Ok, I figured I would eventually write something about my gear. I mean, it’s the stuff that allows me to do all this crazy work! When I started this last December, I actually didn’t have ANY idea what I was getting myself into. I promise there is a reason I’m writing all this so stay with me to the end!
I owned a Sony a6300 (still do) and started watching videos on what other photographers used to take their photos with. I was thinking I would probably buy a (hopefully) inexpensive new lens and then go to town. WRONG!! Since I knew I was going to end up printing my images, I did lots of research which included reading reviews and watching YouTube videos. I just wasn’t seeing the lenses that would work well on that current camera. So, after watching this VERY influential video, (https://youtu.be/wTrC9-KR2Z4), I ended up bidding on and winning a Sony full frame a7riii and a 24-105 mm lens (https://youtu.be/EpexxDFzy6g).
My gear acquisition spiraled from there. I should say that photography gear can get pretty expensive so I have been very careful with what I have purchased. My camera came with an L-Bracket so it would be super easy to take it on and off my tripod – think time and energy saver! Only problem, I now need a tripod head to mount it to. I know what Nick Page in the video was using so I started there and did more research. I’ll spare the boring details but I now own a REALLY nice and STURDY tripod and ball head that should last quite a while. In fact, I have used it in so many different types of conditions and I haven’t had any problems. I’m at the point now where I need to clean it so I’ll need to watch this video while I do it, https://youtu.be/04xQDPutxn0.
I had been happily carrying my smaller camera and 1 lens in a cute protective sling bag whenever I used it. Now that I had this new, bigger camera and lens and a tripod, of course I needed a way to conveniently carry it all. So, more video watching and website searching! I wanted a bag that I could keep my necessary gear in and have it be comfortable while hiking and doing photo walk-a-bouts. I settled on the smallest backpack made by Shimoda. It had just the right amount of features and a handy side pocket to carry my tripod. Now I keep everything in that bag and I’m always ready to go!
As I continued to learn more about different ways to take photos and some of the other lenses various photographers used, I wanted to make sure I was prepared for almost anything nature presented to me. I did end up buying an 18mm prime lens to go a little wider than 24mm. My most expensive, last and BEST lens purchase was a 100-400mm telephoto. This is a lens that makes other people think I am a total professional photographer. LOL! If they only knew! I bought it on eBay (used is a great way to buy these things) and had it shipped to a friend in Utah. So, on our first trip after I made this impossible goal, I retrieved my new lens and went to town at the top of a ski resort right at sunset. I think someone there thought I was a really experienced photographer. I didn’t even know how to use my lens!!! BUT, I did get quite a few images I like and can’t wait to go back at the end of the year. Now I “need” gloves so my fingers don’t freeze. I’m foreseeing a Christmas gift in my future…
Ok, my last bit of gear are my filters. I also did lots of research because I didn’t want to have lots of extra stuff that I didn’t use. I ended up with these filters from Breakthrough Photography: a circular polarizer and a 3 & 6-stop neutral density filters. Whew! Besides some other trappings for cleaning, this is what I’ve got. It sounds like a lot when I write it all out but it all fits in my bag with room to spare and I love it!
One thing I have done for myself is that I (almost) always make sure I reset everything when I get back from taking photos. I clean everything, charge my batteries, import my photos and back them up, put back any filters I used and wipe down my lenses and camera. I want to make sure I’m prepared to grab my bag and go when the I get that feeling I need to go. Here are some things I’m proud of myself for doing:
- Purchasing quality items and being thoughtful about it
- Buying just what I need (I’ve used everything I own)
- Learning about what each piece of my gear does and how to use it
- Keeping it clean and cared for
- Being prepared for the next adventure
So far I’ve made a few images I’m pretty proud of and a TON that I like to laugh at. But, this is my journey.