I've been debating on writing a Frequently Asked Questions post, and probably still will in the future. But since 90% of the questions that I receive on my blog or through email/twitter are about my gear, I decided to finally give in and do a gear post. I debating about writing this post, because, well...I just really don't have THAT much gear. I don't feel like I need a TON of gear, and I don't like to feel over-encumbered or weighed down, so it works perfectly...for me.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
SO! My camera bodies. I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D300, a little less than 2 years ago, which now serves as my backup camera.
The lens you see isn't an AMAZING lens, and I rarely, if ever, use it on an actual shoot. BUT, it's a PERFECT travel lens if you want to go light. It's an 18-200mm 3.5-5.6.
My first lens was this little tiny 50mm 1.8. I rocked that thing for over a year before purchasing my next lens (18-200 above), and I fell in love with prime and fast lenses. I LOVED learning on this lens and HIGHLY recommend getting away from the kit lens, and playing with this one, or the 1.4 (further below). They're both super affordable.
I now shoot with a Nikon D3s as my primary camera, and I LOOOOVE it. I love shooting with only natural light, and this camera allows me to shoot in the craziest of dark circumstances without the need of a flash. LOVE IT!
Also shown is the 50mm 1.4, and the 70-200 2.8. Love both of those lens, but 95% of the time, the 50mm 1.4 is on my camera. I remember after I bought the 70-200, I took it with me on my an engagement shoot and wanted to use it so bad. I started with it, but kept switching back over to the little 50. Don't get me wrong though, the 70-200 is a ridiculously amazing lens. But for me and my style, I shoot with the 50mm the majority of the time.
On wedding day, I carry everything around in my Shootsac (shown above), which I'm a huge fan of, even though my brother calls it my man-purse. And that's honestly pretty much it. Crazy huh? I also have the SB-900 flash, and fire it off-camera wirelessly with the SU-800 mounted on my camera. My next lenses I'll buy later this year, are the 24mm 1.4, the 85mm 1.4, and probably the 105 2.8 macro. I'm a huge advocate of renting or trying out a lens before you buy it.
When I travel, I carry everything in a Pelican Case, and I know it seems like EVERYONE uses ThinkTank cases. But I loved the protection the Pelican Cases offered, and I've LOVED it. Again, for me, it's worked perfectly.
Here's a picture I grabbed with my iPhone of what it looks like when I travel, or on my way to a wedding (I'll leave the Pelican case either in the car close by, or a secured room with a few extras just in case I need them).
Here's a few other random facts about the way I shoot:
-I shoot about 50% of the time on Manuel, and 50% of the time on Aperture Priority.
-I shoot on 8 GB cards, and LOVE it. The D3s has two slots, so I can shoot 16 gigs before having to change cards (about 1300 raw images).
-I shoot in Raw.
-I edit in Aperture 3 and occasionally will open an image in Photoshop CS5.
-I don't really use reflectors (unless I'm using the diffusion panel part to shoot a flash through to soften the light...but even so, I don't do this too often).
-I also have a Westcott Umbrella that I like to experiment with for evening portraits, but agian, I rarely use it on an actual shoot.
-I shoot most everything at 1.4, unless I'm within 5-7 feet from my subject, then I'll bump it up to 2.0'ish to make sure it's sharp. (Obviously I don't shoot big group shots like family formals at 1.4. But most everything else I will)
-I use Kelvin white balance 100% of the time.
That's all I can think of for now, but please feel free to ask me questions through comments and I'll try to answer each one.
Lastly, I KNOW that there are many of you out there that totally disagree with me on many things. "I can't believe he uses Aperture...I can't believe he doesn't use the 70-200 more...that he doesn't use flash...that he shoots in RAW...or doesn't use Manuel 100%, or uses 8 gig cards...I would never shoot someone at 1.4...etc". I know! Everything above works wonderfully FOR ME, so take it with a grain of salt. Everyone has their own methods and things that jive well with their style, but this is how I shoot and what I've grown accustom to. That being said, I am ALWAYS seeking to learn new things and become better and better, so I'd love to hear how you shoot or any recommendations!