My name is Jeremiah Gilbert and I am a travel photographer based out of Southern California. I started taking photos in high school in the late eighties. My best friend was enrolled in a course in photojournalism, and I started tagging along when he needed to practice.
This was back in the days of film and I picked up the same camera he had, a Minolta X370, which was always loaded with black and white film that we’d later develop in a bathroom-turned-darkroom.
I switched to digital just before a trip to Tibet in 2006. A trip that awoke my love for travel.
As I couldn’t travel in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic, I turned my attention to writing about my travels. My first collection, Can’t Get Here from There: Fifty Tales of Travel, came out in late 2020. The follow-up, From Tibet to Egypt: Early Travels After a Late Start, coming out in early 2022.
During this time, the camera has been out for some road trips around California plus I also started a series of what I called Shelter-in-Place Still Lifes taken of objects around the house to keep my creative juices flowing.
Main Gear Talk
I like to travel light and shoot handheld. I typically travel with one camera and two to three lenses. I try to previsualize shots, which helps me decide which lenses to take before I head out of the country.
My first travel camera was the Fujifilm FinePix S9000, which had a fixed lens equivalent to 28-300mm. Over the years it’s been replaced by the Nikon D7000, the Nikon Df, and now the Nikon Z6.
Nikon Z6 – my first foray into mirrorless. I love the feel of it in the hand and I find the sensor to be remarkable.
Leica CL – if I’m going to be in a city or feel the need to shoot more discreetly, then I take this camera along.
Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S – about eighty percent of the time I shoot wide-angle, and this has been the best of the wide-angle lenses I have used over the years. It has the least distortion and I enjoy being able to go down to 14mm.
Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S – I have been surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed shooting with this lens. If I don’t need the 14-30mm for architecture or landscape, this is the lens typically on my camera.
Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S – I guess it’s because I shot 50mm back when I was first starting out, but I’ve always found this focal length suits my eye. This is my go-to street and night lens.
Leica Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 – this near-pancake lens is why I chose to start shooting with the Leica CL as it’s the same 28mm (equivalent) as the Leica Q, which I used to own, but in a much smaller and lighter package.
ThinkTank Retrospective 6 – I’ve had a long love affair with the ThinkTank Retrospective series. Back when my 50mm was small enough to tuck under the camera, I used the Retrospective 5 as my main bag. Now that I need a little more room if I take all three lenses, I’ve switched to a Retrospective 6.
Tamrac N-45 Padded Quick Release Camera Strap – I don’t know if they still make these, but they have been on my cameras for years. I find it gives just the right amount of padding behind the neck.
Hardware & Software
A MacBook Pro 15” is my main editing machine. For software, I use Photoshop CC, Nik Collection (specifically Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro), and ON1 Effects.
Breakthrough Photography UV Filters – I like to have UV filters on all of my lenses, and I really like their X2 filters.
Mega Gear Ultra Light Neoprene Camera Case – this adds a little more grip to the Leica CL without adding more weight.
Along with spare memory cards, batteries, and cleaning supplies, my camera bag also carries my phone and passport. It’s the one item I never leave out of my sight, so I figure it’s a good place for the valuables.
People are often surprised that I don’t travel with any longer focal lengths, but I find I rarely need them. If I’m heading off to photograph wildlife, for instance, then I have a Nikon 70-300mm or Sigma 50-500mm I can take along in place of one of my usuals.
A few years back I was in Southern Africa for over a month and for that trip I carried two lenses – a Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G and a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E. This was back when I was shooting with the Nikon Df.
I find that keeping the gear light and minimal helps me stay creative.