Nathan McColl

Hi my name is Nathan, I’m a construction project manager by day and a photographer every other time. I live in Shellharbour on the south coast of NSW Australia.

I’ve been in the photography game now for about 4 years. I consider myself a landscape photographer, I love nothing more than snapping that perfect sunrise by the ocean.

My love for photography sprang out of my other hobby (remote controlled cars) when I purchased a DJI Mavic in 2016, purely for the fun of flying a remote controlled drone.

I started to love photographing the landscapes and seascapes around me with the drone. It didn’t take long until I found myself researching and hunting around for a DSLR camera. I eventually settled on a Canon 200D and was hooked.

Unfortunately my trusty Canon 200D met with an unfortunate accident and was retired early. Shooting a sunrise at Cathedral Rocks (Kiama, NSW) one morning, a lapse in attention saw my camera topple into the ocean. I kept the sensor as a keepsake!

A few painful and sad weeks later I managed to collect enough cash to by myself a spiffy Sony A7 III and have never looked back.

I find myself mostly shooting almost exclusively with the Sony 16-35mm f/4, a great lens for landscape photography. I have a few other bits and pieces but I’ll get to that in the Main Gear Talk.

I don’t think I have a lot of gear but it is slowly growing over time. Most of my gear isn’t needed to get a good photograph. My gear has evolved to let me get long exposure shots portraying movement in water.

Cameras

I shoot exclusively on the Sony A7 III, mostly because I can’t afford another body :D. But seriously this camera is a power house for landscape photography.

Lenses

Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 – I use this lens for almost all my landscape shots. The optics on this lens are great, generally sharp across all f-stops. Can’t go past the bang for buck on this lens.

Sony FE 70-200mm f/4  – I bought this little ripper second hand and what a purchase. I find myself regularly pulling this lens out to get abstract shots like panning shots or close up’s of ocean flow.

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC – Quite a mouth full but a great lens. This is my go-to for astrophotography. It’s low f-stop and wide-angle makes it great for capturing a full Milky Way.

Lights/Triggers

MIOPS Remote Plus is a remote trigger release that is operated through your phone. This trigger does it all – time-lapse, remote release, sound trigger, light trigger (great for lightning shots), and tones more. Highly recommended!

Tripods

Sirui W-2204 – A waterproof tripod great for dropping in rivers, ponds and the ocean without having to worry about destroying your tripod.

Sirui AM-284-AU – Another gem from Sirui. I use this tripod when I am planning to go on a bit more of a hike, being lighter than the Sirui W-2204 but still strong and sturdy.

Bags/Straps

Tenba Axis 24L – I love the thought that has gone into this bag. The bag opens from the back! For the landscape photographer this is great, no more laying your bag in the dirt and getting the straps and back padding filthy and wet. Well done Tenba!

Filters

I use the NISI 6V 100m Enhanced Landscape Circular Polarizer. I use the filters to adjust the light so that I can get long exposures or knock the light back to get the shutter speed and aperture needed to capture and portray things like flowing water.

I have in my bag a 3, 6, 10 and 15 stop ND filters.

Hardware & Software

I use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to edit my photos regularly going between the two. I’m still trying to sharpen my Adobe Photoshop skills but I try to limit my editing as much as possible to just representing what I saw when I was standing there.

For my astro work I use Sequator and StarStax depending on what style of astro I am working on.

I edit my photos on a custom PC I put together. For the PC geeks out there spec are:

Intel, i7-9700k Processor
Gigabyte, Z390 AORUS Pro Motherboard
Nvidia, Geforce GTX 1080Ti Graphics Card
Corsair, Vengeance LPX 16GB Ram
Samsung, 970 PRO M.2 NVMe SSD
And a tone of HDD space for all my photos

Misc.

I always pack 2-3 large microfiber cloths. Standing at the base of a waterfall or dodging sets of waves I inevitably get some spray on my camera and lens. A couple of wipes fixes the problem.

I also carry with me a bag I got from an Ozscapers.com meet and greet. I use the bag to pick up any trash I come across while doing my photography thing #take3forthesea #justpickitup.

Lastly, I use a SmallRig L-Bracket to keep the camera stable when shooting portrait on the tripod.

There is no such thing as a bad shot. If you enjoy what you are doing and shoot what makes you happy, you will always create great photographs.

www.nathanmccollphotography.com.au | @nathan_mccoll

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