Category Archives: Canon Rebel

How To Take A Selfie With Your DSLR

Selfies are really popular right now.

In fact, my granddaughter told me taking a selfie is part of her morning routine. Get up, brush teeth, put on make-up, eat breakfast, take a selfie, go to school.

Here is a typical selfie:

selfie with a phoneAnd do you know about the “duck face”? It’s a trend that has taken over the teenage world. Take a look:

duck face selfie

Even us older folks do it (selfies, not duck faces). Here’s one of me.

selfieBut notice that this picture does not have the typical earmarks of a selfie.

How do you take a picture of yourself and have it look like someone else took it?

Here’s how I did this one:

I happen to have a Canon Rebel T3i and T4i, so I set up one and held one. I put a floor lamp where I would stand and focused on the lamp shade, then I turned off auto-focus so the camera would not re-focus. Then I set the camera on its 10-sec timer and pressed the shutter button. Ten seconds is a long time; plenty of time to move the lamp and take my place.

Of course, I personally don’t do selfies every day, but I do need a profile picture now and again. And if you are in the same boat, take a look at the video I created about how to do just that.

The price of a T3i has never been better. And, honestly, the two cameras have almost the same features. I don’t understand why there is such a big difference in price.. check it out below.

Macro Photography Tips – Using a Canon Rebel

I am big into macro photography. It’s what got me hooked on photography in the first place.

I will never forget the picture. In fact, it’s still on the wall of my office. It’s nothing spectacular to anyone else, but to me, it’s very special. It is the hook that wouldn’t let go. And even though it was taken with a simple little 3-megapixel Olympus point and shoot camera, I felt like a pro when I saw it in print.

First digital photo

This photo is not a true “macro photo,” by definition. However, it is somewhat close up, and I had the camera on the macro setting. What captured my attention was the colors and the texture.

I have now graduated to a more sophisticated camera, a Canon Rebel. In fact I have more than one Rebel (you know this if you have read some of my other posts).

Here is a photo I took early this morning using the photography tip outlined below:

Macro photo using Canon Rebel T3i
Click on the photo to see some awesome detail.

The key to the photography tip I am about to share with you is that it can be done with any Canon Rebel newer than a T2i. That means if you have a T3i, T4i, T5i, T3, or SL1, you can do this. There may be other cameras that have the Live View feature I discuss in this article, but I am not sure which ones do, so I am limited to the Rebel lineup in my recommendations for a camera.

Here is a brief outline of the technique:

  1. Set your camera on a tripod – absolutely necessary for this to work well.
  2. Choose the aperture (Av) setting on the top mode dial.
  3. Use the top dial to choose an aperture – for macro, a higher number like f/9.0 or f/22 is usually the right choice rather than a lower number (in the video, I used f/9.0)
  4. Find the little switch on your lens and move it off AF (auto focus) to Manual focus
  5. Change your Drive Mode to Self-timer, either 2 seconds or 10 seconds.
  6. Activate “Live View”
  7. Use the focus ring on your lens to get the focus as close as possible.
  8. Press the zoom button once or twice to enlarge the Live View preview by 5x or 10x respectively.
  9. Fine tune the focus using the focus ring on your lens while the digital zoom is at 5x or 10x.
  10. Press the shutter button and wait for the timer to record your image.

Please note: the picture will be captured at full size (the way it looks before you press the 5x or 10x zoom button). It will not be the image you see in the zoom window. This has confused some folks who think that “what you see is what you get.” The zoom feature is merely to allow you to fine-tune your focus.

This video explains the whole process..

Sample shots from the Canon Rebel T3i – Macro Photography

Canon Rebel T3i - Macro Photography with Sigma 105mm lens
Sunflower image taken with a Canon Rebel T3i – Macro Photography with Sigma 105mm lens
Canon Rebel T3i - Macro Photography with Kit Lens
Sunflower image taken with a Canon Rebel T3i – Macro Photography with Kit Lens

Notice in the photos above that one of them was taken with a true macro lens and the other was taken with the kit lens. It is obvious that a macro lens is far better than the kit lens, although, I must admit that the newer STM kit lens is much better than the older one.

There is, however, an option for transforming your normal lens, including the kit lens, into a macro-type lens. It involves lens accessories.

  1. First, you can use extension tubes. These come in a variety of packages, but if you get Fotodiox tubes, they are less than $15. The problem is that they do not allow the camera to auto-focus, but since you are following the advice above, you will be using manual focus anyway, so go for it!

canon rebel t3i macro filters
Close-Up Macro Filter Set
for kit lens (58mm)

  1. Second, you can get some very inexpensive lens filters that will transform your normal non-macro lens into a close-up lens. Just make sure you get the right size so that it will screw onto the lens you plan to use. The Rebel T3i Kit lens takes a 58mm filter.

There is still another option. Recently, I posted a “macro photography tips” article about how you can capture macro images without a macro lens; you simply reverse your regular lens. This is the cheapest method for close ups.

Hopefully, these macro photography tips will give you something to think about next time you shoot.

My New Canon Rebel SL1

Taken with Canon Rebel SL1 and Kit lens
Lizzy the cat. I took this inside, hand-held at ISO 400, using Aperture Mode. Shutter speed was only 1/13 sec, but the Image Stabilization of the lens allowed for a sharp photo.

I’m a push-over when it comes to new equipment, and if it’s a new Rebel.. well, shucks, as my Mother-in-law said more than once, “If you don’t have it, you need it.”

I totally agree, especially when Canon releases brand new technology at the beginner level. I have been a fan since Canon released the first Rebel.

This Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is not a remake of any camera, it is a new species. Lighter and smaller than any digital SLR on the market, it actually feels like a toy when you first pick it up. But it is not a toy by any stretch of the imagination. It has given me some really nice image quality so far.

And the new Kit Lens is pretty good, too. I like it lots better than the old 18-55mm kit lens. This one is built especially to handle the video function without a lot of focusing noise. If you have used a Canon DSLR for video, you know what it’s like.

This video is really short and sweet, but it pretty much shows the best of the new Rebel.

flowers taken with Rebel SL1
image taken at ISO 1600 has been cropped to view at 100%
flowers taken with Rebel SL1
image taken at ISO 6400 has been cropped to view at 100%

So, the image sensor and processor are the same as in the last 3 Rebels, 18 megapixels, so the image quality is expected to be the same, and I can vouch for that.. in the few pictures I have had the opportunity to take, I find no problem with quality. In fact, the quality seems better than my other Rebels with the old kit lens.

I have bumped the ISO up to 6400 just to see how that looks. I would not use it at that setting unless absolutely necessary, but the quality is OK considering the past models at that setting. There is some noise, but you have to look really close to see it.

The biggest negative for me is the lack of a swivel LCD screen. I have really gotten dependent on that feature with my T3i and T4i.

Over all, I would guess that the new Rebel will be a success. It packs a lot of punch for its size.

You can find a much more in-depth review about my new camera if you CLICK HERE.

Buy your Canon Rebel SL1 at one of these online stores:

Adorama Amazon Best Buy Canon USA
Adorama store logo amazon logo Best Buy logo Canon logo

Two Ways To Take Total Control Of Your Macro Photos Using A Canon Rebel

Macro photos are something I am passionate about. Macro is one of my favorite photography applications.

Canon Rebel T3i
Canon Rebel T3i (or T4i) with Live View is excellent for Macro Photos

It is one of those things where, since I do it all the time, I tend to forget that not everyone does. So I leave out some of the elementary (to me) details.

Well, not too long ago, I wrote an article about how to use my Canon Rebel T3i to take macro photos. The article is on another web site:

Continue reading Two Ways To Take Total Control Of Your Macro Photos Using A Canon Rebel

5 Questions To Ask Before You Buy A Digital SLR Camera

So You Want To Buy a Digital SLR Camera?

5 Questions About Buying Digital SLR Cameras
Got Questions?

Buying a digital camera is a major purchase for most of us, especially if you are looking to buy a digital SLR. So thinking about the right camera is a good idea before dropping in at your local Best Buy or Target and exiting with a camera in your shopping bag.

Impulse buying is not a good strategy when it comes to cameras.

Where do you start?

Many individuals who are looking for a digital camera are asking the question, “Which camera should I buy?”

Continue reading 5 Questions To Ask Before You Buy A Digital SLR Camera

Canon Rebel T4i New Feature – HDR Backlight Control

HDR with backlight controlI’m not a camera scientist. Let’s get that out of the way. This is just a layman’s test of the HDR setting on the Canon Rebel T4i.

I have had my Canon Rebel T4i for a few weeks now, and I have been dragging my feet on trying out the two new mode positions: Handheld Night Scene and HDR Backlight Control.

I totally recommend using all your camera settings so you know what they do and which ones you like. It’s good to experiment with dial choices so you know which ones you like and don’t like.

Decided to go out in the yard and give the HDR mode a try. It’s kind of gloomy here, which makes for a very strong contrast between the white sky and trees. This is usually a tough situation for the camera.

Continue reading Canon Rebel T4i New Feature – HDR Backlight Control

Macro Photography – Butterflies and Flowers

Macro is my favorite shooting style. My T3i and T4i make great macro images (sometimes photoshop comes into the equation, too), and I look like a nature photographer.

It’s all about appearances, right?

So here is a butterfly that showed up today. I have been waiting for these guys.. seems like they are late, but I finally got one on my butterfly bush this morning.

Swallowtail butterfly macro - shot with Rebel T3i
Swallowtail Butterfly (click on the photo to see a larger version)

Pretty sweet, huh? You can see why I like doing this kind of photography.

Close by, there was some phlox with awesome light, so I snapped that as well.

Phlox macro with Canon Rebel T3i
Purple phlox – Canon T3i and Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens (click on the image for a larger version)

Now, you may be asking why I did not use the new Canon Rebel T4i to shoot these photos, right?

Answer: I was outside working in the yard when the swallowtail showed up.. I was sweaty and dirty, and my T4i was upstairs, but my T3i was in the basement. So I grabbed the closest one. Image quality is the same with both in bright light. No problem.


My New Canon Rebel T4i

OK, I own them both, the Rebel T4i AND the Canon Rebel T3i.

My new Canon Rebel T4i
This is me with my new Canon Rebel T4i

Why? Good question.

I think the plan is to sell the old one, but it’s so hard to part with old friends. Actually, the T3i is not all that old. I got it about a year and a half ago.

It has been an awesome camera. I bought it just to try it out. My plan was to send it back before the month was up (Amazon has a great return policy). But I still have it because it turned out to be an amazing camera.

The T4i has already proven that it is a “keeper.”

Continue reading My New Canon Rebel T4i