What I Carry

I’ve had a lot of people asking me lately about my equipment.  It seems like everyone wants to know what I shoot with. 🙂

So, I just wanted to use a post to just outline what I bring with me to every shoot.

Billingham 335 Bag:

I actually just got this for Christmas so its new to my arsenal of goodies! 🙂  I absolutely LOVE this thing.  It carries all of my lenses, camera, extra batteries, and everything else quite easily.  Its waterproof and made of very high quality materials so it should last forever.  I can’t express how much I love this bag!

Camera:

Canon 60D

This baby is so much fun to shoot with!  Its got excellent picture quality at 18 megapixels and it has a pretty decent rate of shooting at 5.3 fps. One of the big reasons why I bought it is that the back screen will tilt and swivel around.  This makes it much easier to get shots from low and high angles.  Also, to be honest, it was the cheapest I could go with to get the options I wanted.  A big perk was the iso increments.  I like having the ability to dial in my settings when I need to.  Its a workhorse of a camera that is doing exactly what I need it to until I can upgrade to full frame, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later!

Lenses:

Canon 50mm f/1.4

This thing is awesome.  I love the creamy bokeh that it produces, and when I want to get a little more creative with an image, this is the first lens I go for.  I also will go for this in really low light situations because of the ability to shoot at f/1.4, but around f/2.8 is where it produces some superb images because its just a little sharper there than at wide open.  I can’t wait to get the L version of this that is f/1.2, but for now, this is a great lens.

Canon 17-40 f/4 L Wide Angle

The 17-40 is a relatively new addition to my camera bag, but its quickly becoming my workhorse lens.  I tend to use it as my walking around lens because of the ability to shoot indoors, in tight spaces, at 17 and then get a really nice portrait length at 40mm. Since my 60D is a 1.6x crop factor, it actually makes this shoot a little tighter.  That is OK though, because I think it puts the 40 at a great portrait distance.

Canon 70-200 f/4 L

I bought this lens as my first “pro” lens.  I was still shooting a lot of sports work when I bought it.  Using it in combination with the 1.6x crop factor gave me a great amount of reach for sporting events.  It is a fantastic lens if shooting during the day, or in an extremely well lit place (like a professional sports stadium). However, I have quickly discovered that the f/4 is just too slow to work in dark wedding venues or at night receptions.  This is a lens that hasn’t been used in a while and will likely be upgraded this year to the f/2.8 version.

Canon 100 f/2.8 L Macro

I LOVE THIS LENS!  I don’t think I can all caps, exclamation point this enough.  It produces some beautiful images when used as a normal prime lens, and when used to capture product photography or detail shots at a wedding, it is phenomenal.  I absolutely love working with it because it is fast focusing, the bokeh is gorgeous, and the image quality is second to none.  The best money I ever spent was on this lens. Period.

Flash:

Canon 430EX II

I bought this flash pretty early on.  I didn’t think I would need the top level flash with control over a slave flash, so I opted for the little bit less expensive 430.  Its really easy to use and it does a good job, and I can’t complain.  Its like your old truck that just keeps running.  There are nicer things, faster things, etc., but you can always count on it.  Thats how I feel about this.  It would be nice to have a little bit “stronger” flash, and I will probably upgrade it sooner or later, but for right now it gets the job done. 🙂

Extras:

Gary Fong Flash Diffuser

I’m still in the testing phase with this diffuser, but right now I’m leaning towards keeping it as a part of my normal gear.  You attach this to the top of your camera flash and it will disperse the flash in an even distribution all across your subject.  It does a fantastic job of creating nice, soft light across faces and getting rid of shadows.  It also doesn’t create any harsh light imbalances.  So far I really like the images I get when using it.  The only downside is that it is incredibly bulky and not the easiest to travel with, not to mention that your camera just looks ridiculously huge when its attached.

Sekonic L-308s Light Meter

The light meter is something I’m still trying to get in the habit of using.  There are certain situations that I use it every time, but most of the time I don’t worry with it.  I really should slow down and use it more though.  Thats one of my new year’s resolutions, to just slow down and use tools like this more.  You may ask, what does it do?  Well, it measures the light in a given situation and tells you what settings to use on your camera to expose it properly.  So, you can set your iso and then capture the light, once it reads it, you can then adjust what aperture you want to use and it tells you the correct shutter speed.  Now, you can use it the other way too.  If you want a 200 shutter speed so that you don’t risk hand shake, it tells you what aperture to use to get that.  It is a handy tool that I really need to make myself use more.

This list contains all of things that I bring with me to every single shoot I do.  There are times that I may bring other lighting solutions, reflectors, diffusers, or specialized equipment like light tents for shooting jewelry product photography. I do carry 2 extra camera batteries, 8 extra AA batteries, a rain cover, and extra memory cards as well to every shoot.

Hopefully you all find this list helpful, please leave any questions or comments below in the comments section and let me know what you all think!

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