Compared with many landscape photographers I use a relatively small collection of camera equipment, aiming to work with a range of lightweight gear that is capable of recording high quality images with a limited kit bag.
I have recently undertaken a complete overhaul of my camera equipment to cut down on the weight and general bulk of my camera bag to make things easier in the field, this has been enabled by the amazing progression in camera technology.
The latest mid range enthusiast cameras continue to amaze me compared to my previous pro-range camera bodies. I have recently replaced a range of zoom and prime lenses from the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 up to a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 with a single Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 lens which now stays on the camera full time. In the near future I do plan to pick up a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 to compliment the 17-55mm.
The Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 lens is incredibly sharp on the crop sensor Nikon camera bodies particularly at around 24mm and renders contrast beautifully, one of the big advantages of keeping the lens on the camera is the fact that I no longer have to worry about dust spots on my pictures which even regular cleaning and care couldn’t prevent – the amount of hours I have saved editing images in Photoshop to remove spots is incredible and has allowed me to spend more time concentrating on other areas of my photography and developing my website.
My current camera body is a recently purchased Nikon D7100 which continues to produce amazing clean images in challenging lighting conditions which for a mid range camera body is outstanding. I have upgraded to this through a procession of Nikon cameras over the years starting with a Nikon D50 back in 2006.
My work is primarily Landscape Photography so I spend a lot of time in the countryside and at the coast in both England and Scotland, my favourite place to make photographs is the beach where possibilities are endless and I love the way the sky often blends with the ocean particularly at sunrise (see guide).
For my landscape photography work I make use of neutral density filters to help manage the different brightness levels in the natural light, I currently have ND4 and ND8 Cokin Z-pro gradual neutral density filters which I find covers all eventualities either used on their own or combined for stronger light. I also make occasional use of a polarising filter mainly for waterfall photography to cut the reflections in the water and the surrounding rocks, I find this also helps to bring out the vibrancy in the photograph particularly in shady woodland.
My camera and filters fit snugly into my Lowepro Flipside 200 camera bag which is lightweight and comfortable for long treks into the mountains. I currently have 2 Manfrotto tripods which I use with an interchangeable ball head, a heavier Manfrotto 055XPROB for general work and a much lighter but less sturdy Manfrotto 190CLB which I take on mountain walks.
I have 2 Nissin ND622MKII-C Speedlites which I use for my product and sports photography, I usually trigger these with the built in camera flash in Commander mode on my Nikon D7100 utilising the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the flashes are matched with lightweight flash stands and large multi use 5-in-1 collapsible reflector/diffuser for a compact portable kit. I occasionally use the flashes for my landscape work to add a little fill in light but reserve these mainly for indoor product and portrait work.