Hey there! Jeff Silkstone here. I am a landscape and architecture photographer based out of North Carolina.
Landscape photography, for me, is all about the adventure. There is nothing like exploring new places and then showing the beauty of the world to others.
I truly believe that the best way to share the beauty of the world to others is not only through images but also through stories and teaching.
That’s why I have given back by teaching at a visual arts school, led workshops, taught individuals from 10 years old to over 80 and given presentations on how to improve photography. One of my best pieces of advice is to make sure you know your gear. Speaking of gear….
As a landscape photographer, I have some requirements for my gear. First, the gear must be reliable. Landscape photographers subject their gear to harsh environments.
I need to know that when I pull out my camera it is going to work no matter what the conditions. Secondly, since I travel and hike with my gear, I think about weight. The less weight I have to carry the better I feel. So putting both of these considerations together I have assembled my gear as follows:
Nikon D500: I consider the D500 to be the sweet spot for weight and size and image quality. I started my journey with an APC sized sensor and I haven’t looked back. Completely weather-sealed, the D500 can take a beating in the environment and still be ready for the next shot.
Nikkor DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5: This lens is on my camera 75% of the time. It’s lightweight and compact and provides sharp images. Though it is not weather sealed it has never let me down whether in rain, snow or driving sand. It’s a bargain for the price.
Nikkor 24-120mm f/4: Covers the range between 24mm and 70mm, with a little extra, without being too large or heavy.
Nikkor 70-200mm f/4: Tack sharp images from a lens that is over 500g less than its f/2.8 brother.
Nikkor 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6: If there is a chance to photograph wildlife, I pack this in place of the 70-200mm. Lightweight for its size, this lens performs wonderfully handheld.
Guru and Lotus Mountain Series F-Stop Gear bags: I use the Guru for hiking and day trips. The Lotus is wonderful for carrying all my gear when flying. The compact width helps to not get the bag caught on things in the field or when walking down a crowded airplane aisle.
Induro CT214 Tripod (Now the CLT204): Bought this tripod as my first carbon fiber tripod. I haven’t needed to buy another one. Packs small and with the short center column, you can get right down on the ground which is a must for bringing those foreground elements to life.
Markins Emile Q3i ball head: Love this ball head. It’s small and light and holds all my gear steady.
Sensei Pro 100mm Aluminum Universal Filter Holder: This filter holder has become my favorite for its compact size, low weight, and toughness.
Nisi Nano IR ND32 (1.5) 100×100 5-stop filter: No noticeable tint. Great for adding movement in your images
Nisi Nano IR GND8(0.9) 100x150mm filter: A must for landscape photography
Nisi Reverse Nano IR GND8(0.9) 100×150 filter: Great for beach sunrises and sunsets and other scenes with an almost straight horizon.
Hoya HD3 Circular Polarizer Filters: Great thin polarizer for wide-angle lenses.
Kirk BL-D500N L-Bracket: Best purchase I have ever made. An L-bracket is a must-have. Don’t leave home without it!
Mindshift Gear Filter Hive Mini Filter Pouch: Carries and protects my filters just like it is supposed to.
Hope to see you in the field!