera, I discovered the charm of focusing on silhouettes by using the body's edge.

Daniel, on the other hand, had a different vision in mind. He found inspiration in the surrounding environment, opting to shoot with backlighting. Armed with a reflector and a unique perspective, he positioned his subject strategically to capture the essence of mood and emotion. Despite initial challenges, Daniel's expertise shone through as he effortlessly directed the model, resulting in remarkable portraits.

Reflections and Choices: After an exhilarating shooting session, it was time to review our images and select the best shots. Focus became a recurring concern for both of us, a testament to the intricacies of working with aging gear. We analyzed each photograph, considering composition, exposure, and the emotional impact they conveyed.

In the editing process, we explored ways to enhance the images while staying true to their original essence. Each photograph had its own appeal, with Daniel's moody and stylized portrait contrasting with my preference for vibrant colors. It was a reminder that photography is subjective, catering to different tastes and perspectives.

Printing and Conclusion: No photography journey is complete without bringing the images to life through prints. Using the Canon PIXMA Pro 200 printer and a range of Canon papers, we aimed to tell the story of our shoot through physical prints. Carefully selecting the appropriate paper for each image, we sought to bring out their unique qualities and textures.


Ready to learn more?

Take the free Speed Posing 101 class

Learn how to pose individuals, couples, and groups with precision and speed. This free class will help you shoot with confidence no matter the situation and consistently wow your clients with a variety of stunning images.

Take the free class

Latest from the blog

BUDGET Photography Gear SHOOTOUT | ft. Roberto Valenzuela | Ep 19

😱 wedding photographer DELETES photos - ON PURPOSE! 😱

TONS of posing ideas for your next engagement shoot!

Meet Vanessa

Photography education that gives your art an edge

Vanessa has been photographing weddings, events, portraits and lifestyle for over 20 years.

She's a Canon Explorer of Light, an honor given to only 5 photographers in the United States, and her work has been published by Yahoo! News, Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, Rangefinder and more.

With her practical and open-book style of teaching, she shares everything she knows with hundreds of thousands of photographers as an educator and influential sparker.

Work with Vanessa →

Join Vanessa Joy's Photo Insiders

Come sit at our “lunch table” and learn with top-notch video lessons released monthly, a private community and live photoshoots. Join our live group coaching calls, request videos, and get your individual questions answered.

Become a member

Free downloads

Don't leave without your goody bag
Free Preset

Steal my favorite preset

Save time editing with this preset that I personally use on my outdoor photos to brighten and warm up the scene.

Get it now

Free guide

The Posing Inspiration Guide

Use my poses that your clients will love. Swipe ideas for posing individuals, couples, groups, and details.

I want it

Free Class

Speed Posing 101

Struggling feeling confident shooting, delivering a variety of images, and posing with precision and speed? This is for you!

Watch now

Get photography tips and resources

Join our email list to get it all directly in your inbox.