Crystal Brindle

Landscape | Last Updated: February 17, 2021

My name is Crystal Brindle and I’m a landscape photographer based in Fiordland, New Zealand. I grew up surrounded by natural beauty in the national parks of the United States and developed an appreciation for all things wild from an early age.

When I first glimpsed the South Island of New Zealand in 2013, I felt that I had stumbled upon the grandest of all-natural wonders. With overwhelming certainty, I knew I had to make a permanent move to this country and meld my love of photography with this new-found love of landscape.

As a self-taught photographer who never studied the art officially, I’ve learned what I know of technique from a few good mentors in the field and through regular practice. I am drawn to challenging, hard-to-reach landscapes and thus own a very light kit of gear. Since beginning my journey of photography, I’ve used two Nikon camera systems and now work with a Fujifilm X-T2.

What’s in my bag? Not a whole lot! 90% of my photography is done on backpacking or tramping trips so what I bring with me has to be added to a load of standard mountain gear.

Here’s what I typically bring:
Camera: Fujifilm X-T2
Lenses: Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS; Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
Tripod: Sirui T-025X CF
Case: Op/Tech D-Mid Size Black

What I love about this gear:
The Fuji camera body is beautiful and simple to use with more manual dials than electronic buttons. This makes it easier to use with cold hands and gives it an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

The lenses are sharper than anything I’ve used before. I’m continually impressed by their performance and appreciate the focal length range for capturing wide scenes and zooming in to compress a landscape and enhance texture (examples) and layering.

The tripod is pretty light without breaking the bank and has so far held up to what I’ve put it through. It gets pretty battered riding on the outside of my pack, but it still works! I almost always bring a tripod to allow me to shoot cleaner images in low light and since I principally focus on sunrise and sunset, this is key.

The case is my favourite! I don’t think I’ll ever use a different style. I love being able to pull something soft and flexible over my camera to protect it without adding bulk or weight to my pack. Because of its low profile I use it all the time, even if I’m just trotting off somewhere quickly with the camera strap around my neck. As a result, my camera has stayed protected despite regular rough conditions.

My philosophy to photography and number one tip:
Just get out there! It is essential to seek out that which you want to photograph. Immerse yourself in it, learn its secrets, pay attention to the details, work hard, and take the time. Brilliant spectacles unfold every single day. It is my mission to experience and capture as many as I can. | @crystalann_b

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