Sunday, December 6, 2020

What Equipment do I use for Fine Art Photography?

Basic go to camera used by Norm Stokes for Scenic and Landscape Photography

Well, over the years I get asked regularly "what equipment do you use to take pictures for Fine Art Photography?" That's a fair question but not a short answer as I use a combination of cameras and a few lenses depending on what I plan to photograph.

Scenic and Landscape Photography

I love Scenic and Landscape photography and for that my go-to camera is the Nikon D810 with a vertical grip and expanded battery allowing up to 4000 shots on one charge. 

My standard go-to lens is my Sigma 24-105mm ART lens. Of course for me, since I try to capture the entire bandwidth of the image in-camera so I do not lose any details I use other support equipment such as my Wine Country Filter holder. This filter holder in my opinion is the best of the best as it is the only filter holder that I can use a circular polarizer, graduate filter, and even a neutral density (ND) filter all at the same time as conditions require it. The polarizer I use is made by Wine Country Camera as it is designed with the filter holder, easily removed in seconds, and is so easy to adjust. 

My graduated filters and ND filter are from LEE but I will be switching to the amazing graduate filters and ND filters produced by Wine Country Camera as they fit in what they call the vault system s you never have to touch the filters and holds them much more securely. They are very impressive and maintain color accuracy without producing any unwanted color casts.

Of course the higher the megapixel rating of your camera the more prone you are to possible camera shake even with OS stabilization especially in low light conditions so I got a beefy Enduro Tripod and bought the Really Right Stuff Pano Head (RRS) with the viscous damping fluid controls designed more for video work but meets my need perfectly.

With this setup, I can shoot panoramic images on the fly as I have everything all set up and ready to go. Of course, I have the Really Right Stuff quick releases on the tripod so I can switch ball heads in seconds if needed. There is nothing good about missing a shot because you have to change configurations, I can change my configuration in literally seconds.

Just in case I carry my Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 Lens and my Nikon 105mm macro lens as well. All lenses for my D810 are of course Full Frame Len's.

Sports and Birds in Flight (BIF) Photography

For Sports and BIF photography I switch over to my Nikon D500, this is a great camera and with my vertical grip and expanded battery I can shoot up to 10 frames per second (FPS).  Since the action is typically a ways away my go to lens is my Sigma 150-600mm (S) lens.  for occasions where i need a little more reach I will add my Sigma 1.4 Teleconverter.

Since my Nikon D500 is a crop sensor I have more theoretical reach by 1.5 times the rating of the lens making it pretty extreme.  For 90% of the shoots I do with this combination I use the same Tripod I use with my Nikon D810.  All my gear is setup with Arca Swiss mounts for easy swapping. 

Of course I can also use my Sigma 70-200mm lens as well if I want to travel lighter.

Portrait, Senior, Family Shoots

I love using my Nikon D810 with the same Sigma 24-105 lens but many times I switch to my Nikon 105mm/Macro lens depending on the shoot conditions.

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