Equipment

While photography is a medium that uses an expansive array of technology and equipment, it is critical to remember that the best equipment cannot produce a great image without it being first visualized from within. In short, just because you own a dozen different lenses and a full frame sensor, does NOT mean you are entitled to successful images with each press of the shutter release. A successful image needs to begin with the photographer being able to visualize in their mind’s eye exactly what they want their composition to look like. The most important elements of a good image follow the same structure of any successful work of art: composition, line, form, texture, space, value, shape and color.

Once a fundamental understanding of composition is achieved, having good equipment will provide the tools needed to capture your vision with accuracy and precision. I am using Nikon® equipment for all of my camera and lenses. Whatever manufacturer you prefer, I DO advise getting the absolute best quality equipment that you can afford. This is especially true of lenses, glass is nowhere to scrimp or cut corners. I have seen people with full frame bodies (multiple-of-thousands-of-dollars) who shoot with inferior, slow lenses, then question why their images fail.

I am currently using:

  • Nikon D300
  • Nikkor AF105mm Micro 1:2.8
  • Nikkor AF-S ED 17-35mm 1:2.8D IF
  • Nikon ED AF 80-200mm 1:2.8
  • Nikkor AF 35-105mm 1:3.5-4.5
  • Nikkor AF 24-50mm 1:3.3-4.5
  • Nikkor AF 50mm 1:1.4
  • Nikon Close Up Diopter 4T
  • B&W 77mm Circular Polarizer
  • HGX 62mm Circular Polarizer
  • Kenko 52mm Circular Polarizer
  • Nikon 52mm Circular Polarizer
  • Singh-Ray’s  Galen Rowell Graduated Neutral Density Filters
  • Singh-Ray’s  Daryl Benson Reverse Neutral Density Graduated Filters
  • Sigma APO 1.4x DG Teleconverter

Tripods

I believe that a quality tripod is the single best investment in equipment when it comes to an immediate improvement to your images. Hand holding a camera can seriously limit your ability to capture your vision and can hold you back from using your camera to its full potential. Unless using a flash, I rarely hand hold my camera. I am using a Manfrotto 055XPROB as my main tripod but also use a Bogen 3021 with a 488RC2 ballhead.  For travel I often use a Gitzo G126 Tatalux because of its compact size.

I own and recommend using a good ball head. I am using the BH55 and a tripod leveling plate from Really Right Stuff®.   When shooting close-up/macro,  I often use a remote cable release, Nikon extension tubes and focusing rails from Really Right Stuff®

I carry my equipment in Lowepro® bags and use a Nikon SB-900 flash system with an assortment of reflectors and diffusers.

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