This is the final installment of Eight Steps to Better Photos on AUTO. Most people think the only way to really improve their photos is to learn to shoot on manual mode, and it's true that using manual gives you the most control over the finished photo. But what if you don't have the time or energy to invest in learning about exposure and aperture and all the other details of manual? That's where this series comes in. There are plenty of things you can do to greatly improve your photos even when shooting on auto, and every Friday for the next eight weeks I'll share one of them with you. Step one | Step two | Step three | Step four | Step five | Step six | Step seven | Step eight
People want to take better photos, which often leads to buying a better camera and other equipment. Generally, I think improving your understanding of things like lighting and learning to use whatever camera you have will go further toward getting good pictures than any amount of expensive equipment. However, there are a few exceptions, and if you have a dSLR, a 50mm 1.8 lens is one of them. It's a pretty neat little lens, and it's not super expensive. Even on auto, it will make a difference in your photos, especially if you want to take portraits with extreme background blur (bokeh) or you want to be able to take photos inside without using your flash (and if you've read step 1 you know you never want to use your flash). To see how much difference using a 50mm lens as opposed to your kit lens (the one that came with your camera) I took photos in a number of different lighting conditions with both lenses so we could all compare. Keep reading for more explanation of what makes the 50mm lens a worthwhile investment and comparison photos.