Photo Gear

During different shows I do live demonstrations showing different cameras, flashes and flash accessories. While the cameras will vary slightly, currently I am mostly using a Nikon D7000 or D700 Camera with SB-700 Speedlights or SB-900 Speedlights Flash and sometimes a SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander. The cameras and flashes are triggered in Commander mode using the iTTL capabilities of the Nikon Flash System.

Now the standard disclaimer: This page is for attendees of workshops taught by me and are intended to be used as an additional resource for attendees. The information here does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the sponsors or any of my workshops. Please drop me an email and let me know what you thought of the seminar you attended.

Lighting Gear

Here is the list of Photo gear used for a simple 3 Speedlight Portrait set-up using the cameras and Speedlights listed above.

Main Light

Thanks Chris for being such a great model in Pittsburgh

1 – Photoflex 60 inch Umbrella or

1 – Photoflex 30 inch shoot through convertible Umbrella

1 – Manfrotto Nano Light Stand

1 – Manfrotto Umbrella Stand Adapter 026

1 – HAMA Mounting Shoe with Insulated Base

1 – Nikon SB-700 or SB-910 flash unit

Background Light 

1 –Manfrotto Maxi Quick Lock Stand

1- Photoflex Light Disk Boom to hold background

1 – Black material cloth for background

1 – Manfrotto Light Stand Model 156BLB

1 – HAMA Mounting Shoe with Insulated Base

1 – Rogue Grid

1 – Nikon SB-700 or SB-910 flash unit

Hair Light

1 – Manfrotto Nano Light Stand

1 – Manfrotto Umbrella Stand Adapter 026

1 – HAMA Mounting Shoe with Insulated Base

1 – Nikon SB-700 or SB-910 flash unit

1 – Rogue Grid

Optional Equipment

1 – Nikon SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander

1 – 30 inch Wescott or Photoflex reflector (Silver/White or Silver/SoftGold)

Want to know more about lighting ? Here are a couple of resources for you.

Nikon hands on Guide to Creative Lighting

The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting

Camera Bags

Now this is a BAG!

Okay, so I am a bagoholic and everyone knows a photographer can not live with one bag alone! Each different shooting assignment requires a different set of gear and depending on the conditions you are working in a different bag to suit those needs. The bags I use come in these basic categories.
Shoulder Bags used for quick and easy access, protection and transport of cameras, lenses and other stuff that I will not be carrying over long distances and I use them for day to day assignment work.
Roller Cases got a heavy load to carry over long distances like an Airport, or lighting gear you want to roll to a location these are for you.
Backpacks – I can not live with out these and I use them when I am going to be shepherding heavy gear over varied terrain like downhill skiing assignments. They fall into two classifications for me: waterproof and water resistant.
Camera Vests – When I need to have my cameras, lenses and flashes at the ready like during an election campaign, or on a protest march I will use a vest to distribute the weight of the gear on both shoulders around my center of gravity.
Protective cases – These are either hard shells cases for traveling or padded pouches to ship lenses and other gear in.

Here are my current choices for bags, backpacks, rollers and protection.

Lowepro – If Lowepro does not have the bag you are looking for it probably does not exist!

ThinkTank – The ultimate in form, function and quality.

Domke Bags – The old standby and favorite bag of photojournalists.

Newswear – If you have to walk long distances with a moderate amount of camera gear the Newswear vest is for you.

Manfrotto – Look to Manfrotto for a tripod bag but these handy cases double as light-stand bags.

Pelican Cases – When I am looking to protect my gear in a hard shelled case to go in the bottom of a white water raft or airline cargo hold I go to my Pelican Cases.

Lightware – Well if I can’t find that just right case for the job I can always look to Lightware and see if they have what I need.


Gitzo MonoTrek

Miller Solopod

Tripods – I am a big fan of buy one great quality tripod and keep it for life. If its light weight and expensive you will probably do just that.

Light Weight (Backpacking) – Gitzo G1057 Carbon 6X

Medium Weight (Air Travel) – Gitzo Mountaineer G1228 great to carry, pack in your suitcase for travel.

Heavy Weight (The Ultimate in Support) – Gitzo Mountaineer G1348 needs a optional center column.

Ball Heads and Camera Plates – Remember to get a camera plate to match you camera/lens to the ball head of your choice.



Lens choices – At many seminars, workshops I get asked “which lenses should I be looking at when upgrading my camera system”. The answer will vary from photographer to photographer depending on their camera body (DX or FX) and they kind of photography they like to do. But there are some common lenses that  keep coming up in the mix and they are listed below.

For Nikon DX Sensor Cameras

Wide Angle Nikkor = AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-16-85mm F3.5-5.6 G-ED-VR

Fast Nikkor = AF-S-NIKKOR-50mm F1.4 G

Micro Nikkor = AF-S-Micro-NIKKOR-60mm F2.8 G-ED

Telephoto Zoom Nikkor = AF-S-VR-Zoom-NIKKOR-70-300mm F4.5-5.6G-IF-ED

For Nikon FX Sensor Cameras

Wide Angle Nikkor = AF-S-NIKKOR 24-70mm F2.8 G-ED

Fast Nikkor = AF-S-NIKKOR 85mm F1.4 G

Micro Nikkor = AF-S-VR-Micro-NIKKOR 105mm F2.8 G-IF-ED

Telephoto Zoom Nikkor = AF-S-NIKKOR-70-200mm F2.8 G-ED-VR-II

  • My Blog
  • Email Me!
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Vimeo
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • 500px