“What camera do you use? What lenses do you have?” is one question I hear too often. It is also a question that I don’t quite like as it gives the impression that it is my gear and equipment that make my images. WRONG!!
Having good equipment is important, and it makes a difference, but only to a certain point. The maximum that goes into the process of creating a great photograph is non-technical and human. The person who operates the camera and what he/she sees is more important than the equipment in his hand.
For those of you who want to know, below is the gear I use most often to create the images you see on this website :-
- Nikon D7000
- Nikon D3100
- Fuji X100s
- Nikon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR
- Nikon 50mm 1.8D
- Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 DXII
- Tamrom 18-200mm f3.5-5.6
- Nikon 70-200mm f4.0 VR
- Nissin Di600 Flash
- Large circular 3 in 1 light reflector
- MeFoto Globetrotter Tripod
- Joby Gorillapod Tripod
- UV and circular polarizer filter for all my lenses
- A set of ND filters for all my lenses
- Remote shutter release for Nikon D7000
- Cable shutter release for Fuji X100s
When and What?
Now obviously I do not carry all of these every time I head out, but take whatever I need for the specific shoot I am heading to. Below are a few scenarios –
- General day to day shooting – Fuji X100s – This is the camera I always have with me. If I am going out casually and am not sure if I want to shoot something or not, I take this camera, which is lightweight and takes excellent pictures. Sometimes I carry the Joby Gorillapod Tripod with me if I need to take some long exposures.
- Day time on Location – Nikon D7000 with Tamron 18-200 mm lens – If I am visiting a city in which I am wandering during the day, I normally have this camera and lens with me as a walk around system. Sometimes I might carry an additional camera + lens – the Nikon D3100 + Tokina 11-16mm with me if I need the wide angle lens. I always have the polariser filter as it can be very useful during the day.
- Sunrise, Sunset and Night – If I am targeting the blue hour, ie, shooting just before sunrise or just after sunset, I normally carry the Nikon D7000 with my MeFoto Globetrotter Tripod with me. The choice of lenses depend on the specific shoot, but normally I have the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8D and the Nikon 70-200mm f4 with me. I also have other accessories like the remote shutter release and the ND filter as well as the polarizer filter.
- Shooting people indoors – If I want to be extremely portable and fast, I carry just the Fuji X100s with me to do the job. If I have more time and space, I carry my Nikon D7000 with either the 18-55mm kit lens or the 70-200mm f4 lens with the flash unit so that I can bounce light off the walls. If I have even more time and flexibility and am seeking a specific shoot, then I normally also carry the tripod and the reflector with me to make sure I get the lighting condition I want.
- Shooting people outdoors – If I am shooting people outdoors, I am most likely out to get a few specific images I have in mind. In that case, I will have my Nikon D7000 with a couple of lenses depending on the kind of shoot, and my tripod (for the flash) and the reflector with me.