I am a nightscape, timelapse, and general adventure landscape photographer.
My gear is a balance between portability, affordability, and image quality. I also photograph weddings for my day job, so that influences some of my gear.
Over the last 10+ years, I’ve been able to use a lot of other gear, including various Nikon, Canon, and Sony cameras and lenses. All of them are great systems, (and they’re all getting even better these days) however I stick with Nikon for the cameras that reside in my ‘personal collection’ because I feel that Nikon offers the best balance in price, performance, reliability, and portability.
My passion for photography comes from an appreciation and respect for the outdoors that I’ve had since long before I ever cared about photography. I go on new adventures so that I can see places (and phenomena) with my own two eyes.
The photos I bring home are not just intended to encourage others to ‘get outside’ but, more importantly, to help protect such places which are still pristine. I care deeply about conservation, and hope that my images can help to preserve these beautiful places for future generations.
CAMERAS Alpine Labs Radian
This is my main camera. I own two of these and then I borrow/rent other cameras as needed for a particular adventure or project. The D750 is simply the best balance of affordability, portability, and image quality at both daytime and nighttime ISOs.
Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E
An old manual focus lens, before AI-S.
Rokinon 14mm f/2.8
This lens needs no introduction, it’s a great go-to astro-landscape lens.
Nikon 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6
Soft in the corners, but it weighs less than a pound! Perfect for anyone who barely ever shoots telephoto.
Nikon 10-20mm DX VR
A DX lens that I use in FX mode at 14mm whenever I want easy access to filters, instead of using a giant square filter system.
Tamron 90mm f/2.5 Manual Focus
A garage sale lens that is very sharp when stopped down to f/4.
Yes, tripods get their own section. I’m obsessed with tripods! I never have fewer than 3-4 tripods in my car on any given adventure.
Slik AMT 700DX
A giant, heavy tripod that I like to use when not going too far from my car. The heavier the better!
[Editor: check out Matt’s excellent review of the Slik 700DX tripod]
Slik Lite CF-422
An ultra-lightweight tripod that I take on backpacking trips when I’ll be going long distances with multiple tripods and cameras on my back.
Slik Pro CF-614
Another ultra-lightweight tripod that I take on backpacking trips, because timelapse photography and vlogging often requires multiple tripods.
Manfrotto MTT2-P02 Table Top Tripod w/ Arca Swiss clamp
Because, you can never have too many tripods.
NOTE: I’ve destroyed innumerable OTHER tripods over the last 15 years. Slik has become my go-to brand simply because they’re one of the original brands which still makes great products that stand the test of time.
I use all kinds of the usual accessories, such as various polarizer, ND filters, ~1 TB worth of memory cards, and interval timers and cable releases, etc.
Alpine Labs Radian
This is a lightweight timelapse panning device that I use on backpacking trips.
Zoom H1, lavalier microphone, & Movo shotgun microphone. The vlogging gear.
Tether Tools Case Relay
This is my USB battery power solution for powering cameras for many hours straight, using Anker etc. USB batteries.
Lithium Polymer 7.5V External Batteries
This is my cheap solution to powering cameras for many hours straight however, it involves soldering wires directly to a dummy battery, and potentially frying your camera. Not recommended unless you are an electronics wizard!
Mindshift Rotation Pro 180
This is my favorite mid-sized backpack and is by far the most comfortable and versatile backpack I’ve ever owned. It’s also quite durable and has given me the fewest issues over the last 4-5 years that I’ve been using it.
Mindshift Ultralight Dual 25L
For whenever I’m traveling light and want to be able to cover great distances quickly with just a little bit of gear, or even run/climb with a backpack on, this is my favorite backpack. Also, I can remove the ICU for separate use, and compact the whole backpack down to be stuffed into my giant REI backpacking backpack, when on longer multi-night adventures.
www.astro-landscapes.com | @astrolandscapes
* Matt has also written for Shotkit. Check out his article on Astrophotography Tips and his Rokinon Lens Comparison.
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