Some of the most common questions I receive from photographers of all skill levels and backgrounds are in regards to the equipment I use and recommend. While I always emphasize the importance of understanding fundamental art and design principles first and foremost when it comes to taking great photos, finding the right equipment in a sea of options can be understandably overwhelming.
I’ve put together a gear page you can check out here that highlights some of the equipment I use and recommend, as well as some of the brands and companies I trust. Bookmark this page and check back often, as I’m constantly trying out new equipment!
At San Cristobal & Floreana Islands I was able to capture some wonderful shots of the local bird life, and the Galapagos sea lions were all too willing to show off for the camera. I purchased a generic light weight camera housing along the way to ensure I could get these under water shots, although I was admittedly a little weary of putting my new Canon 1DX into the water in a setup that I hadn’t tested before and trust it would not leak, but no guts no glory! The payoff made the risky endeavor worth while as the sea lions gave us quite a show. I also managed to capture schools of fish as well as some boobies looking for a meal.
I couldn’t be happier with what we were able to find on this trip. The local wildlife has been an incredible host for our group.
I usually shoot with a 16-35mm or a 70-200mm. However, when I know I am going to be getting a chance to photograph wildlife, like Brown Bears in Katmai, I bring along something longer. Shot on location in Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA.
Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement on an exciting Katmai event coming soon!
Along with great exhibits, demos and informational talks, I am the special guest speaker and will be doing my Earth Is My Witness presentation! Also, click through to the festival information to learn about their print contest.
Iceland is a wonderland of volcanic landscapes and this was a great place to try out the new Canon EOS 5DS R, which is even superior to the 5DS I shot with earlier in May. This camera is not about pushing the ISO boundaries into the stratosphere, rather it’s about amazing details in the enlargement. The 5DS R offers much more clarity in the shadow and highlight details, a greater dynamic range, in addition to its obvious pixel packing punch in huge installations. I also like the familiar feel and weight of the camera vs. moving away from the 35mm look and feel to a medium or large format type body. This will be a game changer for packing in a camera with this resolution capability to remote locations where gear weight is an issue.
Traveling with photography gear can be a pain, especially if you are not sure what to bring and what to leave at home. Here are the basics that I take with me on every trip, and it all fits in one backpack! Filmed on South Georgia Island.
The new-look PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine goes on sale now worldwide. It includes an 8 page interview with Art by David Clark.
Subscribe to PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine before June 15th and you’ll get their entire special 100th issue (not just the 4 pages shown here) plus the Ultimate Canon Handbook for free! That means you’ll get 14 issues in a 1 year subscription, wherever you are in the world.
Just under 3 weeks left to get in on these breakthrough filters at a discount and be part of helping to launch a new company!
I’ve been using these filters for several months already and I love them. I’m really impressed with their quality and the optics – and with the young entrepreneur who saw complacency in the market and was willing to go up against entrenched competition with a better mouse trap. That takes some guts and he pulled it off.
This is a question I get asked all the time, “What sort of equipment do you use?” The answer is usually less than you would expect. In general I shoot with Canon’s 5DS R and 1Dx cameras. For my new Human Canvas photos I am using a Leica S. Digital technology has far surpassed what film was ever capable of and has completely changed the game for what one can shoot in the field.
Where ISO 50 was the norm with film, I am shooting into the 1000s without reservations now. The ability to confirm “you got it” immediately after the shot, zooming in to ensure critical focus, evaluating the histogram for exposure, means that today I shoot far less than I would have in the past. I can shoot half a dozen frames, know I got what I wanted and move on. With slides I may have shot a couple of roles of a single subject before I was satisfied that at least one of the images in the batch would satisfy me later – and later could be several months before I knew what I had.
I have shot the majority of my images with just two lenses over the last few years. Both are “L” series lenses, Canon’s professional designation, the 16-35 f/2.8 L II and the 70-200 f/4 L IS. I’ll use extension tubes for macro work with the 70-200 and add in a 1.4x extender for additional reach when I need it as well. These are my workhorses and they are always in my bag regardless of where I’m headed.
While I may have dismissed the middle range in the past, more and more I am finding myself reaching for a 24-105 f/4 L IS. It is a great walk around lens for shooting in crowded markets, portraits, architecture
On occasion I’ll pack a long lens. Years ago I loved my Nikkor 200-400mm lens for wildlife work; now I use the Canon 200-400 1/4 L IS USM Extender 1/4x.
I’ll also bring a fish eye lens, the 15mm f2.8, for special effects, just to mix things up a bit – but it’s not a lens I would rely on daily by any means.
In addition, I carry a light weight, sturdy carbon fiber tripod. I like Gitzo’s GT3542XLS Carbon Fiber Tripod. They make a fine product and it is light enough that I won’t hesitate to bring it wherever I’m going. I am using a Kirk BH-1 ballhead mounted to a flat plate (no center column). Here is an important tip about tripods – purchase a tripod that is just a little too heavy and you won’t use it. Purchase one with a wobbly center column and you’re better off without it. So spend a little more money up front and you won’t have to do it again for many years. Mirror lock up and a cable release are also a part of the stabilization equation.
Then there are the miscellaneous bits and pieces. An intervelometer for shooting long exposures and stars, circular polarizers for all lenses, a couple of 2-stop, hard step graduated neutral density filters, extra batteries for the camera and intervelometer, hex wrenches, lens cleaning cloths, and of course, a couple of portable hard drives, extra memory cards, and a MacBook Pro. I pack all of this in a Tamrac Anvil 27 bag- simple, lightweight, and effective for me to travel the world.
We’ve teamed up with Gura Gear to give away a Gura Gear Bataflae Pack System and two other winners will also receive a copy of The Art of the Photograph, one signed. Enter with the Rafflecopter below. Increase your chances of winning by completing all the options. Good luck!