This is perhaps one of the most consistent questions I get asked "What gear do you use?”
Before I get to listing my gear I feel it is necessary to explain what helps me get better results.
Some techniques I believe have helped my photography :
- I plan ahead for my shoots; it’s extremely rare that you see me taking pictures without giving them a sense of purpose or reason. I love telling stories and try to incorporate that in my photos as much as I can.
- Proper handholding; I already posted about this in the last entry, I highly recommend you visit it and give it a try /my-blog/2011/5/27/proper-camera-holding-techniques-by-joe-mcnally.html
- Studied what makes a good photos; this is a big one, you have to understand why a photo works, why would someone choose the subjects they do and they backgrounds they use. Something to keep in mind.
- I read a lot of photography blogs, in the near future I will make another blog entry showing some of my favorite artists and blogs.
On to the gear
- Nikon D300 (has been replaced with the newer Nikon D300s) - for the moment i'm a crop sensor kinda guy, the D300 has been my workhorse for two years now and it's been fantastic, great response and a body build meant to last
- Nikon D7000 - I was actually hoping to a D300 upgrade which captures video, while that seems it will take a while, the D7000 offered great video and very similar capabilities of the D300. I bought it and fell in love with it.
- Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR( i'm also using an older version which has been replaced with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S – This is pretty much THE event lens, it has a great range to cover all sorts of events and an all around excellent image quality, not enough good things can be said about this lens
- Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 – This particular lens is the “almost as good, but not quite as good “as the Nikon 17-55. It’s good as an all-around medium range lens, but at 2.8 it leaves quite a bit to be desired, the image quality tends to be on the soft side and it is slow to focus. this is a lens I plan on replacing soon. If you have a 18-55 that came with your camera this lens could be one of your first upgrades.
- Nikon 12-24 (model updated to the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ) – By far my favorite lens, this is an ultra-wide model that will allow you to get close and personal while keeping an exaggerated perspective. It doesn't distort as much as a fisheye lens does, which makes it much more versatile for general usage
- Nikon 35mm 2.0 (get Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX instead )– The model im using is as old as dirt, it belonged to my father when he had his Nikon F100 and it’s been a revelation for video recording. It can be slow to focus but otherwise has a very comfortable range and it is a joy to use.
Flashes – More than anything else, having a control of light helps set my photography apart
- Nikon SB-600 (has been replaced with the newer Nikon SB-700) -I own two of these, my very first flashes, they have seen a lot of abuse over the years.
- Nikon SB-800 – I have one of these, while they are discontinued you can usually find them at a good price if you look around. One important difference from the sb-600, this flash has a commander mode, so if you have a lower end camera like the D3100, this flash will allow you to control oher flashes.
- Nikon SB-900 – the 800 pound gorilla of small flashes, bar none the best flash Nikon has produced, I own two of these and love em!
As you have probably noticed,most of my gear has a few years with me and has newer models available, which leads me to ask; Is it nice to have the lastest and greatest? YES!, it is essential? NO! There is a lot that can be done with the gear you have, and part of being a good photographer is learning how to make the best with what you have.
That’s about it! Besides all these I own a bunch of umbrellas I beat up and trash regularly and some soft boxes.
Hope that helps and if anything left you with questions or if you want to leave feedback please feel free to add comments or e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org