I have always been fascinated with imagery. As a young boy I would always draw pictures and sketches. Later on in my high school life drawing moved towards interest in architecture, perhaps it was the angles that intrigued me the most. It wasn’t until my last year of high school where I realized that photography was a medium that would allow me to use all of these creative elements. There was something intriguing about being able to capture a picture, in the unique way that I would see it, and to express it to others so that they could see it through my eyes.
The first camera I ever used was the Nikon D80. This was given to me as a gift and it was a very reliable camera. The D80 came with a standard kit lens, which was the Nikon 18-70mm. Someone once told me, “don’t worry too much about the camera body, spend your money on lenses”. I didn’t have the money for either so I used this set up for a long time before acquiring a few extra lenses. One of those was the Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 and the other was the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR lens.
Landscape photography started for me in early 2012. A good friend of mine got his hands on his very first SLR and started taking photos, which provoked me to pick back up my dusty Nikon D80 and join him. Having mainly studied studio photography at University I didn’t have much of a technical knowledge of what it took to shoot a good landscape image. I was always more of a trial and error, shoot first adjust later type of photographer.
It didn’t take long for me to spend all my money on filters and equipment. After a few months of routine weekly trips out to locations and learning the tricks of the trade I had gained quite a thirst of knowledge and an idea for what it was I wanted to photograph.
The old Nikon D80 produced some of my best images to date and it really does go to show that having the latest equipment doesn’t make you the greatest photographer. However, I quickly learnt that although it may not make you the greatest, it sure did help when you would need to blow up my first print to sell to a client.
It wasn’t until late 2013 that I was finally able to upgrade to the Canon 5D Mark II. This is my current weapon of choice.
In my camera bag on any given day you will find My Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 lens, Lee graduated neutral density filters and a Hoya ND400 9 stop neutral density filter. Other accessories you may find are my aftermarket shutter remote, a cleaning kit and an LED Lenser flashlight.
The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 is my preferred landscape lens because it is nice and wide. I get some really nice results with this lens and it is really good value for the price.
I shoot either at sunrise or sunset so I use the Lee graduated neutral density filters to block out the light. I have both 0.9 hard and 0.9 soft filters. I found that the light is quite harsh in Australia as opposed to places like Europe where filters were too dark because the light is softer. In Australia though, the 0.9 filters are a perfect combination.
If I win the lottery tomorrow my next purchase will be the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZF lens because it is the ultimate landscape lens and according to Ken Rockwell it is the sharpest most optically complex and closest focusing 21mm lens to grace the earth. A lens like this would perfectly complement my camera bag.