Art Wolfe Recommended Gear
My go-to cameras in the field are the Canon 1D X and the 5DS R. For studio work such as my Human Canvas project I use a Leica S. In the early 2000’s digital photography began to surpass film in terms of popularity, and the quality had caught up as well. Although film has seen a renaissance recently as some liken the differences in film and digital to the comparisons between vinyl and digital music, I find the ability to shoot continuously for essentially no cost with the instant gratification of having a built in monitor to review captures to be invaluable. This flexibility along with using tools like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance images in ways that are true to the adjustments one could make with the camera itself, zooming in to ensure critical focus, and being able to evaluate the histogram for exposure are the main reasons I use these powerful DSLR cameras.
LENSES & FILTERS
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 are my workhorse lenses and are generally with me wherever I go. I also pack a Canon 1.4x extender to add an extra 40% zoom to these lenses. If I anticipate I’ll want even more zoom, I’ll bring a 200-400mm lens with it’s own built-in extender. I use Breakthrough Photography polarizing and neutral density filters as needed as well.
EQUIPMENT & TRAVEL
With longer focal length, camera shake and movement issues increase exponentially. A sturdy tripod that is also light enough that you will take it with you becomes an important consideration, and I don’t recommend skimping here. A quality ball head like the Kirk BH-3 I use, and some kind of cable release for your camera will also contribute to ensuring the stability. I use a Canon shutter release that also serves as an intervalometer.
Camera drones are also a significant tool for any photographer looking to find new and interesting shots that simply aren’t possible from the human perspective. I use a DJI Phantom 4 quadcopter. I pack the majority of my gear in a Tamrac Anvil 27 backpack. Make sure you pick up TSA locks if you’re traveling so you can secure your valuable equipment in a way that is accessible to TSA agents.
COMPUTERS & ACCESSORIES
I do all of my editing on a powerful MacBook Pro. The Retina Display technology displays my images with unparalleled depth wherever I’m at in the world. Of course, you’ll need software for that purpose as well and for the cost of a couple cups of coffee a month, the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan gives you access to the two most indispensable tools in your arsenal – Lightroom and Photoshop. Extra memory cards for your particular camera are obviously a must, and for massive storage I trust Samsung portable SSD drives that will transfer today’s large file sizes quickly and efficiently.
Here’s a handy page from B&H that includes most of these items in one place!