My Gear - ImagesByBeaulin

Infrared view of Two Step Falls at Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota.

Infrared view of Two Step Falls at Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota.

It's not the gear, but how you use it that matters. However, gear has its place and I admit it’s easy to become enamored with it. Now you don't need the most sophisticated or expensive camera & lens to take good photos under most circumstances, but your camera support system is something you should never compromise on. I’ve learned the hard way that uncompromising, rock-solid supports are a must, especially for landscape and telephoto work. I could go on and on about that, but will spare you the pain.

I shoot with Canon's EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 7D, and EF L-series glass, except that I use Samyang, Rokinon, and Zeiss wide-angle lenses for low light landscapes and star photography. I have numerous lenses, but occasionally will borrow glass from For infrared work I use a Canon 50D super color IR conversion by Life Pixel. My favorite lenses are Rokinon's SP 14mm f/2.4, Rokinon's 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC, Zeiss' Otus 28mm f/1.4, Tamron's SP 15-30mm f/2.8 USD Di, and Canon's 24-70 f/2.8L II USM, 24-105 f/4.0L IS USM, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, and 300 f/2.8L IS II USM. For long lens work I tend to use my 300mm f/2.8L with 1.4x and 2x tele-extenders, especially when I’m unable to borrow bigger glass. Much lighter than carrying around a 600 f/4L!

My base support is the excellent Gitzo GT5542LS Systematic Tripod. The finishing touches are obtained with Really Right Stuff's leveling bases and Really Right Stuff BH-55 full-sized ballhead, matched with Really Right Stuff’s PCL-1 Panning Clamp and other accessories for panoramic work; and ProMedia Gear's Tomahawk Ballhead Gimball Attachment for telephoto work when I don’t want to carry around a dedicated gimbal head. When using focal lengths beyond 600mm, I will deploy my Really Right Stuff Long Lens Support Package with the BH-55 ballhead or the impeccably good Really Right Stuff PG-02 Full Gimbal Head. When more portability and lighter weight is needed for short- to medium-telephoto work, I use Manfrotto’s 680B monopod outfitted with the RSS MH-02 Monopod Head.

I occasionally use a mobile device known as CamRanger to assist shooting unique situations and for maco & close-up focus stacking.  My favorite mobile photography apps include PhotoPills and VellaClock for planning star photo shoots; and OptimumCSP, TrueDOF-Pro and FocusStacker for iOS devices developed by George Douvos.

I do my own post-processing using predominantly Photoshop Lightroom (basic exposure adjustments) and Photoshop CC (exposure blending, luminosity masking, panorama stitching, and depth-of-field stacking), but also use Helicon Focus (depth-of-field stacking) and PTgui (panorama stitching) when needed. My hardware platform is Apple’s Mac Pro (in studio) and a 2009 17" Macbook Pro (in field) with external and portable high-capacity storage solutions by G-Technology.  I use Lexar Professional UDMA 7 CF Cards for recording imagery in camera.  For on-the-fly imagery backup at photo shoots, I use a NEXTO portable, battery-powered memory card backup devices.

To carry my gear I've used several different backpacks & bags over the years, but my most frequently used all-around, go to pack is f-stop's Tilopa BC Mountaineering Camera's almost perfection for what and how I shoot. If I don't need all my gear when packing a long lens, I use my Tamrac Super TelePhoto Lens Pack. These two packs are comfortable, especially considering how much gear I often pack into them. If I need ultra-protection for my gear when traveling, I use various Pelican protector cases.

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