Updated: Apr 23
Behind every photo is the photographer... and behind them is their gear... This is the gear I have in my bag in 2021
Gear is an age old question I have seen and observed and participated in for all the years I have been taking photos.
“What camera do you use? What is so special about your fancy camera that mine can't do?”
If you are here (reading this post) then you probably belong to one of these three categories:
1. You are a bright budding photographer that is quickly going to surpass my success and you want to know where to start.
2. You are an experienced photographer who has simply found a community that you love and therefore you find joy in exploring what your peers are using.
3. You are a family member simply showing your support of my dreams and desires to become a successful photographer. In which case I love you... and thank you for coming!
Whatever category you fit into I want you to know, dear reader, that you are special and I am so grateful that you have given me your time and I will do my best to make sure it is not wasted. I will try to make sure that no matter what you can leave this page with something in return. Now... onto what you really care about.
You’ll be posting loads of engaging content, so be sure to keep your blog organized with Categories that also allow visitors to explore more of what interests them.
Prior to this year I had been using the same camera bag since 2015. This year I was super blessed to have received the Nomatic Peter Mckinnon Camera Bag. (#MckinnonCameraPack35L) Since its debut I have wanted it but couldn't justify getting it because I still had a completely functional bag that was alive and well... and before you ask, no it didn't die... I just have the greatest Wife ever and she knew I wanted the bag and so she got it for me as a Christmas gift. I do kind of feel bad for her because the day after she got it, the bag went on sale for like 50% off.... which leads me to the first perk of the bag...
#Nomatic is a fantastic company and they make quality bags. On top of that they are constantly having sales on their site! So be sure to sign up for their letters and texts and they will do a great job of keeping you updated when something goes on sale.
Another reason that I really love this bag is that it is a perfect all in one travel camera bag. The front portion of the bag is where my clothes go... the back is where my camera goes. etc. It has everything you need for a quick trip... AND.... As an added bonus the version I got came with an extra day pack/camera cube. I love the bag... and it really eliminates my footprint while traveling.
I use to get asked all the time what the best camera brand was and I never really gave solid answer... because there isn't one. I am a #Canon shooter. I have been for the last 5 years.
I have used a ton of cameras! I have had #Sony, #Canon, #Pentax, #Nikon, #GoPro, Etc. At the end of the day they all had pros and cons and then a lot of them blend together. Did you know that Nikon buys image sensors from Sony? Some iPhones use Sony sensors... I had a few Sony cameras, and it seems like the world lives by them... for me the user interface was NOT my favorite... but they are still great cameras. I love seeing some of my favorite photographers using their Sony mirrorless and getting some AMAZING SHOTS!
I cant quite boil it down to one specific reason but, I just really like #Canon and so i tend to just stick to there cameras... life is just better that way... ;) For the longest time I wanted a #Canon1DXMkII it wasn't until 2019 that I finally pulled the trigger and got one... I convinced myself that it was an investment and took the leap of faith... (which hasn't exactly paid off how i imagined it would). So often we associate success to the gear we use. But, at the end of the day, the camera doesn't take the photos you do. So, I bought my 1DX and I kind of stopped looking at cameras after that... (At least for photos... video is a different beast.... sorta...) what I focus on a lot more now is some good glass.
KISS... Keep It Stupid Simple
Glass is really over looked when camera shopping... for landscapes (my go to photos) you realistically only need really 2 lenses. A wide angle, which for me is the Canon 16-35mm F4 L series, and then a good Telephoto lens....
I actually don't own a telephoto though... I want one! BADLY! And maybe if Santa is a reader here he might take note of that.... In all seriousness though I have typically just rented a telephoto whenever I have a shot in mind that requires one.
I took this photo of the moon in Moab Utah the day after Halloween when it was a full moon and a blue moon. It was the morning and the sun was peaking up and kissing the moon goodnight and to get the shot I had rented the Tamron 150-600 mm F5.6 EF mount I don't regret it at all! I love the shot! I would enjoy owning my own so it is definitely on my wish list.
I have two other lenses that i have in my bag and one happens to be my favorite lens for lifestyle and portraits I have the good old Nifty Fifty 50mm F1.8 and the Canon 85mm F1.8. The 85mm basically lives on my camera. I love it! When I shoot a wedding, I can basically shoot the whole wedding on the 85. For the times I don't have the telephoto lenses I will throw my 85mm on the camera and try to get the shot that way. Or sometimes if my Wide angle is not cutting it, I will throw the 85mm on and shoot a quick panoramic of 2 or 3 frames. but That's all stuff for a different post.
I use the Small HD Focus 7 Monitor for my videos. The thing is a beast! The Focus series are intended to be lightweight, on-camera monitors, and are promoted for gimbal work also.(what inspired me to get one was gimbal work) The Focus 7 has a glass front and a rubberized back with two receivers for Sony NP-F style batteries. It is a super well built professional feeling piece of gear and it really drives my production value up... not just for what it does but how it looks too... I have had people see my set up and automatically think i was a professional just because I looked the part. It makes you feel cool for sure... BUT THATS NOT WHY I GOT IT! It really allows me to get the best view of what is going on in my image. From focus assist, to Exposure assist, it really helps me fine tune the look of the image. it also allows me to put in LUTs (Look Up Tables, AKA Presets) so that i can see what the image will look like after it is graded. Super cool and useful tool!
BaseCamp | Ultralight Matte Box:
This is more built for Video but I use the #Polarpro Basecamp Ultralight Matte Box/Filter System this helps me cut the light and keep the contrast in my image as well as use filters for a better shot. I have a Polorizer Filter and 2 ND filters I can use in this system. This one is a more Cinematic based version but they have a Landscape photography version. (The Summit) The differences are subtle but I still wish I had the Summit Filter System too... the Summit allows you to use graduated ND's which help with sunsets where the sky is bright and the landscape id darker. It makes it so you can expose for the scene and then still keep the sky from being blown out. I'll make a video about this later so stay tuned.
The Tripod i use right now ia super great heavy duty tripod! I love it! but it is a heavy guy... I am considering the Peak Design Travel Tripod, but for the time being i am content with the guy I got, which is the FieldOptics FT6852A ProMax Ultra. The head I am using is making the tripod so heavy, like 5lbs heavier than it already is I am looking for a different one I have one i got from my grandpa's but I need a quick change plate sooooooo for now I just have to get them gains....
The drone I use is my Mavic Air 2. It lives in my bag and while I haven't done a whole ton with it yet, as it is the newest member to the bag, I love that it is right up there with the Pro and still slightly less weight and longer battery run time. There will be more to come with the #Mavic but for now just know I am sooooooo glad I pulled the trigger and got it. I LOVE IT!!!!
This is more of a video tool and so it is in and out of my bag depending on the shoot but it is extremely multi-functional I use the #RoninS for all my gimbal work. Yep... I throw my 1DX on the ronin and kill my arms with every shot it gets HEAVY! The only downsides to that set up is that figuring out how to pull focus it super tricky and the fact that the 1DX is huge so it gets hard to use long term...
Rode NTG3+ Shotgun Mic:
This guy doesn't live in my bag usually but it is by far the best mic I have owned. I an not an audio guy and actually try to void it because... well... physics and stuff.. math and science... But this guy and the RODE Blimp are fantastic and i love them! I am looking at getting some RODE lav mics (RODE Wireless Go) in the future but for now if i need sound I am usually bringing this guy around and that usually also means a C-stand...
I usually also throw my MacBook Pro 15 inch with retina display (2015) inside the bag...
Falcon Eyes F7:
I usually also carry with me the Falcon Eyes PockeLite F7 RGBW. This thing is so small and so bright and it really comes in handy! I have pulled it out for so many different shoots! With all the different setting options and the pre-programmed scene options this light basically lives in my bag. It is also so small and versatile it makes it so easy to tuck away. It is a great little light for light painting also!
My gear is always evolving and changing but the main thing to take away is that what works for me might not be what works for you. To my category 1 friends.... Find what works and just get out and shoot. Just keep shooting and you will get there! Thats what I have to tell myself everyday... I am taking the leap after about 8 years of photography and I am finally going to try and jump into the deep end. I am becoming a Full Time Photographer. I hope that you will join me on this journey and I look forward to seeing you there!
To my category 2 friends, What are your thoughts on my set up? I hope you enjoyed this look into my camera bag.
To my category 3 family, Thanks for the support glad I have you in my corner!
As always, Peace Love and Positivity!