My first camera was a Nikon FM2. I paid extra to get the all-black body.

It had no motor drive and came with one short, fixed focus lens, probably a 28mm. My first big lens purchase was a Nikon 180mm f/2.8. It was tack sharp and put a lot of pictures into my early portfolio.

Things have changed a lot since then, though. These days, I only use digital cameras. They’re great because the feedback is instant, allowing me to experiment a little more than I might with film.

The downside is that the equipment is more expensive, and digital files are costly to archive. The other problem with digital is that there is no surefire way to store the images. The only way to be absolutely certain you’ll be able to view an image in 20 years or more is to transfer it to paper or film.

Whether it’s film or digital, you need to be prepared for the worst. Equipment can and does fail, and there’s nothing worse than having to cancel a shoot because your gear isn’t working.

I always carry more than one camera body, more than one lens, more than one battery, and more than one charger. It makes for a lot of extra baggage, but better that than a missed opportunity. When traveling by air, I take the minimum I need to hit the ground and start shooting in a carry-on. That way if my checked baggage is lost, I can still accomplish the mission.

A typical field setup includes the following:

 

With digital comes computers:

 

Specialized gear includes

 

In studio setups, I use the following equipment:

 

A note about Photoshop:

In most cases, we use Photoshop only for basic “traditional darkroom” functions like cropping, color correcting, spotting out dust, and so forth.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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