Some of you are curious from time to time what kind of camera I use. I thought I’d give you the grand camera tour. And nope, Canon isn’t paying me to do this even though I’m about to gush over them. I have had nothing but Canon from the start when I fell in love with photography 15 years ago. I’m on my 3rd DSLR and only because I kept upgrading—not because any of them broke. I actually still have my very first body and it’s still kickin’.
I currently have a full frame Canon 6D. It is Wi-Fi enabled which is the coolest feature of all time. It makes it so easy to grab images off my camera and post straight to Instagram without having to get my laptop out. I can also trigger the shutter remotely with the Canon app. That’s how I take most of my photos with myself in them. Just me and a tripod. I do have Jason but he’s still in training.
We’ve been getting some pretty amazing photo and video footage with our drone. We started with the DJI Phantom and returned it because we realized it was way too large and cumbersome to carry around. We upgraded to the DJI Mavic Pro as it folds nearly to the size of a water bottle.
I have two camera bags. One minimal one by Jill-E Designs—the Hudson—that’s cute and holds my camera body with an attached lens and also an extra lens. I use it when we are out exploring an urban area and I don’t want to look like a mountain lady with my hiking pack camera backpack—a Lowe Pro Bags Photo Hatchback 16L. This bag has been all over the place with me in all kinds of conditions and I highly recommend it. Jason also bought the same pack to carry his Mavic drone.
In the beginning, lenses were something I struggled with. I kept buying lens after lens and just wasn’t satisfied with them. I remember an older photographer friend of mine once told me, “spend money on your glass. That’s what matters.” Camera bodies are rapidly changing with technology but lenses really don’t change at that same pace. He’s got a 70-200 f/2.8 from the 70s that shoots as good or better as my modern version of it. Now, keep in mind this is a photographer trained in the day of dark rooms and manual focus. 😉 Anyway, since this advice, I sold all of my crappy lenses (with the exception of my 50mm macro—not crappy) and began collecting the top of the line L-series lenses from Canon. These things are nothing short of amazing and the build quality is perfection. My lens collection is pared down to my current four:
I use this lens mostly for wildlife photography. The f/2.8 is a faster lens, however, it’s a beast and something I knew I wouldn’t want to lug around. I’ve been happy with this lens and am glad I spent the extra on image stabilization.
This lens is awesome for portraits and any shot where you want to really focus on the subject and blur out the background. It’s f-stop goes all the way down to 1.2 for some extra dreamy bokeh action. I upgraded from a 50mm f1.4 which is a great starter lens if you can’t justify the cost of the f/1.2.
This little guy is small and cheap but mighty. If I’m shooting any close-up detail, I go for this lens and it never disappoints.
This wide-angle is my go-to lens for both landscape and interior shots of the Airstream. It’s the only lens I’ve used that can even come close to capturing the sheer vastness of a landscape.
So I’ve only dropped my camera once and it was because my strap gave out. It was the traditional type that fits into the slots on either side of the camera. They came loose and down my camera went into a pile of gravel, denting my $1500 lens. From that point on I’ve only used the straps that connect to the tripod socket and my current strap I’ve used for five years is by Black Rapid.
What I’ve learned with tripods is you want one that’s light, can support a heavy lens and has quick release legs. My first tripod had legs that you had to twist to loosen and tighten. I have since upgraded to a fancier tripod with quick release legs—snapping levers rather than twisting.
My favorite editing app I use on my phone is by VSCO. It’s free and comes with an array of filters. You can also buy filter packs for a couple bucks a piece as well. On my laptop, I use both Photoshop and Lightroom. Click here for my favorite (free!) presets for Lightroom.