My Photography Gear

How Traveling Helped Me Get My Shit Together

The one question I get asked more than any other is “What camera do you use?” I truly believe that any camera is better than no camera, but here is a list of my photography gear and what I love about it!

A bit of background

I started doing photography pretty late in the game. I wasn’t born with the amazing Canon AE-1 in my hands or gifted a beautiful Nikon FT2 at a young age (my family was waaaay too poor for that!) Instead, I saved for my entire Sophomore summer while attending the University of Oregon to buy a pretty generic little half digitized film slr from Canon. I can’t even remember what it was specifically because I hated it so much. My first course in Photography was taught by an unmotivated, super technical Teacher’s Assistant and I hated Photography. I mean, I really hated it.

Second term, however, I decided to give Photography once more go and signed up for a Conceptual Photography course with Professor Dan Powell. After the first hour of class I was hooked, Dan talked about the “magic” behind each and every photo. How it wasn’t just a picture, but a story you are capturing in time with silver and light. After that I changed my major completely and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts Photography.

I spent hours in the darkroom, I even worked as a Lab Technician through Financial Aid so that I could spend more time developing. And there were more than a few nights spent sleeping on the lab couch after printing for six hours in the darkroom. I love Digital Photography, but I will always always always be a Darkroom Kid. There is just something special about taking the time to make each and every print your own, telling a story in one frame that will captivate and inspire, forcing the viewer into your own little world. What can I say, I am bloody hooked!

Namibia Spitzkoppe volcano

 

The Camera

After graduating Uni and traveling for a bit with only my film slr, I finally bought a Full Frame Nikon D610. It was a beautiful beast and went with me on my stay with the Himba tribe, but it was quite heavy.

Last year I upgraded to the very light, fully weatherproof Fujifilm X-T1. And I haven’t looked back since. I love how it operates like an old film slr, the ISO and shutter speed dials on the outside of the camera and the aperture on the outer ring of the lens. This means I can shoot in full manual just like a film slr camera….!

*Quick side note, I had packed my camera bag and was about to go on a day adventure with my partner. He picked up my bag and as we were walking out the door he said something like, “Babe. don’t forget to put your camera in your bag” When I told him it was already in my bag, he was shocked because it was so light! 

leopard Namibia Etosha

The Lenses

Landscape // Fujifilm 16mm f1.2

At first I used to shoot with an “All-Rounder” Fujifilm 18-55mm f2.8-4 Eventually I upgraded to the 16mm f2.8 Prime lens and it is incredible in low light! I find with travel you have no say in the lighting conditions, so prime lenses are key. You’ll notice that I mainly shoot with prime lenses now.

Everyday // Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 Lens

For the Everyday shots I go with my “nifty fifty” 35mm f1.4 lens. I just love this little lens! It’s so light and small that I can carry it in my pocket!

Portraits // Fujifilm 56mm 1.2

I LOVE THIS LENS. It’s just everything that I want in a portrait lens and more; tack sharp and beautiful, beautiful bokeh at f1.2

 

Himba tribe Lauren Metzler

Accessories

Camera Bag // ONA

I don’t mess around when it comes to travel bags. My Ona backpack looks nothing like a camera bag and that is perfect for traveling. It was a bit spendy though, so if you want to opt out for something cheaper, go Lowepro. I had a Lowepro Pro Runner 350 for years and she didn’t let me down. I just prefer traveling with a bag that looks like any old backpack.

Tripod Filters // LEE FILTERS

Before I went to New Zealand for my 29th birthday I bought myself Lee Filters. I have a .9 ND and a .9 Graduated ND filter. Both are great for stopping down to show movement for landscape and waterfall photos. Best birthday present. Ever.

Shutter Release Cable // GENERIC

Because I tend to lose them all of the time (don’t ask) I buy a cheap generic shutter release cable that costs about $10. Any old SRC cable will do, otherwise most cameras have wifi now so you don’t even really need one. You can just control the camera via phone anyways!

External Hard Drive // 2 TB

I learned the hard way to ALWAYS BACK UP. ALWAYS. I lost pretty much all of my research papers and photography projects from University while living in Thailand. Oh, the shame! :/

Namibia Deadvlei Sossusvlei

Film Camera

Minolta SRT-101

This is technically my boyfriend’s camera, but I steal it so often that it has sort of become mine hehehe 😉 I love the look and feel of old film slr’s, and the grain with Ilford FP4 film is just gorgeous! I also love Kodak Portra 400 and Acros 100 film. Film is Not Dead!

My Dream Camera! // Nikon FT2

Someday I will own this beautiful film camera….le sigh!

  Japan cherry blossom film

Point and Shoot

Fujifilm X100s

Super quiet and discreet, I have taken a lot of my favourite candids on this beautiful camera from Fuji. I love the leather case that makes it look even more like an old rangefinder film camera too. 🙂

Nikon Aw130

I love snorkeling, and I wanted something with a little bit better image quality than my GoPro. I find this underwater camera to be the best in low light!

GoPro Hero 3+

GoPro cameras are great for Scuba Diving. Enough said.

Blueeeee

 

Anything I missed? If you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch!

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