NOTE — This information has been moved to a static page and will be kept current there.
I’ve always enjoyed photography, but I’d say a trip to Belize in 2010 really piqued my interest. I took two point and shoot cameras (one for underwater). During a three day sailing and camping adventure along the Belize Barrier Reef I had the opportunity to photograph some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The photos made me think…what would these look like if I actually knew what I was doing?
I prefer photography of landscapes, historical sites, and events over people. I think my preference is based on that fact that people are hard to photograph (in my opinion).
The Equipment I Use
Over the last few weeks several people have asked me what kind of photography equipment I use, so I thought I would take a few moments to explain. I’m lucky that I work with a couple of semiprofessional photographers and while most of this probably isn’t equipment they would buy, they did help me sort through and come up with a good ‘starter kit’.
I chose Nikon over Cannon for no particular reason other than it’s what many of my friends shoot and I figured they’d be able to help me if I ran into any issues. The D3100 was the newest release and based on input for my semiprofessional photography friends the reviews seemed better than its predecessor. I purchased it at Costco and it included the standard 18-55mm lens as well as a 55-200mm and a carrying case. Cost was $899 (it’s dropped since my purchase in spring of 2010).
After shooting for a while it became crystal clear to me that I do not have the patience to change lenses all the time. Again, I called my semiprofessional photography friends to get advice on the type of lens to purchase. One of them recommended this street lens which gives me the flexibility of shooting close up and far away. I purchased it from B&H online for $999 (again the price has dropped). I have not regretted this purchase at all…it caters to my lazy genes.
This was the second tripod I purchased; the first one had limitation that I didn’t care for. This one collapses to 15.5 inches, but extends to a height of nearly 5 feet. I also love some other features like the quick release system, the level, and its ability to adjust nearly flat for different photo angles. I purchased it from B&H online for $179.
I didn’t really understand why I needed this at first, but a photography instructor told me the least it does is protect your actual lens. When I found out it would cost $30-40 I wasn’t sure, but I recently visited Tikal and my camera slipped off my lap. I definitely realized how important it was after that. I bought mine at Kits Cameras.
This is a sore subject for me. I’ve gone through at least four camera bags in the last year and I still don’t have one that I like. The problem is I’m not sure what the perfect bag will look like. I find it easier to carry my camera so that I’m not struggling to remove it from its case every time I want to take a photograph. When traveling I protect it and put it in my carry-on. If you have suggestions, please share them.
Olympus Tough 8010 w/Float Strap
I use this camera for my underwater photos and as a backup in case something ever happens to my Nikon while on vacation. In addition to being waterproof it’s also shock proof from drops up to six feet. I can be a bit rough on stuff, so this was a big selling point. I chose this particular model because it’s good to depths up to 33 feet. A lot of other underwater cameras are only good to 10 feet. I paid around $400 for it a couple of years ago at Best Buy. Since then the prices have come down. For my trip to Belize in 2010 I used this as my ‘everything’ camera and it did a good job.
I’ve chosen not to get an underwater housing for my Nikon for a couple of reasons. First, the housing is way too expensive for my taste ($1300+). Second, I can’t image how upsetting it would be if for any reason the housing leaked. It’s just not worth it to me.
The Software I Use
Editing my photographs is not something I’m comfortable with yet, but when I do make edits I use Photoshop Elements. I shoot all my photos in JPEG Fine and RAW, but to date I haven’t worked with any of the RAW files. I’m still looking for a class that works within my busy schedule.
The Equipment I Still Want
I’m quickly learning that there is no such thing as ‘enough’ camera equipment. I already have a wish list…
- More powerful telephoto lens,
- Macro lens,
- Shutter remote,
- Eventually an upgraded camera body,
- And of course, I still need the perfect camera bag
…but for now the basics will have to suffice.
Share Your Equipment and Software
- What kind of camera do you use?
- Do you have any extra equipment?
- What photo editing software do you use?
- What’s on your wish list?
- Do you have a camera bag recommendation?
- Do you know of any worthwhile photo editing classes offered in the Pacific Northwest?