Hello all. I am David Glazebrook. I work all over Sydney although I hail from the wonderful Blue Mountains, about a 90 minute drive west. I am lucky enough to live with my family in this World Heritage listed playground.
My routine work is anything but routine. I can be photographing anything from newborns, pre-schoolers one day to 100th parties the next. Whatever happens in between including marriages, milestone birthday parties or even corporate headshots, I make them. I’ve been taking money for photography since 2008 though didn’t really ramp it up till 2011.
In my spare time I love to get outdoors and photograph everything from the broad landscape to macro images. It was my macro imagery that got me noticed by the AIPP in 2011 with 2 images receiving gold awards which helped toward me being named 2011 AIPP Australian Student Photographer of the Year. As a consequence I have continued to shoot macro and presented 9 workshops at The Digital Show in Melbourne in October 2015.
The image of my kit is only what I’d take with me if I was going out for an hour or two to delve into a macro shoot.
[Related: best camera for macro photography]
I’ve been using Nikon since 2012. I was fortunate enough in late 2011, to have the opportunity to use the then latest gear from a few camera manufactures whilst I completed several event photography assignments.
Shooting jazz concerts at the Sydney Opera House, I was impressed both with the auto focus and dynamic range of the Nikon D4. I loved, and still do, the ability to pull detail out of the shadows, a real point of difference IMO.
The Nikon D810 continues on from the Nikon D4 with great AF as in the Nikon D4s but in a smaller body. The 36 megapixel file in macro use allows for both loads of details and lots of crop-ability whilst still turning out an excellent sized file.
Mounted on my Nikon D810 and my Nikon D800e are L-brackets. Made from a single piece of alloy they not only mount well to my ballhead but provide great protection and have taken more than their fair share of bumps.
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
Long before my Nikon experience I use to shoot with an earlier version of this lens when I first dabbled with a DSLR. In those days it was a Pentax K10D and a very early model Tamron 90mm macro lens. I think it may have been the 172e but I couldn’t be certain without seeing it.
Tamron, over the years, have improved the coatings, introduced vibration compensation amongst many other features but still retain a stellar optical arrangement.
Its polycarbonate body makes it nice and light, great for hiking, especially considering everything else I carry. Lastly it has a nice large lens hood protecting the front element well.
Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
While I’m out in the field during daytime I often carry the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G. If I take a break from shooting macro and take a fancy to the landscape before me, the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G gives me good focal length options for the broader vista.
If I shoot late afternoon into the evening, the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G lens would be replaced with my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. This lens is 1 stop faster and 2mm wider. At that end of the focal length that 2mm offers a considerably wider field of view.
The stop faster halves my exposure time which I enjoy, especially when doing some astro photography. The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 doesn’t have a front mounting thread though 3rd party kits are available, for the purpose of astro I don’t need filtering.
Nikon SB-910 Speedlight
This flash packs a lot of light into the Creative Lightning System. It pairs flawlessly with the Nikon D810. It can also dial down to 1/128th power in third stop increments, for when you want just a kiss of light.
A great small softbox that folds down to fit into my kit. There’s no need for additional mounting velcro straps as they come built into the Ezybox. The soft and wrapping light can be made hard and edgy by removing the 2 layers of diffusion material.
Gitzo GT1541T Tripod
The super light carbon fibre tripod straps nicely under my belt pack and has a very small profile. I use it where weight is a significant consideration.
Earlier this year I hiked to Gertrudes Saddle in Milford Sound, NZ. This was a 7 hour return hike that saw me ditch my large pack and Benro CF tripod and opt for the Gitzo as the last part of that hike requires ascending slick rock faces with both hands on a steel cable. I needed to minimise my photographic load so the Gitzo was the tripod for the job.
Acratech GPSS Ballhead
So small and yet so well engineered, this ballhead pairs very nicely with the Gitzo GT1541T. The design allows for any dirt or other rubbish to fall away freely from the underside. The arca swiss mount clamps positively to my L-brackets. Like so many things in hiking, you pay for what you don’t want, weight.
Wimberley Plamp PP-100 and PP-200
I’m guessing they’re called “plamps” as they are plant clamps. If I want to photograph a plant then the plamp will be on one end attached to my tripod while the other end can hold the plant softly in its custom nature loving soft clamp and stop if from bobbing around, or even better, get it to a position for an image. It sometimes also serves as a reflector holder, especially when I’m kicking a little extra light in from my speedlight.
Aputure Trigmaster Plus II
Transmitter and receivers, I use these if I’ve lost my line of sight or the day is too bright and sunny for the CLS system to work. I’ve been truly surprised at how dependable these have been. Though in a macro scenario I’m only using them over very small distance, I have used them at over 50 metres and they have not missed once. Bang for your buck, these rock!
Joby Gorillapod Focus
In the early days I had one of the first Gorillapods. I think it was over speced and it under performed. I believe it shouldn’t have been aimed at the DSLR market but more the compact end of town.
Fast forward to the Gorillapod Focus and it really delivers.
Doubling as both a tripod and/or lightstand, the Gorillapod Focus allows me to place my speedlight or camera in areas I can’t get my tripod to. The wrapping legs are really robust and repeatedly carry the required load up trees, on the backs of chairs and so on.
Cokin PURE Harmonie 58mm CPL
I used a variety of CPL’s over my time. Having only had this Cokin for a short while, a couple of features really stand out.
It’s very very thin while still retaining a front mounting thread.
It’s tough. The coatings on this are very impressive for robustness.
The 58mm pairs with the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro, cutting reflections and increasing saturation of colours as expected.
Formatt Hitech ND Filters 100mm x 100mm
Though not for macro they go in tandem with my Lee Filter Holder and then do their thing on my Nikon 16-35mm f/4G when the landscape challenges for my attention.
My favourite within this range of neutral density filters is the 16 stop Firecrest, the closest to colour neutral I have used. With this filter I can turn a 1/250th exposure into 3.5 minutes. A black and white square architectural image on my website shows an example of this effect.
Hejnar Macro Rail
A very well engineered bit of kit. This rail with its binocular type mechanism allows for focus stacking imagery to be performed precisely. I got the 8 inch rail so it could also multi task as a panoramic rail. This is not light, but sometimes the weight penalty is overridden by functionality.
Giottos Rocket Blower
Fits the bill – functionally – economically – weight – all checked. When those pesky dust spots get on the front of my lens, this is my first option in attempting to remove them.
Lenspen Outdoor Kit
If the rocket blower doesn’t work then this is the next tool I turn to. With quality microfiber cloth, lenspen and an anti-fogging cloth, this covers off a lot of my cleaning needs.
Garmin 64s GPS
Hiking all over the mountains I need, firstly a device that will help me get back to where I left my car and secondly allow me to mark a location that I want to find again. Being satellite based this takes over from my favourite location app, TPE or The Photographers Ephemeris which relies on the mobile phone network.
SPOT Satellite Messenger
Like the name says, it tracks via satellite. This device has one-way communication, meaning I can broadcast to my family with a preset message saying “I’m OK” and it goes to a predefined email address along with the GPS coordinates. The 2nd message might say “running late but OK” and again with the GPS coordinates. Lastly if I’m in trouble and need help a distress signal is generated to emergency services along with my GPS coordinates. One other function is the ability to be tracked online with the device reporting your location every ten minutes. This requires an annual subscription to a satellite service. Costs me roughly 50 cents per day. Cheap for peace of mind.
Lowepro Beltpack & Filter Pouch
All this gear needs to be loaded into something I can carry easily. I can concentrate on what’s ahead and not be constantly jigging it around trying make it comfortable. The Lowepro Beltpack has 2 small outside pockets that hold my water bottle, snacks, insect repellent etc. One large adjustable zip up pocket for the Lastolite Ezybox. Underneath are a pair of adjustable straps to sling on the tripods. The belt is padded and has spots for hooking on my filter pouch and various GPS devices. Until writing this I never realised how much gear actually went in!
Generic camera wireless camera trigger – sometimes the ground is too unstable to stand next to your camera and trigger it or you want to minimise vibration when triggering your camera.
Lexar CF memory Cards – They haven’t ever failed me. Shouldn’t have said that should I ? ;)
Waterbottle – Cause I don’t like dehydrating
Muesli Bar – Cause I like to eat
Headlamp – Gets me in or out in the dark and can also be used to light paint. I used one that is both focusable and variable in power. Coast HL7 does exactly that.
Spare Batteries – for everything
Insect repellent – keeping the bities away makes for a much more enjoyable shoot.
Zeiss Lens Wipes – New to my kit, I initially used them to clean my screens – iPad, Macbook etc but I’ve seen them used with good effect on lenses. I figure with them being so small and light I’d give them ago.
Perhaps it’s my short attention span or desire to have fingers in many different pies but I do really enjoy shooting many genres. This is totally apparent when you visit my website.