Bron James

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Growing up in the bustling city centre of Sydney, Australia, through school, university and my first “real” job, I always wanted to break the mould of a “conventional life”. I guess in my early 20’s the thought of a 9-5 job with no end scared the daylights out of me.

In 2014, I decided to move abroad and disconnect from the only world I knew in search of a simpler life. I almost decided to leave my 6-month-old Nikon D300s behind (I didn’t know how to use it and I wanted to pack light). I guess things happen for a reason. I found space for it and headed straight for the mountains of British Columbia, Canada.

The first couple of years, I travelled, hiked, worked odd jobs to make ends meet, and snowboarded all the powder there was on offer. During that time, I had ample time to play with my camera, and its 18-55mm kit lens.

I was so inspired by all the incredible natural places I was travelling to, always staring in awe, yet I was never really able to reproduce those emotions I felt through my amateur images. That gave me the spark I needed to dive head deep into my new passion for outdoor adventure photography.

People always ask how I got started in photography and in return I tell them—I’m not in photography for photography itself (I was offered the subject in high school and I didn’t even consider it for a second). I’m in it because it’s a medium that allows me to be outdoors and live the lifestyle I love.

Ultimately, it allows me to tell mine and other people’s stories and the raw emotions of those experiences, in the hope to inspire others to break out of their daily routine and reconnect with this very fragile planet that we all share as home. That has and always will be my mission.

GEAR

My style of photography has evolved since the very start and will continue to evolve, so will my gear of choice. I choose my gear according to the style of the images I want to produce, as well as to the pace I usually move around on my shoots and adventures.

You’ll see I rarely use a tripod and instead, rely on fast prime glass as I look to create images that reflect genuine moments in time. I don’t want to be limited by a stationary object, especially when light is fading.

My main body I currently use is a Nikon D850, I use it 90% of the time. Yes, it’s on the bulky end of full-frame bodies but its incredible dynamic range, amazing low light capabilities, robust build, solid weather sealing and large 45MP sensor makes up for all the times I wish I carried a mirrorless.

My backup body is my first, now dated, but still reliable and tank of a camera, the Nikon D300s. Its crop sensor and fast shutter burst means it is my go-to for any sports or wildlife-related photography.

When I shoot any projects, I’m constantly looking to tell a story. With any story, you always have long, medium, and close-up shots.

My go-to lenses are therefore the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G and the Nikon 24mm f/1.8G which allow me to shoot landscape, establishing or cutaway longs; the Nikon 35mm f/2 AI-s for those character building and emotion revealing mediums; the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G for those attention-grabbing and audience-connecting close-ups; and the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 for landscape details, compressed portraits, wildlife, sports and scale shots from afar.

PACKS

As I mentioned before, I travel frequently and have the need to move at pace so my packs have to suit my needs. I would say I am a ‘bagaholic’ and after trialling and owning many different packs to date, I’ve settled on the F-Stop Ajna 40L and the Black Diamond Bolt 24L.

I couple the F-Stop with a large ICU to carry all my camera gear, MacBook Pro, and other miscellaneous but essential gear I’ll get onto below. It is carry-on compatible so I never have to risk checking-in thousands of dollars worth of gear. It is also storm proof, rugged, and supportive so I can travel and hike with it comfortably in all conditions and still throw it around on rough and gritty surfaces without a worry.

If I am going on a day hike or a side trip where I know I don’t need all of my camera gear, I use the Black Diamond to fit a body, a couple of lenses, an extra layer, and some snacks and water bottle. It’s one of the only smaller backpacks I’ve come across with a padded waist belt to offload my shoulders.

CAMERA ACCESSORIES/ ESSENTIAL GEAR

Sirui T-0056KX with Sirui C-10X Ball Head – Lightweight, compact, yet sturdy. I rarely use a tripod unless I am shooting astro or long exposures as I like to be on the go.

Peak Design Capture Clip V3 – By far the BEST camera accessory I’ve ever owned. Ever seen a shot you were contemplating on taking but couldn’t be bothered taking off your backpack, unzipping it, taking the camera out, take the shot, then do the reverse? Well, this is the answer to that exact dilemma. Get it!

Peak Design Clutch Strap – Great for when you don’t use straps (I don’t) but also too tired to hold on to your camera all day long.

Kenko Pro1 Digital Circular Polariser – To reduce glare, reflections and give that nice deep blue sky.

Apple MacBook Pro 13” with Touch Bar – Light and small for travel yet a powerful little machine for editing large RAW files.

Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp – I never go anywhere without this USB rechargeable headlamp for those sunrise and sunset missions where you start or end in the dark. It’s fully waterproof and emits a powerful 300 lumens. Also equipped with a necessary red LED to maintain your night vision.

2x Uniden UH35 Walkie Talkie – Inexpensive and so helpful for places where there is no phone service or to direct your subjects when they’re too far away to shout at (I lose my voice easily). Used it for a 4WD shoot and now is a staple part of my essentials.

Lacie 2TB Rugged USB-C/ Seagate 2TB Backup Plus – Back up, back up, back up!

www.mrbronjames.com | @mrbronjames

Inside Bron’s camera bag:

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2 Comments

  1. Joss Denham on April 16, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Nice Kit & awesome work! :)

  2. Bron James on April 16, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Stoked on the feature alongside so many inspirational creatives! Looks great, thanks Shotkit :)

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