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My interest in expressing ideas through the medium of photography started innocently enough with a Vivitar 110 back in Atlanta, simulating a humorous electrocution with my hair standing up. Several friends bought into the ruse, believing I really did get shocked in the photograph, unwittingly encouraging me to see what else I could do with a camera and some film, the possibilities of which turned out endless.
First DSLR was a 4 megapixel Olympus E10, advanced when it came out in 2000. Fast forward to 2007, New York, opening my own video production company called Two Penguins, which started off working mostly with magazines like GQ and Blackbook.
My current day-to-day set-up actually does go almost everywhere I do, as Two Penguins is now bi-coastal from New York to our headquarters in Portland, OR (and sometimes international as well), so my travel kit is a true constant companion, featuring all kinds of daily mainstays.
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8: Photojournalistic lens. Very useful to have on location or through general travel, which I have to do a lot of.
Canon: 70-200mm f/2.8: Great for Portraits and Fashion photography. Excellent fast captures on the go. Most vivid memory is traveling through Guatemala, sitting on top of our van, shooting life in the city with only a half second to spare between finding something interesting to shoot and the moment when our van shot right past. On to the next scene.
Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 and Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 – these 2 lenses are something I always carry with me. Super sharp when stopped down between 5.6 and 11, metal framing and an analogue feel for client portraits, commercial lifestyle.
• Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT – I use this for my personal travel photography all the time. Great for when you need a quick fix and want to take urban or nature photography, but give it a surreal kind of look. I always shoot with this detached from the camera and mounted on the Pocket Wizard Flex TTS so I can get a little more creative with the lighting.
• Broncolor Move 1200L – My general mainstay for strobes, especially when on location and not in the studio.
• Fenix TX51flashlight – This flashlight is amazing. I’ve used it countless times for adding additional ambient to location photography by bouncing into the ceiling or a bounce board. Works great for video as well. Super bright.
• MacBook Pro: Start-up disk SSD Drive for speed. Custom swapped disk drive for a 1 TB internal back-up hard drive.
• Lacie/Rugged external hard drive – 1 TB Triple Interface with Firewire 800 & Thunderbolt. For organizing images and folders. Because shooting is often constant and the workload high, collecting, adding to and transferring files with an external is also integral as well as providing extra room to work with providing either of the two extra drives crash on site.
• Wacom Intuos 4 small tablet – Travel capable and durable (been everywhere with me for the past 4 years). Comfortable/portable/mobile for digital image editing without having to use touchpad or a mouse.
• Tether Pro cable – Rugged USB tether cable for attaching Canon 5D to Capture One Pro 8 for tether capture. Connecting the camera to MacBook Pro for larger detail review than the digital window screen offered on the camera is a way to continuously review minute aspects of an image in real time rather than after the fact.
• Sennheiser HD25-1 II headphones – Great isolation, great sound. Isolates sound but not noise canceling, perfect for editing on a plane.
• iPhone 6
• TOM FORD sunglass clip
• Hardcover print portfolio book for last-minutes meetings
• Jawbone JamBox speaker for shoots and edit sessions
• penguin shaped bottle opener (can’t relax when you can’t get your beer or wine open)
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👋 Hi, I'm Mark! Improve your photography, get inspired & grow your business with the weekly Shotkit email from me :-)
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