Equipment

I am often asked about the equipment I use, specifically cameras. I like to travel as light as possible. In recent years I’ve shot with the highest resolution pro digital camera offered by Canon: a 1DS, 1DS Mk 2, and now 1DS Mk 3, a 21-megapixel brick of technology. The pro body is almost impervious to rain, snow, and dust, which is why I prefer it to the cheaper 5D Mk2, despite its HD video and low noise capabilities.

I limit myself to a few lenses most of the time, all Canon. More than half of my images are shot with either the 16-35f 2.8 Mk2 or the 70-200 f4, which is just as sharp as the much heavier and more expensive 2.8 version. If I need a more powerful telephoto, I reach for the 400 DO; if I know I’ll be shooting a lot of wildlife, the 500 f4 comes along. That’s it for 90% of my work.

I still need the usual complement of small, rugged La Cie drives and a Lenovo laptop optimized for photographers (review to follow). A few flashes and reflectors make their way into the kit as well.

Cameras are just tools, though. Cartier Bresson shot The Decisive Moment with a Leica rangefinder and a 50mm lens. It is the eye that matters, and the will to get off the couch and shoot.

261 Responses to “Equipment”

  1. Harold says:

    Thanks for posting about the equipment your using.
    Have you ever encounter any problems with the Airlines regarding your gear, size and weight as ‘carry-on’? I’m sure that your gear is carry-on.

    Your right about and I quote “Cameras are just tools” ” It is the eye that matters, and the will to get off the couch and shoot”. Totally true!

    • admin says:

      The 16-35 2.8 is very slightly sharper wide open but that difference closes as you stop down. The 16 vignettes a bit less, too. However, the17-40 is a tremendous value and in most situations, just as good.

  2. Nice… that’s not a lot. I always see other photographers with 3 bags of stuff. I don’t get that as I shoot with one bag.. I don’t own a 400 or 500 mm lens. I notice on travel to the edge your screen is glossy. The notebook I own is glossy and I don’t care for it for editing, I will use it for scrolling through images and tagging them… I prefer my large screen at home and its matte finish.

  3. Bill says:

    It is soooo easy to say – oh I could take pictures like that if only I had better equipment – more lenses – that next better camera… You (Art) have 2 basic lenses and 2 long ones for wild life. That says a lot. It is so easy to get caught up in the technology and use it as a crutch for how to improve your images while it’s clearly not the issue at all.

    • artwolfe says:

      Hi, Justin,

      I send stuff to Canon to get it fixed as part of their program for professionals. When I am done with a camera, it is worth nothing, just a beaten husk suited for a future as a paperweight or landfill.

      I love macro. It’s a challenge to isolate your subject with just the right depth of field. There is no rule of thumb. You get a feel over time, and with digital, you can experiment without burning money.

    • artwolfe says:

      Hi, Justin,

      I send stuff to Canon to get it fixed as part of their program for professionals. When I am done with a camera, it is worth nothing, just a beaten husk suited for a future as a paperweight or landfill.

      I love macro. It’s a challenge to isolate your subject with just the right depth of field. There is no rule of thumb. You get a feel over time, and with digital, you can experiment without burning money.

  4. Daniel says:

    I’ve always been told to remove the camera body from the tripod but I’ve noticed that you often leave the two connected as you are clamoring over mountain streams, etc. Do you use a special sort of tripod or perhaps a heavy duty clamp? Thank you.

    • artwolfe says:

      Hi, William,

      You may not believe this, but I have no idea about model numbers. I use several Gitzos and I just walk in and buy a big carbon fiber. Same with the Arca ballheads. I just ask myself: is it tall enough and stable enough for a big lens? Is so, that’s all I pay attention to.

    • artwolfe says:

      Hi, William,

      You may not believe this, but I have no idea about model numbers. I use several Gitzos and I just walk in and buy a big carbon fiber. Same with the Arca ballheads. I just ask myself: is it tall enough and stable enough for a big lens? Is so, that’s all I pay attention to.

  5. Nice information! I always try to travel only with my back can hold! Sometimes is too hard to decide what will stay, but it always helps me in the action time (and I agree, cameras are just tools!).

  6. Beate Dalbec says:

    I just wanted to express a big “thank you” for all your shooting tips online. For someone like me, who is self-taught, and likes to expand her horizon in the art of nature photography, these tips are of immense value. I do look at older photographs of mine and think “I wish I would have known”, but we all learn from our mistakes. Again, THANK YOU! I am looking forward to the tips of season 3.

  7. Beate Dalbec says:

    I just wanted to express a big “thank you” for all your shooting tips online. For someone like me, who is self-taught, and likes to expand her horizon in the art of nature photography, these tips are of immense value. I do look at older photographs of mine and think “I wish I would have known”, but we all learn from our mistakes. Again, THANK YOU! I am looking forward to the tips of season 3.

  8. tomascalle says:

    Have your gear been lost by an air company guys ever? Do you use hard cases to check in the photo equipment like pelican ones?

  9. tomascalle says:

    Have your gear been lost by an air company guys ever? Do you use hard cases to check in the photo equipment like pelican ones?

  10. terrybreedlove says:

    I am watching your travels to the edge show right now and you are in Patagonia: Torres del Paine Park. In this show you talk about using the ND and Polarizing filters. You also talk about dropping down to the mud to get a shot of a mountain reflecting in the lake and taking a closer shot of a waterfall. I really appreciate these tips and was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the business side of your work. For example your fine art print sales and magazine covers etc.

  11. terrybreedlove says:

    I am watching your travels to the edge show right now and you are in Patagonia: Torres del Paine Park. In this show you talk about using the ND and Polarizing filters. You also talk about dropping down to the mud to get a shot of a mountain reflecting in the lake and taking a closer shot of a waterfall. I really appreciate these tips and was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the business side of your work. For example your fine art print sales and magazine covers etc.

  12. Chris Mullins says:

    I’ve been watching your Travel’s to the Edge show and I have a quick gear / style related question:

    Why do you shoot off of a tripod so often? Given daylight lighting conditions and IS lenses it would seem that shooting off a tripod would be more trouble than it’s worth.

    For low-light and/or longer exposures (waterfalls, etc), the tripod makes sense.

    What am I missing?

  13. Chris Mullins says:

    I’ve been watching your Travel’s to the Edge show and I have a quick gear / style related question:

    Why do you shoot off of a tripod so often? Given daylight lighting conditions and IS lenses it would seem that shooting off a tripod would be more trouble than it’s worth.

    For low-light and/or longer exposures (waterfalls, etc), the tripod makes sense.

    What am I missing?

  14. Marcus Schoo says:

    Thanks for sharing such interesting information.

    A question about the 70-200 though. You say you use the “70-200 f4, which is just as sharp as the much heavier and more expensive 2.8 version” but almost all your images at Microsoft Icons – Travels to the Edge shot with a 70-200 were shot with the 2.8L IS. Did you recently switch from the f4 to the f2.8 or vice versa. If so I would be interested in your reasoning.

  15. Marcus Schoo says:

    Thanks for sharing such interesting information.

    A question about the 70-200 though. You say you use the “70-200 f4, which is just as sharp as the much heavier and more expensive 2.8 version” but almost all your images at Microsoft Icons – Travels to the Edge shot with a 70-200 were shot with the 2.8L IS. Did you recently switch from the f4 to the f2.8 or vice versa. If so I would be interested in your reasoning.

  16. Justin Arthur says:

    I’ve always wondered what you use while out on ‘the Edge’. Thank you! I was able to get a EOS 10D on ebay for an good deal. But the button is not working very well anymore. May I ask what you recommend so as to get that working or try and see if Canon would let me trade that in for a newer model? What do you do with your used camera equipment? I look forward to season 3 and the beautiful shots you take of all aspects of life and that of the abstract. Do you ever do much macro shooting?

  17. Justin Arthur says:

    I’ve always wondered what you use while out on ‘the Edge’. Thank you! I was able to get a EOS 10D on ebay for an good deal. But the button is not working very well anymore. May I ask what you recommend so as to get that working or try and see if Canon would let me trade that in for a newer model? What do you do with your used camera equipment? I look forward to season 3 and the beautiful shots you take of all aspects of life and that of the abstract. Do you ever do much macro shooting?

    • admin says:

      The 16-35 2.8 is very slightly sharper wide open but that difference closes as you stop down. The 16 vignettes a bit less, too. However, the17-40 is a tremendous value and in most situations, just as good.

  18. william says:

    hi art.i am glad to see you blog.you did great work on Travels.to.the.Edge. i like to see that program. May i ask what kind of trippod you have been use on EDGE? it look like GITZO 2540 or other? i would like to know that tripod and tripod head’s model number.

  19. william says:

    you are one of my favorest photographer, i am so glad to speak to you.thanks for you replay my massage…i will choose one tripod as you say.

    have a good weekend…..

  20. Tom Ringold says:

    What a wonderful resource and service this is Art! Kudos on your new web site. I am a sailor here in Seattle and I have often thought that part of the draw to sailing is, contrary to other professional endeavors like baseball, ballet, etc, you can just show up on the course to get the opportunity to sail with/against gold-medal winning legends. This develops great skills as well as motivation. I see your blog doing the same thing for us lovers of photography!

    I have a 1Ds MkII and as you know it is a heavy camera. I am using a Bogen ballhead and I need to step up to something more robust due to this weight issue. I was wondering if you could give me your recommendation as to which model Arca ballhead would be best?

    I couldn’t help noticing you were using what I believe is a 5D something (?) in Patagonia. I am contemplating a 5D MII as a second body and would appreciate any feedback you could give me on this topic. The lenses I have are: EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS; EF24-105 f4L IS; EF17-40 F4L; and a 1.4 extender.

    It’s very exciting to be able to have this conversation with you. Thank you for your time!

    Tom Ringold

  21. Tom Ringold says:

    What a wonderful resource and service this is Art! Kudos on your new web site. I am a sailor here in Seattle and I have often thought that part of the draw to sailing is, contrary to other professional endeavors like baseball, ballet, etc, you can just show up on the course to get the opportunity to sail with/against gold-medal winning legends. This develops great skills as well as motivation. I see your blog doing the same thing for us lovers of photography!

    I have a 1Ds MkII and as you know it is a heavy camera. I am using a Bogen ballhead and I need to step up to something more robust due to this weight issue. I was wondering if you could give me your recommendation as to which model Arca ballhead would be best?

    I couldn’t help noticing you were using what I believe is a 5D something (?) in Patagonia. I am contemplating a 5D MII as a second body and would appreciate any feedback you could give me on this topic. The lenses I have are: EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS; EF24-105 f4L IS; EF17-40 F4L; and a 1.4 extender.

    It’s very exciting to be able to have this conversation with you. Thank you for your time!

    Tom Ringold

  22. Beate Dalbec says:

    Hi Art, I purchased a Singh-Ray Polarizer and graduated ND filter a few months ago. They do come in a nice leather pouch, but I am concerned about breakage putting them in my pack like that, especially the ND. Do you place yours in a hard case or how do you pack them?

  23. Carol Ormond says:

    Hi Art, I just saw my first Travel’s to the Edge, Mongolia today. I thoroughly enjoyed the incredible scenery, the beautiful people and the enjoyment you were getting from interacting with them. I was wondering about the lenses you were using and what kind of filters you use, so your blog is a great find. I took photojournalism in college and am familiar with the Cartier Bresson quote. It’s so true, it’s not the equipment,but the eye. Any suggestions on how to cultivate seeing the decisive moment. It seems that being very familiar and comfortable with the equipment is necessary so that using it is second-nature and your attention is focused on seeing.

    • admin says:

      Making the equipment second nature is important, but you need to be able to anticipate what will happen next, or find a way to orchestrate it. I talk about lenses in a recent post, but it is the imagination that matters.

  24. Carol Ormond says:

    Hi Art, I just saw my first Travel’s to the Edge, Mongolia today. I thoroughly enjoyed the incredible scenery, the beautiful people and the enjoyment you were getting from interacting with them. I was wondering about the lenses you were using and what kind of filters you use, so your blog is a great find. I took photojournalism in college and am familiar with the Cartier Bresson quote. It’s so true, it’s not the equipment,but the eye. Any suggestions on how to cultivate seeing the decisive moment. It seems that being very familiar and comfortable with the equipment is necessary so that using it is second-nature and your attention is focused on seeing.

  25. christina says:

    just saw ‘travels to the edge’, iceland. UNBELIEVABLE shots, your narration was great too. thank you for a relaxing 30 minutes of sheer beauty.

  26. Buck Rivard says:

    Hi Art, I am curious about the use of grad ND filters. I am a young photographer who hasn’t made a purchase of a ND filter yet, and i’m curious about what is the most practical to buy. Any suggestions?

  27. Buck Rivard says:

    Hi Art, I am curious about the use of grad ND filters. I am a young photographer who hasn’t made a purchase of a ND filter yet, and i’m curious about what is the most practical to buy. Any suggestions?

  28. John says:

    I like to know why you switch for nikon to canon.

    • admin says:

      I had all my equipment stolen when I was shooting with Nikon. The Canon EOS system had faster autofocus at the time so I went that way. You can’t go wrong with either system.

  29. John says:

    I like to know why you switch for nikon to canon.

  30. Tom Ringold says:

    I have a 1Ds MkII and as you know it is a heavy camera. I am using a Bogen ballhead and I need to step up to something more robust due to this weight issue. I was wondering if you could give me your recommendation as to which model Arca ballhead, or other would be best?
    Tom Ringold

  31. Tom Ringold says:

    Many apologies if this comment is a repeat – my first waited moderation for more than a day, so am breaking it down into two messages. I couldn’t help noticing you were using what I believe is a 5D something (?) in Patagonia. I am contemplating a 5D MII as a second body and would appreciate any feedback you could give me on this topic. The lenses I have are: EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS; EF24-105 f4L IS; EF17-40 F4L; and a 1.4 extender.

    It’s very exciting to be able to have this conversation with you. Thank you for your time!
    Tom Ringold

    • admin says:

      That was a 1DS II in Patagonia.

      The new 5D is great, but it is not as dust and moisture resistant as the 1DS models. If that isn’t an issue, it delivers the best files available from a Canon.

  32. David says:

    Thank you for the information. I am another Canon advocate. What tripod or tripods do you use?

  33. David says:

    Thank you for the information. I am another Canon advocate. What tripod or tripods do you use?

  34. John says:

    How much better is the 70-200 F4 compare to the 70-200 F2.8 images quality.

    • admin says:

      That was a 1DS II in Patagonia.

      The new 5D is great, but it is not as dust and moisture resistant as the 1DS models. If that isn’t an issue, it delivers the best files available from a Canon.

    • admin says:

      They are about the same for sharpness. but the F4 is so much lighter I prefer it unless I need that last bit of speed or I need to really blur the background.

  35. John says:

    How much better is the 70-200 F4 compare to the 70-200 F2.8 images quality.

  36. Gordon Ho says:

    I love your show!
    I notice you use a grad ND filter but was wondering why you handhold it?

    Thanks!
    p.s. are your shows going to be on bluray dvds?

    • admin says:

      Hi, Gordon,

      I can work faster when I hold them. I don’t have to mess with a holder and I can reposition instantly.

      We have no plans to come out with BluRay.

  37. Gordon Ho says:

    I love your show!
    I notice you use a grad ND filter but was wondering why you handhold it?

    Thanks!
    p.s. are your shows going to be on bluray dvds?

    • admin says:

      Hi, Gordon,

      I can work faster when I hold them. I don’t have to mess with a holder and I can reposition instantly.

      We have no plans to come out with BluRay.

  38. Just wanted to say that I have found your photography, television show and website to be enjoyable and educational. And I appreciate your willingness to be interactive with those interested in your work and photography in general.

  39. Ray says:

    Hi Art,
    Your work is awesome. For a landscape photographer, what benefit does the 16-35 F2.8 II provide over the 17-40 F4 which is half the price? You mentioned you prefer the 70-200 F4 over the 70-200 F2.8 because it is newer and not as heavy, but why do you prefer the F2.8 on the wide lens?

    Your feedback is much appreciated!

  40. Ray says:

    Hi Art,
    Your work is awesome. For a landscape photographer, what benefit does the 16-35 F2.8 II provide over the 17-40 F4 which is half the price? You mentioned you prefer the 70-200 F4 over the 70-200 F2.8 because it is newer and not as heavy, but why do you prefer the F2.8 on the wide lens?

    Your feedback is much appreciated!

  41. Cindy says:

    Thank you for taking the time and having the patients to make your show.

    I was wondering what backpack it is you are using in the field?

  42. Ray says:

    Do you use filters on your lenses? If so, what do you use? (Brand and type)

  43. Art when and why if ever do you use a tilt-shift? It might be interesting to learn more about your take on such specialized lenses. I’ve added the 24 and 90mm TS lenses to my limited lens collection for some special projects. Getting your take on this type of lens would be insightful.

    • admin says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I don’t use the tilt shifts much because they replicate focal lengths I already have in my pack. I would use them mainly for parallax correction, but now Photoshop does the same thing so easily and with no extra weight that I go that way now. If If were an architectural photographer or doing tabletop, I would reconsider.

  44. Art when and why if ever do you use a tilt-shift? It might be interesting to learn more about your take on such specialized lenses. I’ve added the 24 and 90mm TS lenses to my limited lens collection for some special projects. Getting your take on this type of lens would be insightful.

  45. Tomas Calle says:

    Do you shot only raw, or raw+jpg? What software do you use to procces your images? Do you use picture styles in your cameras?
    Thank you and regards

    • admin says:

      I shoot RAW and RAW+JPEG. Everything goes into Adobe Lightroom and eventually Photoshop for color and contrast and to remove dust spots. I shoot straight, no picture settings.

  46. Buck Rivard says:

    Hi Art,
    I watch your show and I noticed you never use a camera strap. Why not??

  47. Buck Rivard says:

    Hi Art,
    I watch your show and I noticed you never use a camera strap. Why not??

  48. Tomas Calle says:

    Thank you for your answer, Art. Do you process your pictures in camera or do you do everything (contrast, sharpening,…) with the raw software?
    Thank you and regards.

  49. Tomas Calle says:

    Thank you for your answer, Art. Do you process your pictures in camera or do you do everything (contrast, sharpening,…) with the raw software?
    Thank you and regards.

  50. Giorgio says:

    Hi Art.
    Just a question about the 70-200 f/4. Do you use the one with IS or without?
    I also wondered you never use a camera strap, neither when photographing whales on a moving boat…
    Regards

  51. Giorgio says:

    Hi Art.
    Just a question about the 70-200 f/4. Do you use the one with IS or without?
    I also wondered you never use a camera strap, neither when photographing whales on a moving boat…
    Regards

  52. Terry says:

    Hi Art,
    Love your show and advice…was curious what tripod do you use?

  53. Terry says:

    Hi Art,
    Love your show and advice…was curious what tripod do you use?

  54. John says:

    Do you use tamrac backpack bag too. If so what model.

  55. Ellis says:

    I am curious as to what backpack you’re using. Doesn’t look like it fits the current airline size requirements, does it?

    • admin says:

      I use several Lowepros. You must have seen their biggest model, the Super Trekker AW. Sometimes I can get it on as a carry on, but it is over the limit,

  56. D.L. Wood says:

    I just saw your behind the scenes Nepal show. My question is not about camera equipment, although I also shoot Canon. My question is about the blue hat you were wearing. I really liked it and would like to get one. I am of the bald persuasion and hate the ball cap with the half moon opening in back and the sun burn tattoo that it gives you. Yours looked comfy and looked easy to roll up to have handy in the bag when you need it.

  57. D.L. Wood says:

    I just saw your behind the scenes Nepal show. My question is not about camera equipment, although I also shoot Canon. My question is about the blue hat you were wearing. I really liked it and would like to get one. I am of the bald persuasion and hate the ball cap with the half moon opening in back and the sun burn tattoo that it gives you. Yours looked comfy and looked easy to roll up to have handy in the bag when you need it.

  58. Tareq says:

    Hi Art,

    Almost i use same equipment you are using and i am so happy since 2006.
    Now i am ooking for going to Africa sooner or later, maybe in 2010 or 2011, and i am really confused which lens i should get? 500 f4, 600 f4 or something else?
    I would like to shoot wildlife and nature there, mostly birds and animals, do you see that 500 is enough or usinf 600 is better or you will prefer to get 400? I don’t care much about the weight as both 500 and 600 are heavy no doubt, and even 400 Do is lighter but i am scared to end up with something that is little far, and i don’t want to crop most of my photos, many recommend me 500 as it is lighter, but most saying that 600 is better for more closer shots especially with birds, what do you say about that?

  59. Tareq says:

    Hi Art,

    Almost i use same equipment you are using and i am so happy since 2006.
    Now i am ooking for going to Africa sooner or later, maybe in 2010 or 2011, and i am really confused which lens i should get? 500 f4, 600 f4 or something else?
    I would like to shoot wildlife and nature there, mostly birds and animals, do you see that 500 is enough or usinf 600 is better or you will prefer to get 400? I don’t care much about the weight as both 500 and 600 are heavy no doubt, and even 400 Do is lighter but i am scared to end up with something that is little far, and i don’t want to crop most of my photos, many recommend me 500 as it is lighter, but most saying that 600 is better for more closer shots especially with birds, what do you say about that?

  60. Tareq says:

    And i really respect your photography experience, i started to travel alone since 2006 and carrying a lot of equipment [cameras, lenses, filters, flash,....] so you are reminding me with myself, too bad i don’t have easy travel anywhere i go and i don’t have any helpers or assistants or so, but i try to do everything myself alone, and my ambition is to travel all over the world, i did about 20% now and soon i will complete my ambition in the future when possible.

    Best Regards,
    Tareq

  61. Werner says:

    I understand that you use various Gitmo carbon tripods. I’m wondering which ball head you tend to use with them. I tend to shoot with fairly large glass (ski and motorcycle races) and would like your thoughts. The ball head I see in your series, Travels to the Edge, seems to work well when locked and while panning.

    I’ve recently started watching Travels to the Edge. I want to thank you and your crew for inspiring me to broaden my photographic horizons. Great show, very well produced.

  62. admin says:

    Thanks. I used the big Arca for a long time and switched to the big Kirk a while ago.

  63. Steve S. says:

    I notice that the 400DO is your go-to long telephoto. I have considered purchasing this lens, but the reviews have been mixed and there seems to be substantial copy variation.

    For the most part, the consensus seems to be that sharpness is OK (but not on par with the 500) and contrast is sub-par. What is your “take” on the 400DO? Why not use the 300/2.8 IS and 1.4 TC instead?

  64. Steve S. says:

    I notice that the 400DO is your go-to long telephoto. I have considered purchasing this lens, but the reviews have been mixed and there seems to be substantial copy variation.

    For the most part, the consensus seems to be that sharpness is OK (but not on par with the 500) and contrast is sub-par. What is your “take” on the 400DO? Why not use the 300/2.8 IS and 1.4 TC instead?

  65. Larry St Pierre says:

    Inspired by your awesome 3 day photo workshop in Seattle, which I and the whole class thought was outstanding, I have purchased 17-35 f2.8 wide-angle lens to enhance and improve my photographic experience and picture opportunities, esp in preparation for my circumnavigation next year around South Georgia Island with eco-tour expedition folks Zegrahm in Seattle. I really love your photography and your wonderful teaching to help make and inspire us to become better photographers. Thanks for sharing your craft and art of photobgraphy. You are the best, Art. Keep on teaching and shooting such ArtWolfeFull images.

  66. Larry St Pierre says:

    Inspired by your awesome 3 day photo workshop in Seattle, which I and the whole class thought was outstanding, I have purchased 17-35 f2.8 wide-angle lens to enhance and improve my photographic experience and picture opportunities, esp in preparation for my circumnavigation next year around South Georgia Island with eco-tour expedition folks Zegrahm in Seattle. I really love your photography and your wonderful teaching to help make and inspire us to become better photographers. Thanks for sharing your craft and art of photobgraphy. You are the best, Art. Keep on teaching and shooting such ArtWolfeFull images.

  67. michael sprague says:

    i was watching one of your shows where you were photographing Bears and you stated you were useing a 1000mm lens with the 1.4X .which made it a 1400mm. i was curious what a lens like that would cost but it doesn’t even seem to exist.. did i hear you wrong?

    • admin says:

      That was shorthand. I had a 500 with a 2x on it and then added the 1.4 x. You lose significant sharpness but I thought the composition was worth the sacrifice.

  68. michael sprague says:

    i was watching one of your shows where you were photographing Bears and you stated you were useing a 1000mm lens with the 1.4X .which made it a 1400mm. i was curious what a lens like that would cost but it doesn’t even seem to exist.. did i hear you wrong?

    • admin says:

      That was shorthand. I had a 500 with a 2x on it and then added the 1.4 x. You lose significant sharpness but I thought the composition was worth the sacrifice.

  69. Eric S. says:

    I see where you went from the Arca to Kirk ball head. What made you decide to switch? A good, big ball head is my next purchase, and these are two that I’ve been considering.

    Travels to the Edge is a great program. Keep up the good work.

    • admin says:

      I think they are comparable ball heads. The Arca had many years of faithful service in harsh conditions, The Kirk looked good so I gave it a try. You can’t go wrong with either one.

  70. Eric S. says:

    That makes sense. Tossing quality heads from other makers like RRS and Markins into the mix, a choice between them is probably a personal and somewhat subjective one.

    A few questions regarding your Gitzo tripods, what series do you use? Also, do you have multiple tripods? It seems that having a light weight tripod for most of the kit and another heavier one for the heavy artillery is the best setup if the budget will allow. How do you balance (no pun intended!) tripod stability, weight and portability?

    • admin says:

      I use a number of the larger, carbon fiber Gitzo tripods, usually with a short center post so I can go to ground level. I don’t pay any attention to the model numbers. The key is to go big for a stable platform.

  71. Eric S. says:

    That makes sense. Tossing quality heads from other makers like RRS and Markins into the mix, a choice between them is probably a personal and somewhat subjective one.

    A few questions regarding your Gitzo tripods, what series do you use? Also, do you have multiple tripods? It seems that having a light weight tripod for most of the kit and another heavier one for the heavy artillery is the best setup if the budget will allow. How do you balance (no pun intended!) tripod stability, weight and portability?

    • admin says:

      I use a number of the larger, carbon fiber Gitzo tripods, usually with a short center post so I can go to ground level. I don’t pay any attention to the model numbers. The key is to go big for a stable platform.

  72. Ray says:

    Hi Art,
    I have seen situations where you add an extension tube to your 70-200 to take a macro shot. Are there any negatives to doing this vs. having a prime macro lens?

    • admin says:

      You lose some light, as much as a couple stops if you stack extension tubes, but there is no change in sharpness. If you started with a sharper prime lens, then you would get a better result that using the zoom, but that has nothing to do with the tubes.

  73. Ray says:

    Hi Art,
    I have seen situations where you add an extension tube to your 70-200 to take a macro shot. Are there any negatives to doing this vs. having a prime macro lens?

  74. Ray says:

    Hi Art,
    When you use the extension tube on your 70-200 for macro, do you have to take it off to shoot normally again? I’m wondering what the result is when you take a far away picture with the tube still on?

  75. Ray says:

    Hi Art,
    When you use the extension tube on your 70-200 for macro, do you have to take it off to shoot normally again? I’m wondering what the result is when you take a far away picture with the tube still on?

  76. Joe says:

    If you had to choose only one glass to shoot, what would you select and why?

    • admin says:

      I don’t think I can answer that. It’s like asking if I would prefer to inhale or exhale. I tend to use the 70-200 more than the others because it works across more subjects than a wide angle or super telephoto.

  77. Sneef says:

    “It’s like asking if I would prefer to inhale or exhale”

    That is one of the funniest thing i have ever read.

    Sneef

  78. Sneef says:

    “It’s like asking if I would prefer to inhale or exhale”

    That is one of the funniest thing i have ever read.

    Sneef

  79. Hi Art

    I love your show and your pictures that you take. I would love to know what you so in photo shot to give your pictures such bright colors. I know you shoot with a lot higher end camera than I do but what lens would you suggest for my Nikon D200 for wildlife shots. I am planning a trip to the Florada everglads and would like to make sure I have what I need. Right now I am useing a nilon 80-400mm 1:4.5.5.6D but I would like to get a little closer

    • admin says:

      We do a little work to make the files look like Velvia film, a little contrast boost. For the most part, the colors are a function of the light, either low light or overcast.

  80. Hi Art

    I love your show and your pictures that you take. I would love to know what you so in photo shot to give your pictures such bright colors. I know you shoot with a lot higher end camera than I do but what lens would you suggest for my Nikon D200 for wildlife shots. I am planning a trip to the Florada everglads and would like to make sure I have what I need. Right now I am useing a nilon 80-400mm 1:4.5.5.6D but I would like to get a little closer

    • admin says:

      We do a little work to make the files look like Velvia film, a little contrast boost. For the most part, the colors are a function of the light, either low light or overcast.

  81. clare says:

    Hi art, so I finally desided what to do with my life…I’ve desided to be a photographer…so question now …what would you say is the best camera to invest in??? And lenses?? I look forward to sharing my photos with you…have a nice day!!!

  82. David J. Swatscheno says:

    Hi Art. Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your show. Beautiful photos from great locations. Keep up the good work.

  83. I’m just about to make a start on designing my companies intranet, so this is a great post for me – thanks!

  84. I’m just about to make a start on designing my companies intranet, so this is a great post for me – thanks!

  85. Ray says:

    hi,
    what is your take on using fixed lenses vs zooms?

  86. Ray says:

    hi,
    what is your take on using fixed lenses vs zooms?

  87. Ray says:

    Hi Art,
    What is your take on fixed lenses vs zooms? Is the extra speed typically found in fixed lenses worth it over the flexibility of zooms?

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Ray,

      Art uses zoom lenses almost exclusively. The 16-35 and 70-200 are his favorite two. He believes that today’s digital cameras can more than compensate with higher ISOs for a lack of aperture.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  88. John Crow says:

    Hi Art.

    I’ve really been inspired by your show and was wondering if there will be a third season. The episode in Buhtan was incredible. I have been wanting to go there myself and now it has been elevated on my ‘must see places’ list.

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi John,

      There hopefully will be a third season of Travels to the Edge. If you are interested in Bhutan, we have a trip heading there early next year. Give our office a call.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  89. Jay Goodrich says:

    Hi John,

    There hopefully will be a third season of Travels to the Edge. If you are interested in Bhutan, we have a trip heading there early next year. Give our office a call.

    Cheers,

    Jay G.

  90. Jay Goodrich says:

    Hi Ray,

    Art uses zoom lenses almost exclusively. The 16-35 and 70-200 are his favorite two. He believes that today’s digital cameras can more than compensate with higher ISOs for a lack of aperture.

    Cheers,

    Jay G.

  91. Greg says:

    Hi Art.
    I went to photography school almost 10 years ago, and never pursued it. It’s always been my primary passion deep down. I want to pursue it now, but I’m unsure which way to go? Do you think I should go back to school for photo journalism? Is the job outlook good? Thanks for the advice. Admire you work greatly!

  92. Greg says:

    Hi Art.
    I went to photography school almost 10 years ago, and never pursued it. It’s always been my primary passion deep down. I want to pursue it now, but I’m unsure which way to go? Do you think I should go back to school for photo journalism? Is the job outlook good? Thanks for the advice. Admire you work greatly!

  93. Richard says:

    Hi Art,

    I own your book “Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky,” and I noticed that you used the maximum aperture available on your lens for many of the pictures. I wonder if that has changed for you now that you are shooting digital — because of diffraction. Is that something you even worry about, or have you had to modify your techniques somewhat?

    Richard

    PS I love the book ;-)

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Richard,

      Art shoots with 1Ds Mark III and 5D Mark II cameras, both cameras are full-frame sensor bodies so diffraction is not much of an issue. He will try to shoot imagery in each specific lens’s “sweet spot” (in most cases f11-f16 for the lenses he uses). However, in a landscape situation, as with his book “Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky,” Art needs a maximum depth of field to achieve sharp focus for everything within the composition, the only way to achieve this is to use the max f stop for that particular lens. Again, shooting a high-end pro camera and the sharpest glass available has him not limited when it comes to most digital issues. I hope this helps and thank you for posting to the blog.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  94. Respected Sir,
    I wanted to ask you that your colors in the travels to the edge series look very close to real, they are not under or over saturated.
    Do you use LAB color to process in photoshop?
    What is the best way to get colors close to real?
    (do you keep your saturation settings in-camera to zero and then boost them in photoshop or do the opposite)

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      It’s all personal style. Remember, there is not a stead fast rule to adjustments. You decide and your successes and failures are completely dependent on your knowledge of the current marketplace, and your expression of how you see the world. Classically trained as an architect, I have realized that the first idea/concept is not always the strongest. Editing and continued thought typically generate a product worth displaying.

  95. Hi Art,
    Two questions, what would you say is the number one mistake you see photographers consistently make and I don’t believe in manufacturing light or manipulate photography with software but I like to shoot raw and use the canon software that came with my 1DS to touch up and convert to JPEG. That particular software has limitations though, is there better software I could use. I apologize if someone has already asked the question, but I did not see it posted.
    Thank you.

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Michael,

      The best software for converting and mastering images is Adobe Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5 Extended. Both are available at http://www.adobe.com. And the largest mistake that Art sees photographers make is failure in creating a compelling composition. He always tells workshop students to hit me over the head with your subject, never leave me guessing. Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  96. Hi Art,
    Two questions, what would you say is the number one mistake you see photographers consistently make and I don’t believe in manufacturing light or manipulate photography with software but I like to shoot raw and use the canon software that came with my 1DS to touch up and convert to JPEG. That particular software has limitations though, is there better software I could use. I apologize if someone has already asked the question, but I did not see it posted.
    Thank you.

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Michael,

      The best software for converting and mastering images is Adobe Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5 Extended. Both are available at http://www.adobe.com. And the largest mistake that Art sees photographers make is failure in creating a compelling composition. He always tells workshop students to hit me over the head with your subject, never leave me guessing. Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  97. Don White says:

    I know that Art does some light painting at times. What does he use? I’ve tried with different flash lights, but can never get the correct lighting to make it work good. Thanks.

  98. Andrew says:

    Hi,
    Just a quick question. When you are shooting at apertures smaller than f/11k isn’t diffraction a problem. I have shot at f/22 and the results weren’t the greatest. Same image shot at f/8-f/11 was sharp, but the depth of field wasn’t there.
    I shoot my landscapes on a Mamiya AF645 film camera. I want go digital for lanscapes, but have heard about the diffraction problem.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    • artwolfe says:

      Andrew-
      Diffraction is a problem with most 35mm lenses at f/22 but the reality is that if you need the extra depth-of-field you go with it. The loss of sharpness with new digital cameras is negligible compared to the film days. If you need f/22, you add a bit more sharpening to compensate on final output. I haven’t noticed much of an issue with the new lenses I have up to f/16 which covers most photographic situations. Since you are used to medium format you might want to look at something like the Canon 17mm tilt/shift lens. It is one of the sharpest pieces of glass on the market and the tilt ability will allow you to keep f/stops to a more middle ground and achieve extra long f/22 results. What matters most is the subject and the composition. If you succeed there, a little bit of diffraction will ultimately be forgotten.

  99. Andrew says:

    Hi,
    Just a quick question. When you are shooting at apertures smaller than f/11k isn’t diffraction a problem. I have shot at f/22 and the results weren’t the greatest. Same image shot at f/8-f/11 was sharp, but the depth of field wasn’t there.
    I shoot my landscapes on a Mamiya AF645 film camera. I want go digital for lanscapes, but have heard about the diffraction problem.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    • artwolfe says:

      Andrew-
      Diffraction is a problem with most 35mm lenses at f/22 but the reality is that if you need the extra depth-of-field you go with it. The loss of sharpness with new digital cameras is negligible compared to the film days. If you need f/22, you add a bit more sharpening to compensate on final output. I haven’t noticed much of an issue with the new lenses I have up to f/16 which covers most photographic situations. Since you are used to medium format you might want to look at something like the Canon 17mm tilt/shift lens. It is one of the sharpest pieces of glass on the market and the tilt ability will allow you to keep f/stops to a more middle ground and achieve extra long f/22 results. What matters most is the subject and the composition. If you succeed there, a little bit of diffraction will ultimately be forgotten.

  100. rene says:

    hey art just can u give the information about the tripod and the ball head you use thanks

  101. Hawaii says:

    I have been following your blog for 3 days now and i should say i am starting to like your post. and now how do i subscribe to your blog?

  102. Hawaii says:

    I have been following your blog for 3 days now and i should say i am starting to like your post. and now how do i subscribe to your blog?

  103. kd acharya says:

    Hi Art,
    Love your show and your natural style of presentation.
    On my 50th my wife gifted me the 1ds MK3 and the 24-70L 2.8 and 70-200L. I still find that I do not get sharp images with them. I sent the camera back to Canon to check and they indicated that there was no problem with it.
    I am not sure if it is the lenses or my technique.
    I use a Gitzo with an Arcatech head.
    I get much sharper pics with my Sony DSC-R1
    Really frustrating.

    • Art Wolfe says:

      kd-
      Hard to say what is going on. If you think it is still the lens, perhaps you could rent the identical lens for a day and shoot images mounted on your tripod with both. If the same technique offers 2 different results, then the lens looks to be the culprit. If both techniques are the same, then you might review your procedures with the tripod and camera. Also do this in a wind-free environment is best.

  104. kd acharya says:

    Hi Art,
    Love your show and your natural style of presentation.
    On my 50th my wife gifted me the 1ds MK3 and the 24-70L 2.8 and 70-200L. I still find that I do not get sharp images with them. I sent the camera back to Canon to check and they indicated that there was no problem with it.
    I am not sure if it is the lenses or my technique.
    I use a Gitzo with an Arcatech head.
    I get much sharper pics with my Sony DSC-R1
    Really frustrating.

  105. Tom Hyatt says:

    Art,
    What backpack do you use? Is it the Lowepro Trekker 600? Also, what are the specs of your “Lenovo laptop optimized for photographers”?

    Tom

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Tom-
      I use the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW backpack.
      As for the Lenovo, I have switched over to Apple and use a MacBook Pro with Adobe LightRoom and Photoshop aboard.

  106. Terry Barnes says:

    Art, love your shows and miss their runs as of late on public tv. Do you always use autofocus or when do you prefer manual?

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Terry-
      Thanks for the comment. I use AutoFocus especially when shooting motion or long-distance landscapes. When shooting extreme close-ups or creating selective focus for an image, I’ll switch off to manual.

  107. Terry Barnes says:

    Art, love your shows and miss their runs as of late on public tv. Do you always use autofocus or when do you prefer manual?

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Terry-
      Thanks for the comment. I use AutoFocus especially when shooting motion or long-distance landscapes. When shooting extreme close-ups or creating selective focus for an image, I’ll switch off to manual.

  108. Jeff says:

    Really enjoy TTTE.

    Question: I’ve always used primes, I know Art uses a 16-35 and was wondering how well this lens would do at, say, at 24mm then enlarged to around 30 x 40 inches as compared to even a lowly 24 f/2.8?

    Do you use interpolation software before enlarging or the RIP on the printer?

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Jeff,

      We don’t have any issues with Art producing images with zoom lenses these days. Yes, there is always a difference between primes and zooms with primes having a bit more sharpness to them, but we as photographers are really good at splitting hairs for hairs sake–in my opinion. The new zooms are much sharper than ever before and carrying two lenses while hiking in the wilds of the world is much easier than hiking with 10 primes. Art’s gallery is full of 30 x 40 prints taken entirely with zooms and their sharpness is un-compromised. Digital capture has actually opened many doors in the printing process as now we do not need to create a secondary scan to produce a fine art print and the sharpness gained in this step alone has improved the print quality ten-fold.

      We use Photoshop for most of the enlarging mainly because Art is shooting with a 21 megapixel camera and the size is already there in the raw file. The other keys to the success of Art’s prints are that he always uses a tripod, a cable release, and sets his camera to allow for mirror lock-up. A great base starting point always transfers to a final print as well.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  109. Jay wrote ” We use Photoshop for most of the enlarging mainly because Art is shooting with a 21 megapixel camera and the size is already there in the raw file “. This begs the question that if the images are being captured on a lower megapixel full frame camera (say 12mp) what would he suggest for enlarging?

    Thanks,

    Chuck

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Chuck,

      I have used Photoshop and Genuine Fractals (now Perfect Resize) for enlargements from previous 10 and 12mp cameras. Essentially anytime I made a print that was 30×40 or larger I used Genuine Fractals and anything smaller I used Photoshop. Now, I pretty much just use Photoshop as I am shooting with a 16mp camera. Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  110. Jay wrote ” We use Photoshop for most of the enlarging mainly because Art is shooting with a 21 megapixel camera and the size is already there in the raw file “. This begs the question that if the images are being captured on a lower megapixel full frame camera (say 12mp) what would he suggest for enlarging?

    Thanks,

    Chuck

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Chuck,

      I have used Photoshop and Genuine Fractals (now Perfect Resize) for enlargements from previous 10 and 12mp cameras. Essentially anytime I made a print that was 30×40 or larger I used Genuine Fractals and anything smaller I used Photoshop. Now, I pretty much just use Photoshop as I am shooting with a 16mp camera. Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  111. Patricia Dorin says:

    Hello, Art,

    I have long been a fan of your macro work and wondered what lenses, accessories and settings you use to achieve such outstanding front-to-back sharpness, especially while working in the field. I just bought the 100-macro for my 5D-Mk II but can’t seem to get the depth of field or sharpness I want.

    Grateful for your inspiration and help!
    Pat Dorin

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Pat,

      Thank you for your comment and question. Art typically uses a set of extension tubes with his 70-200mm lens. The extension tube is a hollow piece of metal that allows you to pull the lens away from the camera body giving a closer focusing distance. This gives Art the close focus distance of a macro without having to carry a macro lens. At times when he knows he is going to be shooting a lot of close-up work he will carry the 100mm that you have just purchased. I think your depth of field/sharpness issue is coming from the fact that your film or sensor plane is not parallel to your subject. If you are shooting at an angle no amount of depth of field will allow you the sharpness that you are talking about with Art’s macro images. Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  112. Adrienne says:

    Thank you in advance for your guidance.

    Am interested in an entry level camera, but not alot of gear, good for landscape and general outdoor use, and in attending one of your workshops. For the beginner/amatuer, what are your comments on performance of the newest interchangeable lens cameras – Canon EOS 600D/Ti3, Nikon D5100, Panasonic DMC-G3, or even Sony’s NEX-5?

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Adrienne-
      Forget gear right now. Take my composition class. This can be applied to even iPhone photography and you will get great results. I suggest you get used to using any kind of camera and just start making images.
      Of course, I do use high-end camera equipment to obtain larger files and obtain the sharpest image with great lenses, but all of this is is secondary to the composition. Once you have that down, the gear will naturally present itself as to what you need.

  113. Adrienne says:

    Thank you in advance for your guidance.

    Am interested in an entry level camera, but not alot of gear, good for landscape and general outdoor use, and in attending one of your workshops. For the beginner/amatuer, what are your comments on performance of the newest interchangeable lens cameras – Canon EOS 600D/Ti3, Nikon D5100, Panasonic DMC-G3, or even Sony’s NEX-5?

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Adrienne-
      Forget gear right now. Take my composition class. This can be applied to even iPhone photography and you will get great results. I suggest you get used to using any kind of camera and just start making images.
      Of course, I do use high-end camera equipment to obtain larger files and obtain the sharpest image with great lenses, but all of this is is secondary to the composition. Once you have that down, the gear will naturally present itself as to what you need.

  114. Tom says:

    Do you have any experience with the 24mm TS-E II? If so, how does it compare to your 16-35 in terms of ease of use and also in terms of results?

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Tom,

      I use that lens almost everyday I shoot architecture photography. It is one of the sharpest lenses that Canon has in it’s lineup. It does take a little learning and trial/error to get the best results from it though. It is sharper than the 16-35 zoom, but the zoom has the obvious ease of use and ability to make compositional changes without moving the camera. Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jay G.

  115. I have a couple of inexpensive cameras, a Cannon which has magnification to about 14x and a Fujifilm camera that has a magnification of about 30x manually adjusted. I like to shoot birds but a lot of time I would like to have 60-70 x magnification or enough detail in the image to allow enlargement. I know you use a 21 megapixel camera. I would assume that you can enlarge a 21 megapixel image to a much greater extent than a say 8 megapixel image so you would not need as much magnification. I have spotting scopes with high magnification. I use to use a 35 mm film camera (Cannon ?-50)with an adapter on one of these scopes. I still have that equipment but not the film camera. It would be nice to fit a digital camera to my fixture. I can’t afford the lenses you use as a professional but I would like to get better bird images if possible with less expensive gear. Now you know how little I know about photography. In the past I took a lot of video at the Brigantine (Edwin Forsythe) Bird Refuge when I lived in the east. I prefer that but a professional video camera is also out of sight for me. My wife has ALZ so her care comes first. Thanks, Art! John

    • Art Wolfe says:

      John-
      Not sure about the spotting scopes. Best to head down to the camera store and see if the lens mounts are compatible. I would guess not, but there might be an adapter that they make that would work.
      Good luck on this and thanks for writing.

  116. I have a couple of inexpensive cameras, a Cannon which has magnification to about 14x and a Fujifilm camera that has a magnification of about 30x manually adjusted. I like to shoot birds but a lot of time I would like to have 60-70 x magnification or enough detail in the image to allow enlargement. I know you use a 21 megapixel camera. I would assume that you can enlarge a 21 megapixel image to a much greater extent than a say 8 megapixel image so you would not need as much magnification. I have spotting scopes with high magnification. I use to use a 35 mm film camera (Cannon ?-50)with an adapter on one of these scopes. I still have that equipment but not the film camera. It would be nice to fit a digital camera to my fixture. I can’t afford the lenses you use as a professional but I would like to get better bird images if possible with less expensive gear. Now you know how little I know about photography. In the past I took a lot of video at the Brigantine (Edwin Forsythe) Bird Refuge when I lived in the east. I prefer that but a professional video camera is also out of sight for me. My wife has ALZ so her care comes first. Thanks, Art! John

  117. Michael D. says:

    I am looking to trade up my 40D and cannot decide to purchase a 7D or 5D body. There is so much conflicting information and opinions out there, I thought I would ask to throw yours in the mix. Given that I would prefer use the L series lenses I have (70-200 IS USM f4 and 24-105 IS USM f4), do I need to heavily weight the apparent superior low light performance of the 5D? I do use AF and also understand that 7D is superior there. It seems there is a bunch of 7D bashing from the 5D’ers re: full-frame and IQ shortcomings of the &D. Thanks for your help. BTW, I will see you next summer in Los Angeles at your seminar.

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Michael-
      I don’t have a 7D, but I do use a 5D MKII and it has great features. If you are doing mostly AF and the reviews are much more favorable, then the 7D may be the right choice. Remember the 5D has a full-frame sensor which provides the 21mp output and the HD video. It is a nice fit in the hands, too, but I use a tripod almost always. Good luck with your decision.

  118. Michael D. says:

    I am looking to trade up my 40D and cannot decide to purchase a 7D or 5D body. There is so much conflicting information and opinions out there, I thought I would ask to throw yours in the mix. Given that I would prefer use the L series lenses I have (70-200 IS USM f4 and 24-105 IS USM f4), do I need to heavily weight the apparent superior low light performance of the 5D? I do use AF and also understand that 7D is superior there. It seems there is a bunch of 7D bashing from the 5D’ers re: full-frame and IQ shortcomings of the &D. Thanks for your help. BTW, I will see you next summer in Los Angeles at your seminar.

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Michael-
      I don’t have a 7D, but I do use a 5D MKII and it has great features. If you are doing mostly AF and the reviews are much more favorable, then the 7D may be the right choice. Remember the 5D has a full-frame sensor which provides the 21mp output and the HD video. It is a nice fit in the hands, too, but I use a tripod almost always. Good luck with your decision.

  119. Terry says:

    Hi Art, which exposure mode do you use most and why? I shoot a 5DM2 and go back and forth between spot and center weighted. I’ve tried the others offered but can’t tell much difference. Are there rules that guide you on this? Thanks!

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Hi Terry,

      I use Aperture Value with Evaluative Metering the most. Sometimes, depending on lighting situations, I will switch to Spot Metering and Manual but for 95% of the images that I make I shoot in the aforementioned.

      Cheers,

      Art

  120. Art,
    For your up and coming workshop in Chicago (May 20th) what level students is the class geared towards? Is it a advance class, or can intermediate photographers attend?
    A big thank you to you and your team for all you help.
    Christian

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Christian-
      The answer is all of the above. Anyone that chooses to capture an image and wants to know how to do it better will benefit. This is not a technical program, but a unique way to approach the aesthetic of the photograph. If you are shooting with your iPhone, or a PhaseOne Medium format, you will get something of value out of this program. How we create the image and compose it is the thing that makes it interesting and beautiful. I can show you new and different ways to SEE and CREATE. Join us in Chicago.

  121. Art,
    For your up and coming workshop in Chicago (May 20th) what level students is the class geared towards? Is it a advance class, or can intermediate photographers attend?
    A big thank you to you and your team for all you help.
    Christian

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Christian-
      The answer is all of the above. Anyone that chooses to capture an image and wants to know how to do it better will benefit. This is not a technical program, but a unique way to approach the aesthetic of the photograph. If you are shooting with your iPhone, or a PhaseOne Medium format, you will get something of value out of this program. How we create the image and compose it is the thing that makes it interesting and beautiful. I can show you new and different ways to SEE and CREATE. Join us in Chicago.

  122. Andre Clark says:

    Art,

    What size ND filters do you prefer, P size or 4″x6″?

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm!
    Andre

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Hi Andre,

      Thank you very much for the compliments. I currently use the P size because they are easier for me to use when handholding them in front of my lens. And I use both Singh-Ray and Lee Glass filters in the 2 and 3 stop hard gradation.

      Cheers,

      Art

  123. Michael says:

    Hi Art,
    I just love your Travels to the Edge Series, I watch them over and over again for inspiration and ideas for photo holidays.
    I notice that whenever the lens hood is not on your 70-200? you appear to have a Polarizer mounted, is this true?
    Even with your 500 and longer lenses you seem to be always tweaking the focus manually?
    I may be wrong because I shoot Nikon but could you elaborate a little on the
    polarizer and the tweaking of the focus please.

    Regards and thanks for the great shows.

    Michael
    Seville, Spain

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the great questions and detailed observations. My polarizer is typically mounted this is true, but not always. I find that it works great at 90 degrees to the sun but also to take the sheen off of leaves in the forest, so in most cases it is there. In regards to your other question, I do sometimes help the lens out if the subject is extremely close or extremely far out. I have found that this just gets rid of any hesitation the lens might have and then allows me to track with the auto focus from there. Hope this helps!

      Best,

      Art

  124. Michael says:

    Hi Art,
    I just love your Travels to the Edge Series, I watch them over and over again for inspiration and ideas for photo holidays.
    I notice that whenever the lens hood is not on your 70-200? you appear to have a Polarizer mounted, is this true?
    Even with your 500 and longer lenses you seem to be always tweaking the focus manually?
    I may be wrong because I shoot Nikon but could you elaborate a little on the
    polarizer and the tweaking of the focus please.

    Regards and thanks for the great shows.

    Michael
    Seville, Spain

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the great questions and detailed observations. My polarizer is typically mounted this is true, but not always. I find that it works great at 90 degrees to the sun but also to take the sheen off of leaves in the forest, so in most cases it is there. In regards to your other question, I do sometimes help the lens out if the subject is extremely close or extremely far out. I have found that this just gets rid of any hesitation the lens might have and then allows me to track with the auto focus from there. Hope this helps!

      Best,

      Art

  125. Chris Smith says:

    Hi Art,

    I have been following this thread for quite a while now and I keep checking back. I have switched my lens setup based on your recommendation from centering around a 24-105mm to now having a 17-40mm and a 70-200mm. I love this combination and have not missed the range in between, but I have one issue. It takes me quite a while to switch between these lenses. Not only do I need to change the lenses, but when using the 17-40mm, the camera L plate attaches to my tripod. When using the 70-200mm I attach the tripod collar on the lens to the tripod. Do you have any recommendations?

    And why don’t you use an L plate rather than a single plate for your camera?

    I love everything that you do and just noticed you will be in Chicago in May. I hope to be there.

    Chris

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Chris,

      I think you will get used to and begin switching between the two lenses the more often that you do it. If you are using the 70-200 f4 lens you could get away with attaching the lens to your camera and keeping the camera attached via the L bracket. The benefit to using the collar and bracket on the lens is that it is much more stabile and will allow sharper images in low light situations. At times, when timing is of the essence I will just attach my f4 lens without a collar, but since I am typically using slow shutter speeds with my tripod, I want every advantage to sharpness available to me. The quickest way I have found to switch out my lenses is to keep the camera body attached to my tripod pull the wide angle, attach the telephoto, then move the whole assembly to the tripod collar of the larger lens. This way you are not fumbling with additional equipment while making the switch. If going from the telephoto do everything in reverse, move the camera to the L bracket, remove the lens…

      Not using an L bracket is just a matter of weight savings. It is also faster to just drop my bullhead into the vertical position instead of removing and remounting the camera. Time is typically fleeting when shooting outdoors so not missing the shot is far more important than having a composition line up in the vertical and horizontal positions.

      Cheers,

      Jay Goodrich

  126. Chris Smith says:

    Hi Art,

    I have been following this thread for quite a while now and I keep checking back. I have switched my lens setup based on your recommendation from centering around a 24-105mm to now having a 17-40mm and a 70-200mm. I love this combination and have not missed the range in between, but I have one issue. It takes me quite a while to switch between these lenses. Not only do I need to change the lenses, but when using the 17-40mm, the camera L plate attaches to my tripod. When using the 70-200mm I attach the tripod collar on the lens to the tripod. Do you have any recommendations?

    And why don’t you use an L plate rather than a single plate for your camera?

    I love everything that you do and just noticed you will be in Chicago in May. I hope to be there.

    Chris

    • Jay Goodrich says:

      Hi Chris,

      I think you will get used to and begin switching between the two lenses the more often that you do it. If you are using the 70-200 f4 lens you could get away with attaching the lens to your camera and keeping the camera attached via the L bracket. The benefit to using the collar and bracket on the lens is that it is much more stabile and will allow sharper images in low light situations. At times, when timing is of the essence I will just attach my f4 lens without a collar, but since I am typically using slow shutter speeds with my tripod, I want every advantage to sharpness available to me. The quickest way I have found to switch out my lenses is to keep the camera body attached to my tripod pull the wide angle, attach the telephoto, then move the whole assembly to the tripod collar of the larger lens. This way you are not fumbling with additional equipment while making the switch. If going from the telephoto do everything in reverse, move the camera to the L bracket, remove the lens…

      Not using an L bracket is just a matter of weight savings. It is also faster to just drop my bullhead into the vertical position instead of removing and remounting the camera. Time is typically fleeting when shooting outdoors so not missing the shot is far more important than having a composition line up in the vertical and horizontal positions.

      Cheers,

      Jay Goodrich

  127. Chris Smith says:

    Thanks Jay.

    Actually, I am using a 70-200mm 2.8, so I try to always shoot it mounted from the tripod collar. I don’t always change my lenses the same way, so I will try to get into a groove doing it the way you describe.

    The regular bracket makes sense the way you describe it. I like using the L bracket because I do a lot of interior shots where I want a vertical and horizontal from the exact same location. Thanks for your response!

    Chris

  128. Günther Reissner says:

    Hi Art,
    I love watching your show here in Austria whenever I can, they show it on ServusTV (Redbull TV) and I envy you of the locations you’ve been to over the years. I used to live in Arizona, but unfortunately the love for photography grew just over the last couple of years, when I was already back here in Austria.
    I have two questions for you:
    a) I noticed you are using a 16-35 and a 70-200 most of the time, don’t you miss the range in between?
    b) will you ever make it to central Europe for a workshop? I would love to attend one of those -:)
    In the meantime I keep watching you show and keep an eye on your website.
    Best regards from Austria
    Günther

  129. Günther Reissner says:

    Hi Art,
    I love watching your show here in Austria whenever I can, they show it on ServusTV (Redbull TV) and I envy you of the locations you’ve been to over the years. I used to live in Arizona, but unfortunately the love for photography grew just over the last couple of years, when I was already back here in Austria.
    I have two questions for you:
    a) I noticed you are using a 16-35 and a 70-200 most of the time, don’t you miss the range in between?
    b) will you ever make it to central Europe for a workshop? I would love to attend one of those -:)
    In the meantime I keep watching you show and keep an eye on your website.
    Best regards from Austria
    Günther

  130. Jonas says:

    Hi Art. I’ve recently been watching Travels to The Edge. I love your work. I started taking photos seriously at 12 or 13 with my Fujifilm point-and-shoot. I’ve since upgraded to a Nikon SLR. However I have a lot of fellow photograpers that are freinds of mine and about half use Nikon ans the other half Canon. I notice you also use Canon. Is there any particular reason to go with one or the other?

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Jonas-
      It is all a matter of what you are comfortable with. My workshops have participants that use a wide variety of equipment.
      In most cities, you can usually find a camera rental business. I suggest that beyond the features that are most important to you, the “feel” of the camera is also very important. Renting one for a day or weekend and reviewing the results is an excellent way to know.
      Both systems are excellent and will allow you to get excellent results.
      I teach that it is about seeing and not about the gear. Even a smart phone can produce a compelling image.
      Thanks for watching.

  131. Jonas says:

    Hi Art. I’ve recently been watching Travels to The Edge. I love your work. I started taking photos seriously at 12 or 13 with my Fujifilm point-and-shoot. I’ve since upgraded to a Nikon SLR. However I have a lot of fellow photograpers that are freinds of mine and about half use Nikon ans the other half Canon. I notice you also use Canon. Is there any particular reason to go with one or the other?

    • Art Wolfe says:

      Jonas-
      It is all a matter of what you are comfortable with. My workshops have participants that use a wide variety of equipment.
      In most cities, you can usually find a camera rental business. I suggest that beyond the features that are most important to you, the “feel” of the camera is also very important. Renting one for a day or weekend and reviewing the results is an excellent way to know.
      Both systems are excellent and will allow you to get excellent results.
      I teach that it is about seeing and not about the gear. Even a smart phone can produce a compelling image.
      Thanks for watching.

  132. Jonas says:

    Thanks Art! Good to know “feel” is very important. Also the places you go are amazing to capture. I will be travelling to mozambique, Africa for the summer and after that I will be moving to Micronesia in August. Hope to capture some amazing shots in both places.

  133. Jonas says:

    Thanks Art! Good to know “feel” is very important. Also the places you go are amazing to capture. I will be travelling to mozambique, Africa for the summer and after that I will be moving to Micronesia in August. Hope to capture some amazing shots in both places.

  134. Günther Reissner says:

    Thanks Art! Maybe I can combine the Rome workshop with a mini vacation? Cologne is a possibility as well, sure would love to attend one or the other.
    Maybe I’ll see you there.

  135. Günther Reissner says:

    Thanks Art! Maybe I can combine the Rome workshop with a mini vacation? Cologne is a possibility as well, sure would love to attend one or the other.
    Maybe I’ll see you there.

  136. Terry B says:

    Hi Art, love your shows ! Do you ever use the autofocus points together , rather than just one ..for a shot? Thanks!

  137. Hello Art,
    I have a question about your gear. Specifically do you use tele-converters on your lenses? If so, which brand?.
    Thankyou,
    Marco A. Gutiérrez

  138. Hello Art,
    I have a question about your gear. Specifically do you use tele-converters on your lenses? If so, which brand?.
    Thankyou,
    Marco A. Gutiérrez

  139. mike smith says:

    Great show. Wonderful work. Had a question a piece I caught on a recent show. You were doing sunsets and had some type of square filter in your hand. It was square , half was clear and the rest had a deep tint to it. I’m thinking It’s a handheld filter? Any info would be great. Thanks for all the great shots… Mike

  140. mike smith says:

    Great show. Wonderful work. Had a question a piece I caught on a recent show. You were doing sunsets and had some type of square filter in your hand. It was square , half was clear and the rest had a deep tint to it. I’m thinking It’s a handheld filter? Any info would be great. Thanks for all the great shots… Mike

  141. Art Wolfe says:

    Mike-
    It is a graduated neutral density filter you saw me using.

  142. Art Wolfe says:

    Mike-
    It is a graduated neutral density filter you saw me using.

  143. paul leatherbury says:

    First a big thank you.

    I was curious as to what wet weather camera gear you use, both rain gear and when you’re on the water-kayaks or boats or even on shore in stormy weather etc. What packs, camera covers, etc. do you generally use.

  144. paul leatherbury says:

    First a big thank you.

    I was curious as to what wet weather camera gear you use, both rain gear and when you’re on the water-kayaks or boats or even on shore in stormy weather etc. What packs, camera covers, etc. do you generally use.

  145. Jeff says:

    Hi Mr. Wolfe,

    I recently visited a gallery at the Venetian and saw some of your works. My favorite was the Monks in Myanmar, as well as the boat shot in Varanasi. They were beautiful shots.

    j

  146. Jeff says:

    Hi Mr. Wolfe,

    I recently visited a gallery at the Venetian and saw some of your works. My favorite was the Monks in Myanmar, as well as the boat shot in Varanasi. They were beautiful shots.

    j

  147. As much as I love your stills I am equally fascinated with the video work on your Travels To The Edge series. Any info on equipment and techniques (links) greatly appreciated. Thank you for all your fine work.
    Douglas Young

  148. […] Untuk peminat landscape photography 70-200mm bukanlah satu keperluan tetapi ada juga jurufoto alam semulajadi yang perlukan lensa 70-200mm untuk merakam subjek mereka, antara jurufoto landscape yang menjadikan lensa 70-200mm  sebagai keperluan mereka ialah Art Wolfe, boleh rujuk blognya Di Sini . […]

  149. […] Untuk peminat landscape photography 70-200mm bukanlah satu keperluan tetapi ada juga jurufoto alam semulajadi yang perlukan lensa 70-200mm untuk merakam subjek mereka, antara jurufoto landscape yang menjadikan lensa 70-200mm  sebagai keperluan mereka ialah Art Wolfe, boleh rujuk blognya Di Sini . […]

  150. artwolfe says:

    When I travel with the show, I have to check my gear. We are often on small planes or subject to weird rules. Airlines are a major pain. I carry on a much as I can, but a 500 lens takes up most of my space.

  151. artwolfe says:

    When I travel with the show, I have to check my gear. We are often on small planes or subject to weird rules. Airlines are a major pain. I carry on a much as I can, but a 500 lens takes up most of my space.

  152. artwolfe says:

    We use hard cases when we check equipment. No losses so far. I’ve even left an 800mm lens at the airport and got it back so luck has been with me.

  153. artwolfe says:

    We use hard cases when we check equipment. No losses so far. I’ve even left an 800mm lens at the airport and got it back so luck has been with me.

  154. artwolfe says:

    I usually use the lowest ISO possible to get the lowest noise file. At ISO 100, I often need a tripod because my shutter speed is too slow to capture a sharp shot, at least if you want maximal sharpness. Longer lenses amplify shake and stopping down to get depth of field slows shutter speed. In short, it’s almost always an advantage to shoot from a tripod.

  155. artwolfe says:

    I usually use the lowest ISO possible to get the lowest noise file. At ISO 100, I often need a tripod because my shutter speed is too slow to capture a sharp shot, at least if you want maximal sharpness. Longer lenses amplify shake and stopping down to get depth of field slows shutter speed. In short, it’s almost always an advantage to shoot from a tripod.

  156. artwolfe says:

    I cover these issues a little in the latest Outdoor Photographer and I’ll add more in the blog over time.

  157. artwolfe says:

    The f4 is a newer lens. When weight is at a premium, I use the f4.

  158. artwolfe says:

    The f4 is a newer lens. When weight is at a premium, I use the f4.

  159. admin says:

    I think they are comparable ball heads. The Arca had many years of faithful service in harsh conditions, The Kirk looked good so I gave it a try. You can’t go wrong with either one.

  160. Jay Goodrich says:

    Hi Richard,

    Art shoots with 1Ds Mark III and 5D Mark II cameras, both cameras are full-frame sensor bodies so diffraction is not much of an issue. He will try to shoot imagery in each specific lens’s “sweet spot” (in most cases f11-f16 for the lenses he uses). However, in a landscape situation, as with his book “Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky,” Art needs a maximum depth of field to achieve sharp focus for everything within the composition, the only way to achieve this is to use the max f stop for that particular lens. Again, shooting a high-end pro camera and the sharpest glass available has him not limited when it comes to most digital issues. I hope this helps and thank you for posting to the blog.

    Cheers,

    Jay G.

  161. Jay Goodrich says:

    It’s all personal style. Remember, there is not a stead fast rule to adjustments. You decide and your successes and failures are completely dependent on your knowledge of the current marketplace, and your expression of how you see the world. Classically trained as an architect, I have realized that the first idea/concept is not always the strongest. Editing and continued thought typically generate a product worth displaying.

  162. artwolfe says:

    Nothing more than your basic flashlight that you carry in your backpack. You may have to experiment with a few exposures to get the amount of fill you want.

  163. Art Wolfe says:

    hermitcrab29-
    I use a Gitzo model GT3540 tripod and a Kirk BH-1 head.

  164. Art Wolfe says:

    Tom-
    I use the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW backpack.
    As for the Lenovo, I have switched over to Apple and use a MacBook Pro with Adobe LightRoom and Photoshop aboard.

  165. Jay Goodrich says:

    Hi Jeff,

    We don’t have any issues with Art producing images with zoom lenses these days. Yes, there is always a difference between primes and zooms with primes having a bit more sharpness to them, but we as photographers are really good at splitting hairs for hairs sake–in my opinion. The new zooms are much sharper than ever before and carrying two lenses while hiking in the wilds of the world is much easier than hiking with 10 primes. Art’s gallery is full of 30 x 40 prints taken entirely with zooms and their sharpness is un-compromised. Digital capture has actually opened many doors in the printing process as now we do not need to create a secondary scan to produce a fine art print and the sharpness gained in this step alone has improved the print quality ten-fold.

    We use Photoshop for most of the enlarging mainly because Art is shooting with a 21 megapixel camera and the size is already there in the raw file. The other keys to the success of Art’s prints are that he always uses a tripod, a cable release, and sets his camera to allow for mirror lock-up. A great base starting point always transfers to a final print as well.

    Cheers,

    Jay G.

  166. Jay Goodrich says:

    Hi Pat,

    Thank you for your comment and question. Art typically uses a set of extension tubes with his 70-200mm lens. The extension tube is a hollow piece of metal that allows you to pull the lens away from the camera body giving a closer focusing distance. This gives Art the close focus distance of a macro without having to carry a macro lens. At times when he knows he is going to be shooting a lot of close-up work he will carry the 100mm that you have just purchased. I think your depth of field/sharpness issue is coming from the fact that your film or sensor plane is not parallel to your subject. If you are shooting at an angle no amount of depth of field will allow you the sharpness that you are talking about with Art’s macro images. Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Jay G.

  167. Jay Goodrich says:

    Hi Tom,

    I use that lens almost everyday I shoot architecture photography. It is one of the sharpest lenses that Canon has in it’s lineup. It does take a little learning and trial/error to get the best results from it though. It is sharper than the 16-35 zoom, but the zoom has the obvious ease of use and ability to make compositional changes without moving the camera. Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Jay G.

  168. Art Wolfe says:

    Hi Terry,

    I use Aperture Value with Evaluative Metering the most. Sometimes, depending on lighting situations, I will switch to Spot Metering and Manual but for 95% of the images that I make I shoot in the aforementioned.

    Cheers,

    Art

  169. Jay Goodrich says:

    Hi Terry,

    Art does use multiple points. Although rarely, he will use them when shooting wildlife where he is relying on the camera’s speed to focus.

    Cheers,

    Jay G.

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