Matte Hanna

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Hello, my name is Matte Hanna. I am a landscape photographer living on the Oregon coast in the Pacific Northwest. I wear many different hats that allow me to keep shooting landscapes outside year-round, including product, commercial and weddings.

It’s impossible for me to find the right words to explain why I love shooting outdoors so much. Landscape photography pushes me to be outside, to explore, observe and perceive my surroundings. Whether I have walked past an area a thousand times, or I am just exploring a location for the first time, shooting gets me out of my comfort zone and allows me to engage nature.

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In my kit you will find a lot of Nikon gear. I find the Nikon camera controls to be second nature. After using them for past 10 years, it’s like driving home on auto pilot. I don’t think about where anything is while shooting, the hands know where to steer me. That’s handy when setting up quickly on locations without a lot of thought or stumbling through menus.

Nikon makes one of the most rugged and durable camera bodies when shooting in challenging weather conditions. Living in the Pacific Northwest, you are guaranteed fog, mist, rain, snow and sun. Sometimes all at once. I also am a huge fan of Nikon glass and its compatibility with its other models. I put my gear through the paces and find them to be dependable, consistent and durable out in the field. They are made to push hard.

From the top left:

Nikon D4 – The nice solid build, feels great in the hands, sturdy and rugged, I feel like I don’t have to be too careful with it. It has an amazing dynamic range and works great in difficult lighting situations. It is weather sealed, durable and can fire off shots on the quick which makes it a favorite for moving objects and wildlife.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens – It’s versatile in low light and the image quality is amazing. This is my go-to landscape zoom.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED – This lens super sharp and the bokeh is unreal! I use this for portraits and landscape close ups.

Gitzo GT1555T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head – The super light and sturdy build give this tripod very little shake or movement while I’m shooting on sand or near water. I love how light and compact this tripod is. I have had issues getting sand in the G-lock mechanism, which makes it hard to use properly again. Always clean it out after an outdoor shoot.

Lens Tissues, E-wipes and a Rocket Blaster – One use E-wipes and lens tissues work better than typical lens cloths. Even though I carry cloths when I shoot, they often get dirty, wet and can scratch your lens. The Giottos Rocket Blaster is also pretty handy for getting the sand and dirt off of your gear.

Nikon D750 – I love this camera. Lightweight, sturdy, it takes tack sharp images paired with the right glass. Excellent at higher ISO’s with superb dynamic range. The tilting display with Live view is a welcome additional feature. Battery life is amazing, on the D750 as with most Nikons… This is my back up camera for the D810.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens – A great low light wide angle lens, tack sharp, with deep depth of field and fast focus. Works like a dream. This lens is almost permanently attached to my D750.

Lee Filters. Filter holder, and adapters rings. Coral Graduated 3 Resin Filter, 0.6 ND Resin Graduated Filter and the Lee Big Stopper. These go everywhere I shoot.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED Lens – One of my favorites for shooting wide angle landscapes. When just bringing a few lenses in my backpack, this one comes with. It’s super sharp, small and portable. Takes amazing low light shots. I shoot a lot of astrophotography with my 20mm.

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens with AE Chip – The best ultra-wide for the money out there, period. I’m pretty fearless using it, it’s taken some serious drops and hasn’t flinched.
Great lens for astrophotography if you can get a good copy.

Nitecore EA41 Compact Searchlight – This stays in my pocket wherever I go. It is amazingly bright when needed but also stops down to a dim glow. I also have the Nitecore HC30 DualForm Headlamp (not pictured) usually on my head for pre-dawn locations, after sunset bushwhacking, and generally being able to see in the dark.

www.mstarfilms.com

Inside Matte’s camera bag:

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    • Hey Matte,
      Love your photos! I used to live in WA and the beauty of the PNW is driving my desire to get into photography. Where would you start out in terms of equipment on a budget/for a beginner?

      • Hi Mark, thats so great! Sometimes I feel there is a misconception is out there for beginners, that you have to have the best and most expensive equipment to get great shots. Not so! It’s really not the case. The best camera is always the one you have with you, so just getting a camera in your hands is the goal.

        I would start with the essentials, camera body, a lens or two to get going and when budget allows..a tripod. I wouldn’t worry to much about the camera megapixel wars, anything 16mp and above would be fine, maybe look at getting a refurbished or used body to start out. The nikon D750 and D810 body pricing have had really good deal’s lately with the release of the D850 driving older Nikon models down. I have seen D750’s for $900 used and I would defiantly recommend that model. It has some really great features for the sticker price. I also like Fuji Films systems, any of the X series are also really nicely priced, I travel a lot and always keep my Fuji X100f close by, it’s small and easy to use and didn’t break the bank. If you just need a good 35mm I would definitely check that out..

        While I can’t argue nothing beats having some really nice glass, lenses can be overwhelmingly pricy. Buying a zoom that covers a few focal ranges might be a good way to start! Also refurbished and used lenses are a good way to save money. Some of my favorite photographers started out with only having a few lenses to shoot with and it really helped create and influenced their style. Nikkor G lenses, are quality lenses that are inexpensive, they make a great 35 and 50. I own and use both, they are a third of the price of some lenses out there with remarkable quality. Also for an inexpensive tripod recommendation check out Manfrotto BeFree tripods. They are sturdy, easy to use and don’t break the bank.

        Stay vigilant and look for deals, there are so many other great cameras out there. Thanks for checking out my gear and I hope I helped!

        Cheers,
        Matte