Hi, my name is Laurence and I’m the photographer behind websites Finding the Universe and Independent Travel Cats, which I run with my wife Jessica. It’s been a full-time business since 2010. I also run an online travel photography course.
Our sites provide both photography and travel advice to people travelling around the world, and we travel a great deal. As such, my gear is focused towards portability – although as you can see, it’s not exactly compact!
I’ve been taking photos since my parents gifted me a Canon AE-1 film SLR camera for my 13th birthday. My passion is landscape photography primarily, but I do enjoy portrait photography as well.
I’ve had primarily the same gear for a long while now. My main camera is the Canon EOS 6D. I got it when it first came out and loved the portability of it as a full-frame camera. I’m also hugely in love with the GPS tagging feature, which is really helpful for keeping track of all the locations we visit and shoot.
Finally, it’s weather-sealed, which has proven to be an invaluable feature on numerous trips (I’m looking at you Iceland).
From a lens point of view, we try and travel relatively light, so tend to just travel with a wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens, and an extender. Admittedly, the Canon 70-200mm f/4 could never be described as light, but it is so sharp I’d never be able to give it up.
We added a second body so my wife could also shoot with me, but also to save on switching lenses when we’re out and about.
We also have a few other primes for playing with and portrait work, but they don’t usually come traveling with us. I also have a flash which I use sometimes for event work, but that’s not something I’ve done much of or enjoy a great deal.
We also have some smaller cameras which are handy in a pinch. I love the compact Sony RX100 V, it offers up incredible image quality for something so small, as well as all the manual controls I’d ever need. The Lumix GX8 is a step up from that, especially paired with the Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8. It’s a really subtle camera that is great for street photography and when we want to be a bit less obvious.
Since we shoot a range of subjects including wildlife on our travels, we added the Canon Extender to our portfolio. It’s not as ideal as a dedicated 400mm or longer lens would be, but it has enabled us to get shots of subjects like puffins and seals that might otherwise have been impossible. It’s also really tiny, so always comes with us.
Naturally, as landscape photographers, we also pack a tripod or two. On trips where we don’t have the luxury of unlimited luggage, we use the Vanguard VEO 2 carbon fibre tripod, which folds up really small, fits in my backpack, and works for hiking with all day.
On trips where I have the luxury of filling my car up with whatever I want, we also bring the heavier Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ for stability.
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Of course, I also have a range of filters, including ND filters for long exposure photography and a polarizing filter. When I’m not using those, my lenses always have a UV filter on for protection.
Last but not least, we also travel with a drone. We don’t do any video, but we’ve found the drone to be invaluable for getting unique angles on locations that we’d never have been able to get before. It’s a great little tool, and it’s also a lot of fun to play with.
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