Mood Board: Tech Talk, My Favorite Equipment & Essentials

I’ve recently gotten into a conversation about Photoshop and when I mentioned that I don’t know how to use it, let alone own it, there was a huge surprise. What the fuck? How is that even possible?

Yeah, I’ve always wanted to learn, and even though I read tutorials on it all the time, I don’t understand it. I do however, think it’s past over due to own and master this tool.

How can an artists who paints, photographs and create graphic illustrations do without it? I don’t know, I guess I just always found a way. There are many free online editing tools, and apps that make things so much more convenient for those who are on a budget. I am testament to when it comes  “starving artist”. Though I may not always be hungry, being an artist and having all the essentials and tools to create  isn’t always cheap. But I have made due. My equipment may not always be the newest up to date technology, as much as I want it all, haha.. But I budget the tiny splurges I do make. I’ll talk about that later.

Further along into the conversation I was asked if I shot (my photography) RAW. I chuckled because I know how beneficial shooting RAW is. You get an image in it’s purest form, capturing every detail and giving you full control of processing. Yeah, I don’t do that either. When I mentioned I don’t shoot “Manual” I could feel the gasp that was nowhere in sight. When I mentioned I don’t use a Mac.. I bursted out laughing and could only ask the one question that needed to be asked.

So, what does that tell you about my work?

“It says your work is great so far, and will be even greater as you learn all these things in time.”

Now THAT, made me smile. I think I do pretty damn well for myself, so in this post I’ll be sharing some of my secrets. My favorite equipment, programs I use and tips on how you can too. Welcome to my Mood Board: Tech Talk.

I’ll cover my paintings first, what I use for my graphic illustrations, apps I use, my photography gear, and tricks of my trade.. Let’s begin. So there we have it.. it seems quite over whelming I’m sure. But don’t get discouraged. I promise you, all of this equipment is either outdated, or a dupe of some sort and work just quite fine for all that I accomplish creatively. You don’t need to sell a kidney to make great art, budget for the essentials, and in time while you teach yourself and practice, you can save up for those fancy shmancy name brand gadgets we all adore and keep on carts we never purchase.(I’m super guilty of that!)

Ill break these down by the categories I expressed above, and you’ll notice, things start to get crazy when photography hits, but then again, what girl doesn’t love accessories!?

I use acrylics when I paint on canvas, and though Blicks, Michael’s (and if your’e a little Old School, Pearl Paint) carry great supplies… I’m not ashamed to mention that I get my paint at Walmart. Mhmm… you read that right guys. A tube at Blick’s can run about 5 bucks, while I can get the same size at Walmart for about three. Since New York City doesn’t have Walmarts, whenever I’m out of town, I make sure I stack up.

Graphic Illustration:
Again, and I’m only repeating myself so you get it… old stuff man. I have an Ipad Mini, the original one. Yes, the New 5 that is coming out, is gaaaawgeous, and maybe I’ll splurge on it in due time. In all honestly I only use this tablet for about 2 things only, to draw and watch Netflix on my lunch  breaks while I’m at work. So as much as I want a new one( and you’ll notice in this post I want a lot of things, a girl can dream.) I don’t really need anything. I just want it ALL!
What’s anything apple without apps?
Sketchbook Pro is probably my favorite hands down. It’s available for IOS and Google Play, so go get it now (wish I was commission on this lol) There’s a free version, but spending $4.99 is well worth the Pro version with all the extra brushes you get. Another go to is Adobe Illustrator Draw. It’s also free, but you have to have an adobe log in info, it only take like 2 minutes, stop being lazy. Oh, there’s a Sketch Book Pro desktop version that’s like $30/year, which is not bad. I hear the tools are AMAAAAZEBALLS. The only reason I haven’t purchased it, is because I can’t picture myself sitting down for too long at my computer just working. I like having access to mobility, and what works for, works for me.

Cellular Device:
Yes, I  know, almost every single person is an iphone head. As much as I appreciate their marketing skills, and the cameras on their phones are up to par. I’m a big android user. I have been for about 5 years now. I love androids because they remind me of a pc. The software works perfectly for my every day life. I’ve recently thought about getting an iphone, and I quickly changed my mind. My Samsung Galaxy 6 isn’t perfect. Yes, the camera is great and the convenience of it all, wonderful. But I secretly missing having the s5. I’m actually fond of the external battery and the option of having an extra memory card. I take way too many pictures and have so much stuff going to be deleting things all the time, no matter how much space I already purchased.

Moving on to the big bucks, Photography:
Oh, boy, if you think this post was long before. you’re in for a rude awakening. Everyone knows the main guys in the game Canon & Nikon. My Canon Rebel T3i mat be outdated and may be a beginner dslr, but it does it’s job just right. I’ll be honest, I barely use this puppy anymore, it’s collecting dust on a shelf and I’ll explain why. As great as this Canon is.. I named her Rebel, she’s bulky. Fitting her into a purse is not my  favorite and it usually means I have to sacrifice leaving something else at home. So I bring her out to play only when I need to.
My first make believe dslr, that’s what I like to call it, is a cybershot that I named Sonny. It’s a super zoom camera that has been very kind to me when I first started blogging.(Which was 7 years ago, wait, whaaat!?) I was going to sell him and decided not to, because you know, memories. He has some scratches on the lens, so I only use this camera when I go to festivals and concerts. The zoom is amazing and I can get some nice clear shots even from the greatest distance. When I first purchased the camera it was about 500 bucks, and since he’s a little old (2012  model) he’s super cheap to get now. It’s a bit bulky, and somehow the scratch on the lens doesn’t bother me when I shoot, since it creates a bokeh effect for me anyway, perfect for music performances.
Every since I purchased my baby Cher, (wait, you guys don’t name you cameras!?) it has been my everyday go to. Sony has amazing technology, and it completely goes under the radar. It only goes to show, that just because something is popular it doesn’t mean it’s the best (cough cough iphone). My Sony a6000, is the love of my life. I Take her everywhere. She’s mirrorless, the quality is unbelievable for something so compact. I would recommend this baby to anyone and everyone. Sometimes, a lot of times, I use this little thing to photograph gigs. My clients are always shocked when I show up with something so tiny, and the results are always breathtaking. Another thing I love about this camera is the interchangeable lenses. yes, most dslr’s can do that, but this one…. you don’t only need to purchase the same brand to fit the same brand camera. With Sony, as long as you have an adapter you can pretty much mount anything on it. I even uses my Canon lenses on this.
Which brings me to the lenses.
Are you all exhausted of reading yet?
A good camera is just that, good, but a nice piece of glass, is everything. There are many lenses that I drool over. For instance, the Sony 24-70mm , but nobody (me) has 2 G’s that they want to spend on getting something else to attach to their camera. The stock 18-55mm  is an everyday lens I shoot with on the go, but my favorite so far has to be my Minolta 50mm prime lens.  See, I told you guys, I don’t need to buy a Sony lens just because I have a Sony. I purchased this lens off of Ebay for about $50, and it’s been my best invest. If you know anything about lenses, you know they are some price mother fuckers. This one is great for portraits, and I use it a lot for head shots.
The Canon 75-300mm is another one of my go to’s, mostly to be honest when I’m shooting for a gig. Especially fashion photography for other bloggers or clients who perfer a blurry background. And who doesn’t love a a blurry background?
For beach days, or an active sport I’m doing that day, like a race, a hike, or anything along those lines I have always relied on my Go Pro 3+. It’s tiny, it’s waterproof, has wifi and the endless attachments are a blessing. You can hook it up to bike helmet, a surfboard, a guitar, the possibilities are endless for a different point of view. One thing I’m not crazy about is that you can’t view what you’re shooting. Yes, there’s an app let’s you see live, but who wants to have their phone open and a camera at the same time? Nobody, that’s who. I purchased the lcd screen which helps a lot. But it’s a battery drainer so I figured why  not get something new.
I purchased the Olympus TG-870, the newest cub of the pack. I ended up adoring the “selfie”option with the flip up screen. I can take it underwater, and use it as an every day camera, which is cool. But I hate the night time quality. I would only use this in the daytime.

So there we go, (yes, I’m almost done). These are my opinions on my equipment, what works for me through trial and error. What may work for me, may not work for you, or maybe it will (shrugs shoulders) who knows. And why am I sharing all of my secrets with you? Simple, you don’t need to splurge on fancy things just because you’re told it will create a better quality of work.  You are able to create whatever you want with the fullest extent of your imagination. So I say go for it, make something new and go farther than ever.