Equipment

What’s in the camera bag from assignment to assignment varies widely depending on the gig. These days pretty much all of my images are produced with high-resolution digital cameras, wicked fast computers and the latest in imaging software for the best possible image quality. I am very demanding on my gear and of it. I choose the latest and most advanced photographic equipment on the market to bring my images to life and when I find a new piece of gear that works more efficiently or better than what I am currently using I upgrade as soon as possible. Hence, this list of gear will always be in a state of flux.

Working with top-end suppliers is also a critical part of my business. To that end, I order the bulk of my equipment from B&H Photo & Video. B&H has an incredible amount of information on their website about each item they sell. Their website is not only a place to find gear but also a place to compare items, and see detailed specifications on each item you are considering. For your convenience, all of the items listed below contain links to the B&H website.

Camera Equipment

My main camera these days is the FUJIFILM GFX 100. For the most part, I have converted to mirrorless. I still have my trusty Nikon D850 for those times when I need super-telephoto or fisheye lenses but it has been relegated to backup camera now that the GFX 100 is on the scene. The GFX 100 has an insanely amazing 102 MP image sensor that offers jaw-dropping image quality. Add in the wicked fast autofocus and the fast frame rate and this is the first medium format camera that can actually be used for sports photography. Stay tuned for a review of the GFX 100. The D850 still has amazing image quality and it is pretty fast at 9 fps, with the addition of the Nikon MB-D18 battery grip, so that it can be used as a bonified sports camera. For a full review of the D850 check out my Nikon D850 review on my blog. In addition to the D850, I have also added the Nikon Z 6 mirrorless camera to my kit. I am very excited about mirrorless cameras as they are the future and soon all of us will be using nothing but mirrorless cameras but for right now–and for my work–I still have a mix of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Click on the links below for more information on each camera.

FUJIFILM GFX 100

The FUJIFILM GFX 100 is now my main camera that I shoot pretty much everything with including adventure sports. It is a revolution to be able to shoot fast action with a medium format camera at 5 fps with 102 MP. I was lucky enough to help launch this camera and have already had quite a bit of experience with it. See the lenses I am using with it below. Buy Online >>

Nikon D850

The D850 is my workhorse DSLR these days. There isn’t much it can’t do. I have two Nikon D850 camera bodies. One without the MB-D12 battery grip and one with. By adding the battery grip it allows the camera to shoot at 9 fps at full resolution, which is pretty incredible. Check out my full review of the D850 on the blog. Buy Online >>

Nikon Z 6

The Z 6 is a new acquisition, a jump into the mirrorless world via Nikon. This little camera can shoot at up to 12 fps and is a great rig for those times when I need to go light and fast. I am very much looking forward to Nikon’s next iteration of the Z series cameras and for them to flesh out their lens lineup. At some point this will be my main full-frame digital camera set up but there is still a ways to go before it can match the mighty D850. Buy Online >>

Lenses

When it comes to lenses, I work with the best possible lenses I can get, especially considering how demanding the FUJIFILM GFX 100 is on my lenses. I have found the Fujifilm lenses to be sharper than my Nikkor glass or even the Hasselblad lenses and that is saying something. The GFX lenses are all stellar and even though I have just jumped into the Fujifilm world I already have a fairly versatile lens range. Of course I still have my full Nikon DSLR kit and full stable of Nikkor lenses to go with it. In addition to the Fujifilm and Nikkor lenses, I also still have a Hasselblad lens leftover from my previous Hasselblad kit, which can be used on the GFX 100 with an adapter. The Hasselblad HC 50-110mm lens has a built-in leaf shutter that allow me to sync my strobes at shutter speeds up to 1/800th second. Click on the links below for more information on each lens.

FUJIFILM GF 23mm f/4 R LM WR

The GF 23mm is my go to wide angle lens. Crazy sharp, lightweight and the equivalent to an 18mm lens in full-frame, this is definitely one of my favorite GF lenses. Buy Online >>

FUJIFILM GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR

I love the range of the GF 32-64. it is equivalent to a 25-50mm lens in full-frame. It is a crazy sharp, lightweight (for what it is) and versatile lens and maybe the lens I use the most often out of all the GF lenses. Buy Online >>

FUJIFILM GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR

The GF 110 is wicked sharp. This is my favorite portrait lens as it is the equivalent of an 85mm full-frame lens. Even wide open at f/2 this lens is ridiculously sharp. This is another lens that goes on every assignment with me. Buy Online >>

FUJIFILM GF 100-200mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR

The GF 100-200 is an incredibly versatile lens that has wicked fast autofocus on the GFX 100. This is also a very light lens for what it is–I take this with my on pretty much every assignment. Buy Online >>

FUJIFILM GF 250mm f/4

The GF 250 is one of the sharpest lenses in the lineup. It is a spectacular lens that balances well on the camera, even though it is fairly large. It also has incredibly fast autofocus with the GFX 100. I love this lens and it looks badass on the camera. Buy Online >>

FUJIFILM GF 1.4X TC WR Teleconverter

This 1.4x teleconverter mates with the GF 250mm lens and makes it a 350mm lens (273mm full-frame equivalent). For serious telephoto work this is a must have to go along with the 250mm lens. If I need more reach, I crop in on the 102 MP images coming out of the GFX 100. Buy Online >>

FUJIFILM H Mount Adapter G

The H Mount Adapter G allows me to mount my Hasselblad H lenses on the GFX 100. Since Fuji actually made the H mount lenses for Hasselblad they work extremely well on the GFX cameras, though they are only manual focus with the adapter. I use focus peaking with the H lenses and the GFX cameras can also use the leaf shutters built into these lenses as well, which is great for advanced lighting scenarios. Buy Online >>

Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D

The 16mm Fisheye lens is a go to for adventure sports photography. I call it the secret weapon. when you need ultra-wide, and can live with the warped horizons–or better yet–hide them, then this is the lens to use. Buy Online >>

Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED

The 24mm f/1.4 is a specialized lens but in some circumstances the incredible image quality and fast aperture can make or break an image, especially in low light. This is one of my favorite focal lengths and one of Nikon’s sharpest lenses. Buy Online >>

Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.4G

The 85mm f/1.4 is my go to standard portrait lens. It is the perfect focal length for a head shot. This also happens to be one of Nikon’s sharpest lenses. If I can only carry one fixed-focal length lens it would be this one. Buy Online >>

Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

The 14-24 is a beefy lens. If you need incredible clarity and edge-to-edge sharpness this lens has been in a class of it’s own for a long time. As the wide end of the “holy trinity of f/2.8 lenses” this one is almost always in my camera bag. Buy Online >>

Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S

This little lens is marvelously small and easy to work with. It is actually sharper than my much heavier and more expensive 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. When I need to go light and fast this lens, combined with the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens are my go to kit. Buy Online >>

Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

The 24-70 is a workhorse standard lens. If I can only take one lens on an expedition, it is usually this one. It isn’t light, but it is very sharp. I have tried out several 24-105 or 24-120 f/4 lenses and none of them have lived up to the quality I get from this 24-70. Buy Online >>

Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S

This diminutive lens is the “kit” lens for the new Nikon Z series cameras. Even though it is an f/4 lens it is as sharp or sharper than my venerable F-mount 24-70 f/2.8 lens. Nikon is really pushing the optics with their new S lenses and it will be exciting to see how far they can push the optics in the future. Buy Online >>

Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

The 70-200 completes the trio of f/2.8 lenses from 14mm up to 200mm. These three lenses live in my camera bag and I rarely go on a shoot where I don’t have the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200mm lenses. With these three lenses I can do just about anything. The 70-200 is wicked sharp and has super fast autofocus with most Nikon cameras. Buy Online >>

Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR

This little 300mm lens is the smallest and lightest 300mm made by any manufacturer. It is about the same size as the 24-70mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens but it is significantly lighter. When paired with my D850 and the 1.4x teleconverter this lens is a powerhouse telephoto optic. In the DX crop mode on my D850 with the 1.4x teleconverter it turns into a 630mm f/5.6 lens that is easily handholdable. Buy Online >>

Nikkor AF-S 1.4X Teleconverter

If you only own one teleconverter, this is the one to get. Image quality is barely impacted at all and it will work with a wide variety of Nikkor lenses including my venerable 70-200 and the 300mm f/4 PF lens as well. Buy Online >>

Hasselblad 50-110mm f/3.5-4.5 HC

A beast of a lens, but also one of the most useful set of focal lengths for portraiture and just about anything else. If I need to move around a lot while capturing portraits this is one of my go to lenses. At f/11 it is tack stinking sharp. Buy Online >>


Camera Accessories

The following camera accessories are items I find critical to my work. Whether it is a Hoodman loupe, a Really Right Stuff camera plate (for mounting my cameras to my Kirk Photo BH-1 ball head), or items for cleaning my camera sensor, these items are a key to making it all happen. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

Hoodman Loupe

For checking images on the back of DSLRs the Hoodman Loupe comes in handy. It is also useful when shooting video on the go. Buy Online >>

Really Right Stuff Camera Plates

Really Right Stuff makes a lot of great gear. I have RRS plates on all of my cameras and on a few of my larger lenses. Buy Online >>

AquaTech SS-300 Rain Cover

When the rains come or when I am shooting at the beach and want to protect my camera and lens I reach for the Aquatech Raincovers. These are durable high-end rain covers that do the job admirably and let you keep shooting in less than ideal weather. Buy Online >>

VisibleDust Zee Pro Bulb Blower

The VisibleDust Zee Pro bulb blower, designed specifically for cleaning digital camera sensors, is the first and best option for cleaning your camera sensor. This goes with me on just about every assignment these days and if this won’t get the dust off then I resort to more invasive cleaning options–as shown below. Buy Online >>

Eclipse Optic Cleaning Solution

For cleaning your sensor this is the original sensor cleaning solution. I use this, along with Sensor Swabs, to get those stubborn dust spots off the my sensor. Buy Online >>

Sensor Swab Type 3

In combination with the Eclipse Optic Cleaning Solution above, these form the backbone of my sensor cleaning kit. Buy Online >>

Sensor Gel Stick

The Sensor Gel Stick is a revelation for quick sensor cleaning. It can often clean a sensor faster and easier than any other option. Read my full review on the blog. Note that the Sensor Gel Stick has gone through some changes and the latest version, while safer for cameras and users, is not as good as earlier versions. Buy Online >>

Lens Accessories

After much trial and error over the years, I have found B+W filters and Sign-Ray filters to be some of the best anywhere. As an adventure photographer, I tend to beat up my gear quite a bit, which is why all of my lenses have protective B+W UV filters on them and I always put the lens hood on my lenses to protect them from rocks, rain, mud and anything else that might damage the lens. I also replace all of my B+W filters every two or three years when they start to get scratched up. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

B+W 77mm UV Haze Slim MRC 010M Filter

I have B+W UV filters on the front of all my lenses to protect the front elements from getting beat up. As an adventure photographer these are key to protecting my lenses. Buy Online >>

Singh-Ray 77mm Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter

This Singh-Ray filter allows me to create motion blur images in the middle of the day and/or cut down the amount of light that reaches the sensor. It also serves as a great tool for shooting video when you don’t want to carry a matte box and a ton of ND filters. Buy Online >>


Memory Cards and Card Readers

When choosing memory cards I opt for the most reliable cards possible. In general, that means I use SanDisk cards. They have never let me down. I also use the latest Sony XQD and SD Tough memory cards with my Nikon D850, which have also been very reliable. Using the fastest memory cards available is of paramount importance to my work so that I can maximize the number of images written to the memory card when shooting at high framing rates and when recording video. I know there are a lot of folks out there that don’t like the XQD format but they are smoking fast cards and easy to deal with. Downloading memory cards can also be a huge workflow time-suck. To download my images I use the fastest USB 3.0 card readers I can find. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

Sony 128GB Tough Memory Cards

I need the toughest, fastest memory cards I can find and these new Sony cards are the best SD cards I have ever used. They can take a beating and are wicked fast. I have eight of the 128 GB cards that I use in my Nikon D850. Buy Online >>

Sony 120 GB G-Series XQD Memory Cards

XQD memory cards are currently the fastest memory cards on the market (at least until CFExpress cards arrive). I swear by XQD cards. They are the most robust, fail safe memory cards I have ever used. Highly recommended. Buy Online >>

Sony XQD/SD Memory Card Reader

This USB 3.0 Sony memory card reader works with the fastest XQD and SD cards on the market. Since my main cards these days are XQD and SD cards, this is the one reader I need to work with the majority of my memory cards. Buy Online>>

Hoodman CF/SD Memory Card Reader

For my CF cards, I use a Hoodman memory card reader. It has served me well for many years now and this version also has an SD memory card slot as well. Buy Online >>

Strobes and Strobe Modifiers

Strobes, a.k.a. large flashes, are critical to my work. I use strobes to augment the lighting in both adventure images as well as portraits. Because I work outdoors 99.9% of the time, I rely on battery-powered strobes for most of my lighting. Elinchrom offers top-notch lighting gear and a variety of options when it comes to battery-powered strobes. I have chosen Elinchrom strobes because of their excellent build quality, weatherproofness, consistent light output and color temperatures and especially for their super-fast flash durations at full power. Elinchrom’s Hi-Sync (HS) flash technology, with their HS flash heads, also allows me to create never before possible images because I can overpower daylight from 60-feet away. They are also the only strobe manufacturer to offer both HS (Hi-Sync) and HSS (High Speed Sync) strobe options. Check out my Equipment Review page for full reviews of much of this lighting gear. Also, if you want more information on how I use artificial lighting to enhance my images check out my in-depth e-book, Location Lighting for the Outdoor Photographer. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

Elinchrom ELB 1200 HS to Go Kit

The ELB 1200 is my main lighting kit this days. As the lightest and most technologically advanced 1200 W/s battery-powered strobe on the market it is a great set up for outdoor photographers. It also allows me to pull off otherwise impossible images. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom ELB 1200 Action Head

Along with the ELB 1200 HS flash heads, I also have the ELB 1200 Action flash heads for when I am shooting at or below my camera’s flash sync speed. These are also the flash heads I use when shooting with lead shutters. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom ELB 1200 HD battery

This is a higher power ELB 1200 battery that allows for 400 full power flashes. It can’t be taken on a plane but for those time when I drive to the location, I opt to take this battery instead of the standard ELB 1200 Air battery. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom ELB 1200 Dock

The ELB 1200 Dock allows for use of the ELB 1200 battery pack as a mains studio pack. This makes the ELB 1200 the most versatile strobe on the market by a large margin. Simple remove the battery and snap the ELB 1200 pack onto this Dock and you have a studio pack that plugs into AC power. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL

The ELB 500 TTL is their first TTL and HSS (High Speed Sync) strobe and it is quite a sweet kit. For portraiture, where I don’t need the power of the ELB 1200, this is my go to battery-powered strobe kit. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom ELB 400

The ELB 400 has been my main go to lightweight strobe kit for many years now. With three flash heads that can attach to it, including an HS flash head, it is one of the most versatile strobes on the market. It is also one of the most powerful and lightweight flash options anywhere. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Quadra Reflector Adapter MK-II

The Quadra Reflector Adapter allows for mounting the ELB 400 and ELB 500 TTL flash heads onto the larger light modifiers. I have one of these for each of my flash heads. It is a simple device that just snaps on. I often just leave them connected to my flash heads all the time. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 1000 Kit

For those rare times when I am shooting in a studio setting the ELC Pro HD strobes are a great mono bloc choice. I typically use these along with my ELB 1200s and the ELB 1200 Dock for a full studio setup. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Ranger RX Ringflash 1500

For some portrait setups I love to use a ringflash to fill in highlights. I have had this older Elinchrom Ranger ring flash for a long time and with an adapter cable it plugs into my ELB 400 strobe packs. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Standard Reflector

The standard reflector is a must have accessory for any flash head. Elinchrom’s also has a groove to attache 7-inch grids. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Grid Reflector, 7″- 60 Degrees

The Elinchrom Grid Reflector is another metal reflector specifically designed for their grids. I also have a full grid set from Elinchrom to fit this reflector as well. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Reflector and Honeycomb Grid Set

Grids are not the most well known light modifier but they are really useful when you need to direct light to a very specific place as part of a larger lighting setup. or all on their own. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Deep Umbrella

Built to an exceptionally high standard, the Deep Umbrella is a go to light modifier when I need to travel light and also want a high-end look. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Deep Umbrella Diffusion

If you purchase the Deep Umbrella, make sure to get the diffusion panel that goes over the flash head and the umbrella. This makes for a giant soft box that is super lightweight and easy to use. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Softlite 17” Reflector (White)

The beauty dish, a.k.a. the Softlite Reflector, is another of my go to light modifiers. In the outdoors it is a solid soft box that doesn’t catch as much wind as a giant tent-like soft box and in the studio it is the defecto beauty light for those with high check bones. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Diffuser for Softlite Reflector

The Diffuser for the Softlite Reflector (a.k.a. Beauty Dish) softens the light and turns this into a small soft box with very uniform light output. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom High Performance Reflector

This reflector is my main go to reflector for lighting up adventure sports and any action that happens at a distance. This reflector focuses the light and pushes it a long distance. It is a hard light source that replicates the sun nicely. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Maxi Reflector

If you want truly hard light that mimics high noon sun then this is the reflector you want. This baby is a mirror polished giant reflector that gives you the maximum light output. It is huge, and difficult to travel with but it’s unique light output comes in handy from time to time when you need the ultimate light efficiency. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox 27 x 27″

This soft box is small and portable, which is perfect for those times when you want to go light and fast. This one goes with me on just about every assignment. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom EL 26117 Rotagrid

This soft box grid goes over the front of the Rotalux 27×27-inch soft box and helps to control the spill of the light coming out of the front of the box. A great accessory. 90% of the time I have this grid on the front of my 27×27-inch soft box. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom 39″ Rotalux Deep OctaBox

If there is only one soft box you buy then this is it. No matter what brand of strobe you have, this soft box will fit it. It has something special that very few other soft boxes can replicate, which is probably why you see this mounted on tons of other brand strobes. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Rotalux 59″ Indirect Softbox

This is a smaller, lighter version of the Indirect LiteMotiv Octa (shown below) and it is easier to travel with and it is also less than half the price of the Octa. This is my backup giant soft box and it offers great light output but I will say it isn’t as nice as the Octa. I often use this soft box in tandem with the Octa on big shoots.Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Indirect LiteMotiv Octa

This is the granddaddy of soft boxes. Every top pro portrait photography you have ever heard of uses this soft box. Its light output is phenomenal and it might be the only soft box on the market that has near perfectly even illumination from corner to corner. This soft box is like cheating. Seriously, if you need the best light you have ever seen from a light modifier then this is the ticket. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Indirect Recta Softbox

As rectangular soft boxes go, there are few that are better than this Indirect model from Elinchrom. For those times when I want the ultimate three light setup I have two of these that I use as rim lights. A perfect match for the Indirect Octa shown above. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom LiteMotiv Octa 120cm

The LiteMotiv Octa 120 cm is like a giant focused beauty dish. The light emitted from this soft box isn’t as even as the LiteMotiv Octa but it is smaller box, with more directed light. It also has a very rounded front profile, which results in nice round catchlights in the eyes. I use this one both in the studio and out on location as it is relatively easy to travel with. Buy Online >>

Rosco Gels

Gels are key to creative lighting. They can also really help out when trying to match the ambient lighting in some scenarios. I have a belly roll filled with various gels of all sizes. Buy Online >>


Wireless Transceivers

Wireless “radio” transceivers allow me to work untethered with all of my flash and strobe equipment. They also allow me to remotely trigger cameras, which for adventure sports photography can be the difference between getting the shot or going home empty handed. Since I use Elinchrom strobes, I naturally have their Skyport system. The Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter Pro is my main go to transceiver when I am shooting with strobes. It allows me to trigger my Elinchrom strobes at up to 1/8,000th second using the Elinchrom Hi-Sync and HSS technologies. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter Pro Fujifilm

The Fujifilm Skyport transmitter works perfectly with my FUJIFILM GFX 100 when using both HS and HSS strobes. I use this transmitter with all of my Elinchrom strobes including the ELB 1200, ELB 400 and RLB 500 TTL battery-powered strobes. It allows me to control the strobes from the transmitter itself, even if they are far away from my shooting position. Buy Online >>

Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter Pro Nikon

To control and trigger my Elinchrom strobes I use the Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter Pro for my Nikon cameras. It is a very versatile transmitter that works with both Hi-Sync and HSS flash techniques. Buy Online >>

Grip Equipment

Grip Equipment, as it is known in the industry, is the stuff the holds your lighting gear and anything else required to lock down lighting gear. I have an odd assortment of light stands, clamps, grip arms and heads. I seem to be incredibly tough on light stands and grip equipment. I have gone through a dozen or more light stands over the last 15 years or so and finally have found the ones that are built well enough to withstand the abuse I seem to dish out. Hence, if you are looking for Light stands these are rock solid options that will put up with tons of abuse. Note that I don’t use C-Stands, which are the go-to light stand for studio use, because almost all of my shoots happen on uneven ground in remote corners of the globe. Click on the links or the images below for more information on each item.

Manfrotto 1004BAC-3 Light Stand

These Manfrotto Light Stands have been stellar. They pack down flat and travel very well. They are the perfect size for when you need a decent size, reliable light stand and don’t want to take a C-Stand or a Hollywood Beefy Baby. Buy Online >>

Manfrotto 1051BAC Mini Compact Stand

I don’t really use Speedlights that often but when I do these smaller compact Manfrotto stands are super lightweight and pack down flat like the larger Stacker Stands listed above. Buy Online >>

Matthews Hollywood Beefy Baby Stand

The Hollywood Beefy Baby stand is a first class set up. I love these stands. They are heavy but that weight helps to hold up even the largest light modifiers on a big strobe kit. If we aren’t miles away from the car, then this is the stand I take. Buy Online >>

Matthews Hollywood Grip Arm Kit

A grip arm is essential to positioning the light just where you want it. It also gives you a little bit extra reach if you are trying to boost the light really high. Buy Online >>

Matthews Hollywood Grip Head

Grip Heads are incredibly useful for all kinds of support. We have a few extra of these in our kit because you just never know when you will need it. Buy Online >>

Kupo C-Stands

C-stands (A.k.a. Century Stands) have been around since the dawn of artificial lighting. They are heavy and are designed pretty much only for studio usage but when you need them, you need them. These from Kupo are top-notch. Buy Online >>

Manfrotto 244 Magic Arm

The Magic Arm is an industry standard. These get used when you need to clamp something to a railing or any tubular metal object. I don’t use them that often but they do come in handy from time to time. Buy Online >>

Kupo 15-lb Shot Bags

Shot Bags are way nicer than sand bags to secure your light stands. They don’t leak sand everywhere and the seem to last a lot longer. I love these 15-pound Kupo shot bags. Buy Online >>

Spring “A” Clamp

Spring clamps are a must have is you are working with a background. They hod the background in place and keep it from unspooling. They are also useful for all kinds of miscellaneous uses. Buy Online >>

Gaffer’s Tape

Gaffer’s Tape is a must have lighting accessory. We have several rolls in our office and always have one on hand when out on assignment. This stuff can tape down anything. I even know of one photographer who taped himself upside down in a tree using gaffers tape. Buy Online >>


Camera Support

Tripods and tripod heads are much more important than most people are aware of when it comes to critical image sharpness. When I started out I purchased a cheap tripod and tripod head. After a few years, I noticed that my images were not as sharp as I expected them to be. I realized that my tripod setup was severely lacking and the cause of unnecessary vibration. From then on, I vowed to track down the finest tripods and tripod heads I could find and not spare any expense when it came to supporting my cameras. A solid tripod system is not only a requirement for long exposures and landscape photography, but also for shooting sports with huge lenses. My search for the best tripods led me to Gitzo, who in my opinion, still make the finest tripods found anywhere. As far as tripod heads, I have a variety of different ball heads that I work with. I match the ball head with each tripod so that they work well for the weight of the camera and lens combination I will typically be using for that setup. I also have a Wimberley head, which is the ideal tripod head when shooting with huge telephoto lenses. And finally, I use Really Right Stuff camera and lens plates to attach my cameras and lenses to the tripod head. You can find a link to the Really Right Stuff plates above in the Camera Accessories section. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

GT5541LS Carbon Fiber tripod

This is an older model of the GT5543. These tripods last forever if taken care of. If you ask me, Gitzo still makes the best tripods in the business. I have had this one for more than a decade without any issues. Buy Online >>

Gitzo GT2541 Carbon Fiber tripod

This is an older Mountaineer model. It is much lighter weight than the GT5541LS above, and much more portable. It also has an extendable center post which comes in handy for small adjustments. Buy Online >>

Gitzo 1340 Aluminum Tripod

My now ancient 1340 still works perfectly. It is heavy, and not as supportive as the GT5541LS, but it gets the job done. I have had this tripod for more than 20-years and it just keeps going and going. When we need an extra tripod this one comes out of the closet. Buy Online >>

GM5541 Carbon Fiber Monopod

A good monopod can make or break a shot. This carbon fiber monopod from Gitzo is as good as it gets. When shooting with big cameras and lenses in situations where I need to be mobile I use a monopod. Buy Online >>

Really Right Stuff Monopod Head MH-01

For the greatest versatility, a monopod dead really helps to position the camera. This one from Really Right Stuff is a beautifully made rock-solid monopod head. Buy Online >>

Kirk BH-1 Ball Head

The BH-1 has served me well for more than fifteen years. I have had it repaired once, after an assistant dropped it, but other than that it has been a pleasure to use and it is by far the sturdiest bullhead I own. This is mounted on my Gitzo GT5541LS for a heavy duty tripod kit. Buy Now >>

Acratech GP-s Ballhead with Lever Clamp

The Acratech ball head is lightweight and still clamps down hard enough for a 70-200mm lens or even a lightweight 300mm lens. I have this mounted on my Gitzo GT2541 for my mid-weight tripod kit. Buy Online >>

Really Right Stuff BH-30 Ballhead

This tiny little bullhead is for those times when I need to move light and fast. I have this mounted on a tiny little tripod that I carry when I am mountaineering or backpacking and need to go ultra lite. I typically only put a light DSLR or mirrorless camera on this head. Buy Online >>

Wimberley WH200 Head (V2)

The Wimberley head is strictly for shooting with giant telephoto lenses—think 400mm f/2.8 up to 800mm f/5.6 type lenses. I got this specifically for shooting surfing from the beach. It works incredibly well. There are many imitations of this head but none are better than the original. Buy Online >>


Camera and Lighting Bags

Getting my gear to the remote locations that I work in is always a challenge. Hence, I have a plethora of different bags for both my camera and lighting equipment. For the camera bags, I have settled on f-stop camera bags as my main bag of choice. They are by far the most versatile camera backpacks on the market and the wide variety of ICUs available for them also make them customizable for each specific situation. For my lighting kits, I have several options including the fantastic Lightware cases, Pelican Cases and a few Tenba options. I match the set of bags and cases I take with me to the assignment. If I am shooting in and around water, i.e. surfing, then I take the Pelican cases. If I will be hiking a long distance with my cameras then I take the F-Stop backpacks and variety of ICUs. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

f-Stop Anja Backpack

The Anja is my main go to photo backpack these days. It is great for travel and fits easily into the smaller overhead bins of regional jets, which is key for a lot of my assignments. The ICU system is also second to none and protects my incredibly expensive gear. Buy Online >>

f-stop Tilopa Backpack

The Tilopa is a larger version of the Anja with better support. As a 50-liter pack, it can also hold more camera gear or more outdoor gear, whatever the case may be. I take this in addition to my Anja often for those times when I need more space. Buy Online >>

f-stop Large Pro ICU

This is one of the larger ICUs that f-stop makes. If I can’t fit everything into this ICU then I probably don’t want to carry it very far. If needed, I will often stack the Small Pro ICU on top of this in my Tilopa pack. Buy Online >>

f-stop Medium Shallow ICU

Sometimes you need a decent sized camera kit but not a ton of gear, and that is where the Medium Shallow ICU comes in handy. Especially if I am taking a mirrorless kit then often this is the go to ICU and all I need. The beauty of this one is that it also leaves lots of room for extra clothes, water and food. Buy Online >>

f-stop Small Pro ICU

The Small Pro ICU comes in hand when I want to go light and fast and carry a bunch of extra outdoor gear on top of the camera gear. I also use these cases to put my Elinchrom strobes in when carrying massive outdoor backpacks. It is difficult to overstate how useful these cubes are–and especially this one. Buy Online >>

f-stop Navin

The Navin is a very versatile and useful accessory for when you only need one camera and one lens, which is fairly often in the adventure sports genre. This often goes in the top of my Anja or Tilopa with an extra body and lens ready to go. It also clips on nicely to the hip belt or the sternum strap of a pack. Buy Online >>

Lightware T4444 Strobe Case

Traveling with lighting gear is a royal pain these days. This bag makes it much easier. Fully loaded it can easily supersede the airline weight limits but the bag itself is crazy lightweight for how tough it is. I can stand on this bag and not deform it. For a 9-pound bag that is damn impressive. This bag is also specific to Elinchrom lighting gear. Buy Online >>

Tenba Tansport Air 2520W Rolling Case

If I can get the lighting gear I need into this case I much prefer it over the Lightware case above just because it rolls–and that makes a huge difference when getting to and from the location and through airports. It is slightly heavier than the Lightware case above and holds a little less as well but it is similarly bombproof and extremely well made. Buy Online >>

Tenba Rolling Tripod/Grip Case 48″

A light stand, tripod and grip case is essential when lugging lighting gear around and this is the best one I have ever used. The wheels on this are essential as fully loaded this can easily weigh a 100-pounds. Buy Online >>

Lightware C6032 Cargo Case

Before I wised up and purchased the above Tenba grip case I used this Lightware case, which I still own. It is a great case but fully loaded it weighs a ton so be aware. These days it is my light modifier case so I can corral all of those giant soft boxes. Buy Online >>

Pelican 1510 “Carry On” Case

The Pelican 1510 is a standard of the industry for photographers. It is the perfect size to hold camera equipment or a small lighting kit. I have had this thing for many years. Make sure you get one with the TrekPak interior, which is ultra versatile. Buy Online >>

Pelican 1610 Case

The Pelican 1610 is a big case. I use this for those times when I need to fly with a lot of lighting gear and/or with water housings for my Nikons. Make sure you get the TrekPak inserts for this one. Buy Online >>

Pelican 1490CC1 Computer Case

The Pelican 1490 computer cases are rock solid. If my laptop is going to be out of my hand during transport then I trust it to this case. I also pack in hard drives, cables, memory card readers and any thing else I will need. It is a mobile office for the worst case weather scenarios. Buy Online >>


Video Equipment

As video productions have become more and more a part of my assignment work, I have added video equipment to my kit as needed. Here is a smattering of the video gear that I own and use with my Nikon Z 6. Please note that I often rent a lot of the gear needed for video productions or the partners I work with bring it with them. I often work with Red Digital Cinema cameras for many of my video productions. Working with the heavier, larger format cameras, like the Red Epic and Red Scarlet, require an extensive kit well beyond the basics shown here. Click on the links for more information on each item.

Atomos Ninja V 4K Monitor and Recorder

The Nikon Z 6 is the first mirrorless camera that can record full RAW video output. To access that raw output you have to use the Atoms Ninja V. The Ninja V is a great monitor and the output is pretty phenomenal from such a small rig. Buy Online >>

Sony AtomX SSD

Designed for the Atoms Ninja V recorder, this SSd hard drive supports sequential write speeds up to 500 MB/s, which allows it to capture high-quality 4K RAW footage with the Nikon Z 6. A must have if you are using the Ninja V. Buy Online >>

Rode VideoMic Pro

I will say that the pre-amps on the Nikon cameras are horrible so this microphone has limited usage on my Nikons. But, even so, it is a great mic on most other brands of cameras and also allows me to sync sound better with my Zoom H5. Buy Online >>

Rode VideoMic Pro Dead Cat

When shooting in windy conditions a Dead Cat helps. This one works with the VideoMic Pro. Buy Online >>

Manfrotto 504HD Fluid Video Head

A solid video head for lightweight DSLR or mirrorless video systems. The 504HD is a reasonably priced, and relatively lightweight fluid video head. Buy Online >>

Manfrotto 526B Fluid Video Monopod

A video monopod can really help a production to move fast and light, especially with the new, smaller mirrorless cameras. This Manfrotto option has all the bells and whistles to make life easy on set. Buy Online >>

Gitzo Systematic Leveling Base

This leveling base is great for use with the Wimberley Head as well as with the Manfrotto 504HD fluid video head to level out the tripod once it is setup. Buy Online >>

Benro MoveOver 12 36-inch Carbon Slider

This is a big slider, made for larger camera kits. We use it with the Red Digital Cinema cameras as well as with our smaller DSLRs and mirrorless rigs. Paired with the Benro Motion controller below it is a solid slider setup. Buy Now >>

Benro MoveOn10 Motion Control

The MoveOn10 motion controller works with the above Benro slider. It is great for controlling a camera for time lapses or video. Buy Online >>

Zoom H6 Recorder/Microphone

The Zoom H6 is a stellar stand along sound recorder. We use this on smaller productions where we don’t have a sound person on set. The sound quality is amazing. Buy Online >>

Bose QC-15 Headphones

The Bose noise cancelling headphones are great for video production and also for travel. I have these with me on just about every single trip I take. I don’t get on a plane without them. Mine is an older version, but it has lasted a really long time. Buy Online >>

GoPro Hero 5 Black

The GoPro cameras have been a staple for adventure photographers for a long time—they invented the category. I have two of the Hero 5 cameras. They aren’t the lastest versions but they are still incredibly powerful cameras in the right situation. We have mounted these onto jets, wing suit BASE jumpers and have taken then underwater on surfing assignments. They never miss a beat. Buy Online >>


Computers and Monitors

In the digital age, I rely heavily on my computers and monitors to produce images and video content. Since my university days, I have worked exclusively with Apple computers. They are the backbone of my digital workflow along with Eizo ColorEdge monitors. Eizo produces the top-end, most color accurate monitors anywhere and they are just as key to my digital workflow as the cameras and lenses I use. Lastly, I also use a Wacom tablet for my post-production and they are also indespensible. To connect everything up to all of the hard drives I use a CalDigit docking station that connects to my laptop. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

Apple MacBook Pro 15″ Laptop

With the high resolution cameras I work with I need the fastest computers I can get. I am often traveling non-stop as well so I have to work on the road quite a bit. Hence, the laptop. I have been using Apple computers since university–since Apple was first started! They still serve me well. This latest 15-inch top-end, fully loaded laptop is my go to computer. I have two of these, one for the road and one for the office. Buy Online >>

Henge Dock

The henge Dock saves me a lot of space on my desk and allows me to plug in a CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 TS3 Plus docking station to my laptop as well that is then connected to all of my hard drives and peripherals. These are super easy to use and incredibly well-crafted—just like the Apple computers they hold. Buy Online >>

CalDigit TS3 Docking Station

This little docking station is critical to be able to connect the 100-plus terabytes of hard drives that sit on my desk. It plugs into the Henge Dock and then all of my hard drives and peripherals are plugged into this powered docking station. It also has a handy SD memory card reader on the front of it as well. CalDigit isn’t super well known but they make some of the best hard drive enclosures on the Planet. Buy Now >>

ColorEdge CG243W Monitor

The Eizo ColorEdge Monitor is the heart of my digital workflow and one of the most critical items that I own as a photographer. Literally, the monitor you work up images on is more important than what camera you shot the image with or what lens was used. If color matters to you then an Eizo monitor is key to making sure your color is dialed in. The CG243W is an older model but these days I recommend any of the Eizo ColorEdge series. You can’t go wrong. Buy Online >>

Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet

The Wacom is indispensable for high-end post-production and retouching. Trust me, if you have never used one before you will hate it for the first few months and then you will wonder how you could ever live without it. Buy the best one you can afford. I would recommend the small or medium sizes. Buy Online >>


Storage

While it may not seem as exciting as some of the other items here, hard drives and the systems I use to store my images are critical for preserving the content I produce. I have had many hard drives fail on me and I have lost an entire shoot save for the selects, which were sent to the client. Hence, I have learned the hard way just how important it is to have a solid backup system and how important it is to choose a reliable storage solution. All of my images are backed up no less than four times and two of those backups are off-site. I have found that the Other World Computing (OWC) products, especially the OWC Thunderbay 4 RAID and OWC Thunderbay 6 RAID enclosures, to be the fastest, most robust and economically viable storage solution on the market for large amounts of data. I have also found G-Tech products (they are a subsidiary of Hitachi) to be very well made and a great asset to my storage workflow. With well over 100 terabytes worth of hard drives, I have used just about every brand out there. I trust my data to Seagate and Hitachi internal hard drives. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

OWC Thunderbay 6 60TB RAID 5 Array

With High Resolution still and motion cameras these days I am filling up hard drives faster than ever. The Thunderbay 6 offers a ton of storage and a wicked fast interface for backing up content. It is also upgradable so your investment isn’t lost when you need to upgrade. Buy Online >>

OWC Thunderbay 4 24TB RAID 5 Array

The OWC Thunderbay 4 has been my rock solid back up solution for years now until I purchased an even larger array, the Thunderbay 6 noted above. It is still a rock solid solution that is very fast. I have three of these in my office. Buy Online >>

G-Tech G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD

If you need a wicked fast mobile hard drive solution these G-Tech Mobile Pro SSD drives are very hard to beat. With transfer speeds at up to 2800 MB/s these are ten times faster than just about anything else out there. Buy Online >>

G-Tech G-Drive ev RAW SSD

These are a more affordable version of the above Mobile Pro SSD hard drives but they are not nearly as fast as the Mobile Pro SSDs. Nonetheless, they are still fairly fast compared to the standard ev RAW mobile hard drives listed below. Buy Now >>

G-Tech G-Drive ev RAW

The G-Tech hard drives are great when I need to have a ton of storage on location. Since they are standard spinning disk hard drives they are nowhere near as fast as the SSD options but you can have a ton of storage at an affordable price. But Now >>

Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12 TB Hard Drive

For Internal Storage in my OWC Thunderbay 4 HD Arrays I have quite a few of these BarraCuda hard drives. They have been super reliable. I have both 6 TB and 12 TB varieties running in my RAID arrays. Buy Online >>

HGST 12 TB Ultrastar Enterprise Class Hard Drives

These are perhaps the most reliable hard drives on the market. I use these Enterprise Class hard drives in my OWC Thunderbay 6. They are rock solid, but expensive. Buy Now >>

Printers and Accessories

I have owned both Epson and Canon printers at one time or another. My current printers are both Epsons and they are phenomenal printers. I have the Epson 3880 and the 9880. If I could recommend one printer it would be the Epson 3880, but alas it is now an older model and no longer made. I have never used any other printer that is so easy to use and with which excellent results are so easy to achieve. The Epson SureColor P800 has replaced it and has similar if not better print quality. For larger prints, the Epson 9880 is an incredible printer. It can print images up to 44-inches wide and because of its size it requires a fair bit of room. It looks like an upright piano in my office. It too is relatively easy to use and produces stunning results. The updated version of the 9880, the Epson 9000 is even slightly better. As for papers, I have tried a wide range of papers and have found Ilford’s baryta and fine art papers to be my favorite. Ilford’s Gold Fibre Silk and Cotton Artist Textured are my two mainstay papers. When I need to proof an image to check colors I use Epson’s Proofing Paper Semimatte. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Ink Jet Printer

The 3880 is an older model Epson, but mine still works great. Living in the desert, printers tend to clog up ridiculously fast here and the 3880 has been champion in that regard. The SureColor P800 replaced this printer a few years ago and has equally if not better print quality than my 3880. Buy Online >>

Epson Stylus Pro 9880 Ink Jet Printer

My Epson 9880 is still going strong. This 44-inch wide printer is a beast in the office but it creates incredible prints. The latest 44-inch Epson printers offer slightly better print quality but “slightly” is the key word there. Buy Online >>

Ilford Gold Fibre Silk Paper

Gold Fibre Silk is my #1 favorite paper on the market by far. I love the look and feel of GFS. There are a lot of copycat papers out there but few live up to the quality of this one. It has a very wide Dmax (dynamic range) and pretty much every image prints well on this stellar paper. Buy Online >>

Ilford Cotton Artist Textured Paper

When it comes to fine art papers there are a few that can take certain images to a whole other level. Cotton Artist Textured has a very heavy tooth and it doesn’t work well with all images but those that do look incredible on this paper. Buy Online >>

Ilford Fine Art Smooth Paper

An all purpose matte fine art paper with decent dynamic range. I don’t print on matte papers that often but this is a solid bet if you like the look of matte paper. Buy Online >>

Epson Proofing Paper Semimatte

This paper is specifically for making proof prints for CMYK offset presses. I used to print all of my images on this paper to make sure they would print well back before the internet and social media took over. Now, very few of my images make it too print. Buy Online >>

Color Management Tools

Solid color management is the backbone of everything in the digital photography world. Without these tools my images would not reproduce with accurate colors and tones. Along with my monitors and printers, these tools allow me to work up my images with confidence knowing that the color is accurately displayed. I have used just about every X-Rite device they make and the i1 Photo Pro 2 is the best I have ever used. With it I can make bang on monitor profiles and printer profiles so that my prints match my monitor dead on. The Just Normlicht viewing box is also a critical piece of the puzzle to make sure I am viewing my images under accurate lighting. And finally, I use Solux bulbs in my office to make sure the lighting is not throwing off my ability to accurately judge color. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

X-Rite i1 Photo Pro 2

The i1 Photo Pro 2 is the best of the best monitor calibration devices. I can create monitor profiles, calibrate LCD projectors and make ICC printer profiles. There are no other devices on the market that are in this league. Buy Online >>

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

The ColorChecker Passport is great for dialing in the color on set to make sure you have accurate color all the way through the post-processing. It also works via a Plug-in with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Buy Online >>

Lastolite EzyBalance Grey Card

This is my top grey card for setting in-camera custom white balance. Please note this works better with some cameras than others. With my Nikons it sets an incredibly accurate in-camera white balance. Buy Online >>

JUST ColorMaster CM3 Viewing Box

This is a top-end print viewing box with very accurate daylight balance light. If you print your images getting a print viewing box is of paramount importance to see if your prints are matching your monitor. Buy Online >>

Solux Task Lamp

This lamp sits on my desk and I have Solux daylight balanced bulbs in this lamp to have perfect lighting in my office. A dialed in color management setup starts with the work environment so these little details are critical. Buy Online >>

Solux Bulb

These bulbs are the most accurate daylight balanced bulbs in the world. they are used in all of hte top museums like the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum. I have the 35 Watt 4700 K Solux bulbs in all my lamps here in the office. Buy Online >>


Miscellaneous

Below are a mishmash or odds and ends that come in handy when working up images, giving presentations, keeping my cords organized, taking light readings, etc. I use quite a few of the Adobe applications included in the Adobe Creative Cloud like Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, Acrobat, Premiere Pro, After Effects and so forth. Adobe products are a key element of my workflow. I might also be one of the few people on earth that actually uses a light meter when working with strobes and flash equipment. I find it more accurate and easier to get great results right off the bat when using a light meter. Finally, Red Bull helps me get stuff done and it helps me deal with the long hours out in the field or in the office. Click on the links below for more information on each item.

Adobe Creative Cloud

I was a Beta tester for Adobe for a decade and shot the first assignment for Lightroom way back in 2006 so Adobe products are a huge part of my workflow—and their products are all pretty fantastic. The cloud might seem egregious to some but it is way, way cheaper than updating software every few years back in the day. Subscribe Online >>

Sekonic LightMaster Pro L-478DR-U-EL

A light meter is not something many photographers use these days but it will make you look like a pro (and be professional) if you are on set with 20 people watching you work. This Sekonic is small, lightweight and works very well with my Elinchrom strobes. Buy Online >>

Sekonic L858D-U Light Meter

The L858 is the most advanced light meter anywhere. It can do several things the L478DR above can’t do like meter for High Speed Sync (HSS) strobes. It also has an incidence meter built in for those troublesome lighting scenarios. For studio work or big productions I take this light meter instead of the smaller L478DR above. Buy Online >>

Epson PowerLite 1776W Projector

This little projector is a few generations old but I purchased it for speaking engagements and also for photo workshops so I could have a color calibrated LCD projector to make sure my images looked decent on a screen. It has been tired and tru and travels well because of its smaller footprint. Buy Online >>

Lastolite Collapsible reflector

These small reflectors can add up to powerful lighting solutions in the right circumstances. I always have one or more of these in my grip kit. Buy Online >>

Dot Line AA Battery Case

This little battery case is super simple but very effective at wrangling all those AA and AAA batteries. Buy Online >>

Velcro Fastener Straps

These come in handy for keeping all of the cords that I travel with nice and neat. Buy Online >>

Red Bull Energy Drink

I drink far too much of this stuff. I don’t like the taste of coffee so I just can’t do it. Red Bull does exactly what it says it will do. After an 8.4 ounce can, shit just gets done for the next six hours.