Kav Dadfar

I’m Kav, a professional travel photographer and writer based in the United Kingdom. For the past 15 years, I have been lucky to photograph some of the most incredible places on Earth.

Although my forte is travel photography, I have also photographed everything from restaurants and food to even the odd wedding.

My photos are regularly used by some of the most famous brands and publications around the world such as National Geographic, Rough Guides, Lonely Planet, and national and international newspapers.

The last few years have also seen me embark on new projects. For example, I now run multiple photography workshops and holidays in some of the most stunning places in the world through my company “That Wild Idea”.

Main Gear Talk

As a travel photographer, I have never been one to carry lots of equipment with me. There is nothing worst than walking around all day with a heavy backpack.

Unlike many other photographers, as I have become more experienced, I have culled a lot of my equipment and now only carry the essentials. Of course, if a job requires anything specific, I carry it with me.

Cameras

My camera of choice has always been Canon. I subconsciously settled on Canon when I left university as that was what I used when learning photography.

Currently, my main camera is a Canon 5D Mark IV. I upgraded to this from a Canon 5D Mark II (which I still keep as a backup body) a few years ago.

I didn’t really feel there was a big enough improvement to the Canon 5D Mark III to warrant trading up. So, I waited for the next model to come out.

The main reason I upgraded was the vast advancement of the Canon 5D Mark IV, especially with the resolution and things like the bigger number of AF focus points available.

Canon cameras are the only ones I have ever used.

Lenses

My main lens of choice is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. This is my workhorse lens, and I would estimate that 90% of my photos are taken with this lens.

I also always carry an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens with me as well which quite frankly is my favourite lens ever. This lens is incredibly useful for portraits and even landscape shots that require a tighter crop.

The last of my lenses is a Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM. I must confess that I rarely use this lens nowadays as its place in my camera bag has been taken by the DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone.

For those extra wide-angle shots, I now use my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens and stitch the photos into a panoramic shot in post-production.

Lights/Triggers

Even though I still own a Canon Speedlite 430EX II, I rarely ever take it with me anywhere let alone actually use it.

I found that using LEDs is much easier than using a flash. So, these days I use a Neewer Dimmable LED Light which is cheap and easy to place anywhere around the subject you are photographing.

Bags/Straps

For any outdoor photographer, the right camera bag is vital. Not only does it keep your equipment safe and dry, but it also helps you carry it around comfortably for long periods.

My bag of choice is the Lowpro Protactic 450 Backpack which can fit all my equipment, a tripod and even a 15” MacBook.

Tripods

My companion for almost 15 years has been my Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Tripod. This heavy-duty carbon fibre tripod has stood everything that the elements have thrown at me.

Even in high wind conditions it remains remarkably stable allowing for long exposures. This is without a doubt my most important accessory.

Hardware & Software

All my photos are processed in Adobe Lightroom and if any require more extensive editing this tends to be done in Adobe Photoshop.

Misc.

Another essential part of my kit is the variety of Lee filters that I use. These include Graduated ND and normal ND filters that are a must for almost all my landscape shots. I also carry a Lee Little Stopper and a Lee Big Stopper.

In addition to the filters above, I always take my K&F polarizer, plenty of Canon spare batteries, numerous SanDisk Extreme Pro flash memory cards and two Western Digital 250GB Passport hard drives to back up my photos daily.

Final Words

I’ve never been a big advocate of buying lots of camera equipment. I think people get too hung up on equipment rather than actually focusing on improving their photography.

The reality is that even the best camera in the world can’t make a poorly executed or composed photo any better. So my biggest advice would be to try to improve your photography rather than collecting camera equipment.

www.dadfarphotography.com@dadfar_photography

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