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.
As of 2021, I have fully converted to mirrorless. My main cameras these days are the FUJIFILM GFX 100 and the GFX 100S medium format cameras. The GFX 100 has an insanely amazing 102 MP image sensor that offers jaw-dropping image quality. Add in the wicked fast autofocus (for medium format) and the fast frame rate and this is the first medium format camera that can actually be used for some sports photography. See my full review of the GFX 100 here. I have also added the lighter, smaller and more nimble FUJIFILM GFX 100S to my kit as well. It has slightly faster autofocus than its big brother the original GFX 100 and has the same imaging sensor so the image quality is identical. In the full-frame (i.e. 35mm) realm, I have the Nikon Z 6 mirrorless camera, which is great for those times when I need exotic lenses (i.e. fisheyes or super-telephotos) and it is a great smaller full-frame kit. I have a review of it on my blog here. Recently, I have also added two of the venerable Fujifilm APS-C cameras to my kit, the X-Pro 3 and the tiny X100F. These are my main travel cameras and also get used in behind the scenes scenarios. They are also great for those times when I want to go light and fast. The X-Pro 3 is such a joy to work with that it is quickly becoming one of my favorite cameras—it makes me want to go out and shoot. Click on the links below for more information on each camera.
The FUJIFILM GFX 100 is now my main camera. I shoot pretty much everything with it 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 in 2019 and over the last few years I have learned how to squeeze out of it every last drop off performance. I am completely spoiled by the image quality from the GFX 100. Every other camera I own pales in comparison–in terms of image quality–compared to this medium format monster. Check out my full review of the GFX 100. See the lenses I am using with it below. Buy Online >>
In the fall of 2020, I was one of the photographers here in the USA that created images for the launch of this exciting new camera. I will be adding the GFX 100S to my GFX kit as soon as it is available. It is highly likely that this camera will become my main camera as it is smaller and lighter than the GFX 100 shown above. It also has slightly faster autofocus as well so this might be my one do it all camera for everything–that is yet to be seen. For a preview of this camera and my initial thoughts on it check out my GFX 100S blog post. Buy Online >>
The Z 6 is 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 system but there is still a ways to go before Nikon’s mirrorless cameras can match their action oriented DSLRs of the past. Check out my full review of the Z6 on my blog. Buy Online >>
The new FUJIFILM X-Pro 3 is a refined piece of art just as much as it is a stellar on-the-go camera. For those times when I need a small, lightweight camera that can take on any weather this is the one I take. For mountaineering, where every gram counts, this is an amazing camera that can take the punishment dished out by the high mountains and still keep on working. The Titanium top and bottom plate make this camera tougher than nails. It also has wicked fast autofocus and tracking options for action photography as well. Check out my full review of the X-Pro 3 on my blog. Buy Online >>
The X100F is a gem. This tiny APS-C camera is my go to travel camera when I want to go light and fast. The image quality is fantastic and it even has lens converters so that you can have an 18mm lens (27mm full-frame equivalent) and a 35 mm lens (50mm full-frame equivalent) in addition to the fixed 24mm lens. With wicked fast autofocus and a fast frame rate it can even shoot action. In addition, it has a leaf-shutter that goes up to 1/4000th second so for some flash work this little camera comes into play with a lot of power. Buy Online >>
When it comes to lenses, I work with the best possible lenses I can get, especially considering how demanding the FUJIFILM GFX 100 and GFX 100S cameras are 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. Of course I still have a stable of Nikkor Z lenses to go with my Nikon Z 6. 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.
The GF 45mm f/2.8 is a sweet little lens and it is also one of the sharpest lenses in the GFX lineup. It is equivalent to a 36mm lens in full-frame (35mm). As it was one of the first lenses announced with the GFX system, it does not have the fastest autofocus, but in use it doesn’t really matter as I don’t use this lens for action photography. It is super lightweight, perhaps the lightest GFX lens that I own, and great for low-light situations as well. Buy Online >>
The GF 45-100 is yet another great addition to the GFX lens lineup. Tack sharp, this lens has a very useful focal length range equivalent to a 35 – 80mm in full-frame. It also has excellent Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) that works in conjunction with the GFX 100 and it’s IBIS. For portraiture this lens, along with the 110mm f/2 below is a must have. Buy Online >>
The GF80mm f/1.7 R WR is the fastest medium format autofocus lens ever created. It also happens to be one of Fujifilm’s sharpest lenses in the entire GFX line up. I had the opportunity to work with this lens while shooting for the launch of the GFX 100S and found it to be an incredible optic. It will be added to my kit as soon as they become available. For portraits and low-light photography this lens is one of those GFX lenses that will become a must-have for Fujifilm medium format photographers. Buy Online >>
The GF 100-200 is an incredibly versatile lens that has wicked fast autofocus on the GFX 100. It is the equivalent of a 79 – 158mm lens in 35mm, which may seem quite limiting but seems to be a perfect focal range for medium format, especially when you have 102 MP at your disposal. This is also a very light lens for what it is–I take this with my on pretty much every assignment. Buy Online >>
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. Paired with the excellent GF 1.4X TC (see below) and this lens becomes a 350mm f/5.6 (equivalent to a 277mm f/5.6 in 35mm) with no loss in autofocus speed. I love this lens and it looks badass on the camera. Buy Online >>
This 1.4x teleconverter mates with the GF 250mm lens and makes it a 350mm lens (277mm 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 >>
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 >>
A beast of a lens, but also one of the most useful set of focal lengths for portraiture. Because the GFX 100 can take advantage of the leaf shutter built into this lens it is my go to portrait lens in the studio when working with strobes. It is a manual focus only lens on the GFX 100 but even so when capturing high-end portraits it works very well. At f/8 and f/11 it is tack stinking sharp. Buy Online >>
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 >>
The 24-70mm f/2.8 is a workhorse standard lens. If I can only take one lens, it is usually this one or the f/4 Z version of this lens. I own both the f/4 and the f/2.8 version, but the f/2.8 version is crazy good, especially in the corners. This might be the best standard zoom ever created for 35mm digital cameras. This lens shows just how amazing the new Nikkor Z lenses can be. Buy Online >>
This lens is a showcase for Nikon’s new Z mirrorless lenses. It is wicked sharp, even wide open, and stopping down to f/5.6 and f/8 it just keeps getting better and better. My old 70-200 (a few generations back) pales in comparison. This lens is up there with my Fujifilm medium format lenses which is saying a lot. I have been very spoiled with the GFX lenses and very few 35mm lenses are up to that medium format quality. None of my other Nikkors, or even the Z 24-70mm f/2.8, are as sharp as this 70-200. So far, the Z lenses from Nikon are blowing away my older F-mount lenses. Kudos to Nikon for raising the bar on their optics. Buy Online >>
This teleconverter is better than any other teleconverter I have ever seen from Nikon. Usually, I would only use a 1.4x teleconverter but since Nikon has improved the optical quality of the Nikkor Z 70-200mm lens (shown above) and their teleconverters as well, this is a great combo with the 70-200. This 2X teleconverter makes my 70-200 a 140-400mm f/5.6 lens and the teleconverter only weighs 270 grams! The two pair up nicely and there is barely any noticeable drop in image quality. If you have the 70-200 then this teleconverter is kind of a no brainer. Buy Online >>
This 16mm lens (a 24mm full-frame equivalent) is wicked sharp and fully weather proof. It is my favorite lens for the smaller APS-C sensors in the Fujifilm X-Series cameras. Paired with my X-Pro 3, it makes for a stellar documentary combo allowing me to capture incredible images on the fly in low light or any scenario I am likely to run into. Buy Online >>
The 35mm f/1.4 R (a 50mm full-frame equivalent) is another stellar Fujifilm lens that fits nicely with the X-Pro 3. This lens is also wicked sharp and at f/1.4 has some serious character that few other lenses can match no matter what sensor size you compare it with. It also matches up very nicely with the optical viewfinder in the X-Pro 3. I am still filling out my XF lenses to go along with the new X-Pro 3 so stay tuned as I add to that kit. Buy Online >>
This conversion lens is specifically for the FUJIFILM X100F camera, which has a fixed 35mm lens, and converts that to a 28mm full-frame equivalent. The camera retains the same excellent optical performance with this conversion lens and automatically recognizes it is attached. It also retains the same f/2 maximum aperture. And it is beautifully designed so that the same lens hood for the X100F lens fits onto this conversion lens as well. Buy Online >>
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.
Over the years, I have had a variety of hard shell camera housings for various cameras including both the super high-end CMT carbon fiber surf housing for my Nikon D4 and also various Aquatech surf housings, but they are all built for a specific camera model and it is very expensive to replace a water housing every time you upgrade your camera. The Outex housings are not as bullet-proof as the hardshell housings but they are well-built and can accommodate pretty much any camera and lens combination. For 90% of my work in and around the water the Outex housings work perfectly for what I need to do. For those rare times when I am swimming into huge waves I can rent an Aquatech housing or something similar. The other upside to the Outex water housings is that you can easily adjust pretty much anything on your camera, which isn’t the case with hard shell housings. Buy Online >>
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 >>
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.
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.
These new CFexpress cards are wicked fast and read and write at 1700 MB/s and a480 MB/s respectively. At the moment they can only be used in my Nikon Z6 but these are the cards of the future and every camera company would do well to use these memory cards in future pro caliber camera models. 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.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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.
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 >>
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.
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.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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.
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.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
The Eizo ColorEdge CG319X is the heart of my digital workflow and one of the most critical items I own as a photographer. Check out my full review of the CG319X on my blog. Literally, the monitor you work up images on is in some ways 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 CG319X is Eizo’s top-end color accurate Adobe RGB monitor. It is also one of their most expensive monitors but when you factor in how much time you spend editing your images and amortize that cost over the ten years or more you will work with a monitor it makes a lot more sense. For photography, this is literally the best monitor on the planet. Buy Online >>
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 >>
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.
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 >>
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.
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 >>
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 >>
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.
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.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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.