I’m Nic Taylor, a commercial restaurant/bar interior and food photographer based in Merseyside. I’m originally from South Wales but have been living in Merseyside for 16 years, having studied a foundation degree in Computer Game Production from 2001.
I frequently travel throughout the UK shooting for different restaurants and bars. I love what I do and my favourite thing to shoot is food, despite being a terribly fussy eater.
I also currently test out Samyang Global lenses in a brand ambassador role. Whenever they release new products I get to test them out (before anyone else) and supply Samyang with sample images to use in marketing the new lenses.
I started photography as a hobby around 6 years ago and am completely self-taught. The first camera I bought was a Sony ‘Bridge’ camera. This was to just dip my toe in to the world of photography to see if I liked it – I loved it. I soon after bought my first DSLR, a Sony a65 with a couple of lenses and from then I was hooked.
I definitely suffer from ‘Gear Acquisition Syndrome’ and because of that I wanted to find a way to buy more gear, so I looked at photography as paid work. I quit my dead-end job in 2015, went full-time and haven’t looked back since. I started off with Sony A-mount cameras and have since moved over to a full-frame Sony E-mount a7R. This camera produces stunning, crisp, detailed images but the focusing system isn’t the best. I will upgrade to a Sony a7rIII at some point in the future.
List of Kit
LaCie Rugged drives
A great, stylish and portable solution for backing up my images. These things are tougher than a cheap supermarket steak.
A selection of circular polarizer filters and ND filters. Gobe offers high quality glass filters at a low cost. They also plant 5 trees for every product sold. I use circular polarizer filters to reduce reflections on glass/metal surfaces and ND filters to allow a longer exposure.
I have a few of these. Although they don’t offer TTL, they are very well built and very cheap in comparison to other branded flashes. They have built in radio triggers so you can use one on camera and several off camera, and they will trigger fine. The only downside is that they don’t do HSS. I use these to add light to interior shots.
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro (Sony A-mount)
A very sharp macro lens that I mainly use for close ups on food and occasionally for portraits. This lens has a very slow focus.
Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 FE
Samyang’s latest AF lens. A great compact travel lens ideal for popping in your bag and taking with you anywhere. I used this lens a lot during a recent trip to New York as it is ideal for street photography.
Canon 16-35mm f/4L USM
A super sharp ultra-wide-angle lens. I mainly use this to shoot interiors and on occasion landscape stuff.
Commlite Canon EF to Sony FE adapter
The Metabones adapter seems like poor value for adapting Canon lenses to the Sony A7 series cameras. I went for this adapter instead and it works for me for what I need from it. AF is awful when using it with the Canon 16-35mm f/4L USM and my A7R, but as I usually shoot interiors with this combo, I have plenty of time to compose the shots and use manual focus.
Peli SD card case
A solid, waterproof case for all my SD cards. This holds 12 SD cards and goes with me on every shoot. You can never have enough memory.
Gobe ND filter Kit
Gobe recently sent these along with the other 3 filters. This ND filter kit features 5 ND filters – 1 Stop, 2 Stop, 3 Stop, 6 Stop and a 10 Stop. The 10-stop filter produces dramatic images allowing me to shoot very long exposures.
Excellent battery powered studio strobe. This light outputs 600W of power and the battery is pretty damn excellent too. I use this when shooting some interiors and for most food shoots.
Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA (Sony A-mount)
Due to its ‘all-round’ focal length this is probably my most used lens. It’s very sharp, has great contrast and colours. I use this for food shoots, interior work where being ultra-wide isn’t as essential and most other types of photography. This is a heavy piece of glass that produces amazing quality.
Samyang AF 50mm f/1.4 FE
Samyang’s first ever autofocus lens. This lens gives superb bokeh but remains sharp for the in-focus areas. AF is fast and the images it produces are crisp, vibrant and stunning. I use this for some detail shots where I want a shallow depth of field.
Samyang XP 14mm f/2.4 (Canon EF mount)
This is a superb ultra-wide-angle lens which offers a great wide f2.4 aperture. This lens is made for Canon so I again use the Commlite adapter. It’s a manual focus only lens but is so sharp throughout the frame it’s unbelievable. I use this for landscape images, astrophotography or interior photography when the Canon 16-35mm just isn’t quite wide enough.
Samyang 24mm f/3.5 Tilt-shift
Great lens for architectural shots as it allows me to take photos of buildings at ground level and shift the lens’ focus plane to get the verticals of the building going as straight as possible.
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO DG HSM
This lens doesn’t get a lot of use at the moment but it’s always there just in case I need something a bit longer or if another lens fails.
Manfrotto MT294A3 tripod
As far as Manfrotto tripods go this is pretty low budget. It has a decent weight to it and is sturdy. Why pay more for higher priced tripod when this does the job so well? It holds my camera steady and extends pretty high.
Giottos air blower
I get asked a lot when I initially get this out of my bag on shoots “what the hell is that?” and even though it kind of looks like some sort of weird sex toy it just blows air – it’s as simple as that. I use this to blow any dust off my lenses or my camera sensor.
This is the camera I used to take the photo of my kit. This is my backup camera body. It’s a very capable APS-C camera with a great list of features.
Lowepro Flipside 400AW
Excellent camera bag backpack which I’ve recently started taking out to more and more shoots as it allows me to carry more stuff in my hands when it’s strapped to my back. I can fit both camera bodies, a selection of lenses, my 13” laptop and a bunch of other miscellaneous items.
Lowepro Flipside 500AW
The bigger brother to the Flipside 400AW. This has had a lot of use as I can simply carry a couple more lenses and it’s not as much of a squeeze as the Flipside 400AW. Both offer great protection to my kit on the inside.
Inside Nic’s camera bag:
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