My Photography Equipment
People often inquire about what camera gear I use, here is a brief list.
Canon EOS 7D Camera Body
A crop sensor DSLR camera body made for a wildlife photographer. It has an advanced autofocus system and can take up to 8 fps of continuous photos to keep up with the action. If you are considering buying a “Rebel”, look at a used or refurbished 7D body instead.
Canon EOS 5D MkII Camera Body
I often carry this camera with me as a backup or secondary camera, paired with a wide angle zoom lens for landscapes or my 300mm f/4.0 lens for closeup and wider angle shots than my 7D + 300mm f/2.8 combo can provide.
Canon 580 EXII Flash
I often use this flash with an extender for wildlife photography when the light is less than favorable. This is a rather large flash, however it is very useful because it is extremely powerful and it can be used to remotely trigger other flashes.
Canon 430 EXII Flash
Smaller and less powerful than the 580 model, this little flash is still useful. It can be used as a remote slave and be triggered by the 580 EXII flash, or even by the build in flash from the 7D camera body.
Tripods and Heads
Induro AT213 Tripod
A smaller aluminum alloy tripod, I use it with a ballhead and normally carry it with me if I bring a tripod when hiking because it is much lighter and compact than my other tripod. I have a low profile center column for this tripod so it can be used very close to the ground and is easier to carry.
Induro AT413 Tripod
A large aluminum alloy tripod, I use it with a gimbal head and normally try not to carry it very far because it is very large and heavy. I have a low profile center column for this tripod so it can be used very close to the ground and is easier to carry. This tripod is actually taller than I am, so I can have it setup with my camera pointing up and can view the screen without having to adjust the camera or bend down.
Induro BHD1 Ballhead
This is a sturdy little tripod head, compact enough for hiking and strong enough to be used occasionally with a larger lens like my 300mm f/2.8. I keep this head mounted on my Induro AT213 tripod most of the time.
Jobu Design Junior 3 Gimbal
A slightly smaller than normal gimbal head, designed for lenses like my 300mm f/2.8 and is even very helpful with my 300mm f/4.0 lens. The gimbal head keeps the lens over the center of the tripod to help keep it more stable.
LowePro Pro Trekker 300 All Weather Camera Backpack
The LowePro Pro Trekker 300 All Weather Camera Backpack is designed to carry a larger lens like a 300mm f/2.8 with a camera body attached. It is also large enough to carry an extra body, several lenses, many accessories and even has a place for a camelback hydration system built into the backpack. I don’t always carry my lens in the backpack, but its nice to know that if the weather turns bad I can put it away in the backpack to keep it dry.
BlackRapid Curve RS-7 Camera Sling Strap
I normally connect this to the tripod foot of one of my larger 300mm lenses. It is much easier to carry a large lens on this opposed to the normal strap, attached to the camera, around your neck. The weight is distributed more over your shoulders rather than your neck and the camera hangs at your side, not your chest.
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens
An absolutely incredible lens, I often use it with 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters which makes it even more versatile. When combined with my 2 camera bodies, one being full frame and one crop sensor, it creates a combination which ranges from true 300mm to almost 1,000mm (Effective field of view).
Canon EF 300mm f/4.0 L IS USM Lens
This lens has a closer minimum focus distance than the 300mm f/2.8 lens, very useful for closeup, and telemacro work where more depth of field is usually necessary.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
A macro lens is designed to be able to focus on objects which are only inches from the lens, useful for closeup photography of very small objects. Commonly used to photograph flowers and insects, a macro lens is a very useful lens for any photographer. This lens really shines when used with a macro ring flash as well as extension tubes.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens
A fast (wide aperture) prime lens, I often use this lens for indoor photography such as cooking or family birthday parties. I like the quality of this lens over the 50mm f/1.8 lens which is too plast-icky for my taste. I like this lens because it has 58mm filter threads with are a very common size. I also really like the USM focusing which is much faster and quieter than the cheaper lens. I would recommend everyone have this lens or at least a 50mm f/1.8 if you cant spring for the f/1.4 model. I normally use this lens around f/2.0 or f/2.8 for increased depth of field and sharpness, however wide open at f/1.4 can help create some very creative effects.
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Lens
This lens is almost identical in size to the 50mm prime and is also very easy to carry due to size and weight. Especially useful with my full-frame 5D camera body, as a low light, indoor lens.
Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L USM Lens
A kit lens, but still an important lens to have. Most of the time I keep this lens attached to my 5D MkII camera body. It works well for everything from wide angle, landscape photos to portraits and even wildlife when you can get close enough.
Canon 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Lens
I really like this lens because it is well designed, solidly built and it does not extend externally like most zoom lenses. I have used this lens to take many of my favorite landscape photos. This lens goes almost everywhere with me, it only leaves my camera bag when it is getting used.
Canon 1.4x Teleconverter MkII
This teleconverter extends the field of view by 40% of the lens to which it is attached. It makes a 300mm become a 420mm and it would make a 400mm become a 560mm. This teleconverter also reduces the aperture by one full f-stop. It would make an f/2.8 lens become an f/4.0 lens and an f/4.0 lens becomes f/5.6.
Canon 2.0x Teleconverter MkII
This teleconverter extends the field of view by 100% of the lens to which it is attached. It makes a 300mm become a 600mm and it would make a 200mm become a 400mm. This teleconverter also reduces the aperture by two full f-stops. It would make an f/2.8 lens become an f/5.6 lens and an f/4.0 lens becomes f/8.0.
Hoya 77mm HD2 Circular Polarizer
This is a very high quality Circular Polarizer filter, it has a thin frame which helps to prevent vignetting on a wide angle lens. It also does not reduce light transmission as much as many less expensive filters do. Commonly a Circular Polarizer will reduce exposure by almost two full stops, this filter is closer to one stop. This filter can be affixed to my 17-40mm or 24-105mm lenses and greatly enhances outdoor photos taken with them.
Formatt-Hitech 100mm Filter Holder
This is an aluminum filter holder, useful for landscape and long exposure photography. Filters are large square plastic or glass and they slide into the holder. The advantage over screw on filters is that you can use a graduated filter and adjust the position of the transition in the filter, so it aligns with the horizon. It is also possible to use multiple filters, or multiple filters and a circular polarizer. The holder connects to the camera via adapter rings which screw into the filter threads of the lens. I have 77mm and 58mm adapters so it can be used with most of my lenses.
Formatt-Hitech 105mm Circular Polarizer
This gigantic circular polarizer goes on a special adapter on the front of the 100mm filter adapter. The slot filters fit behind the polarizer and can be adjusted up and down, and the polarizer can be rotated as required to adjust its effect.
Do You Want To Take Better Photos?
One of the most common questions I am asked about my photographs is how do I take such sharp photos. There is not one quick and simple answer to this question. I have tried to share many of the tips and techniques in the descriptions of my photos, and the feedback from that has been overwhelmingly positive. I have decided to consolidate all of that information into this single resource and I really hope that everyone who reads it will find it useful.