My name is Steffen Knudsen Allen, I grew up in Canada and after a brief stop in Denmark am now living just outside New York City. When out shooting day-to-day I am usually either on location capturing lifestyle with kids and baby strollers or on/near the water shooting sailboat regattas.
For quick day shoots (most often the lifestyle with kids) I try to keep as light and mobile as possible as I will be doing a lot of running around. In my small Lowepro bag there is only a Canon 5D mkII with the kit Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 L lens, 4 extra memory cards in a hard case (easy to keep in a back pocket) and a single extra battery.
For trips, the big carry-on backpack (Kata Bumblebee 220) comes out and I carry a pair of Canon 5D mkII ’s both with Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L, a Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L (with 2 extra UV filters and a shammy cloth), a Canon 50mm f/1.2L and occasionally the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens.. I also carry as many memory cards as I can find, all the extra camera batteries with 2 chargers, 4 international power adaptors. 2 FW800 card readers, a FW800 hard drive for working off of and storage, a USB hard drive for backup and a 17” Macbook Pro. Lastly (not pictured) is a mouse for quick evening photo edits when needing to send files off for news/social media release.
The Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 L kit lens is surprisingly versatile and what I use 99% of the time while shooting on location lifestyle. These shoots usually happen outside so low light is not an issue and the zoom from slightly wide to slightly telephoto is perfect for trying to capture the product, parents and highly mobile kids.
The Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L lens is what I use on the water shooting the sailboat regattas. I am often at 400mm trying to get as close to the action as possible and find the racers are moving so quick that I would not want to have a smaller depth of field than f/5.6. However, I am constantly wishing for even better high ISO on the Canon 5D MkII though as the shutter needs to be at least 1/1,600 or 1/2000 to really freeze the water spray. One trick I learned was using UV filters for splashguards as there is always some spray that gets on the front of the lens (and being saltwater seems particularly difficult to clean off in the middle of a race) so I do a quick UV filter change and I’m good to go until the next big wave hits the chase boat.
Often I also end up using the telephoto lens for shooting the racers back on land as due to the impressive size of the Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L I spend a lot less time explaining I am the official event sponsor photographer and can spend more time shooting.
The Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens is only used inside when trying to squeeze a few more stops of exposure out of the existing lighting and the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens only comes along on trips when inanimate objects are going to be photographed.
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