Aside from the obvious, my Nikon DSLR, here is the photography equipment I just cannot be without:
Why: Cheap, reliable, fast flash duration, ability to adjust levels remotely, fast recycle.
Where: In studio and on location, it’s a perfect starter monolight for sports and action shooters
How Much: $499.95
Why: Power a bunch of items from something the size of an 80’s cellphone. Cheap, fast charging, long lasting, compact, light.
Where: On location definitely, or even in the studio when you want to reduce the amount of cables on the ground.
How Much: $239.95
Why: It’s pure awesome for under $100. It’s huge and bulky, but the wrap around light it provides is so beautiful for so many applications.
Where: Studio mainly. This thing is so big that the slightest gust of wind will launch it into the lower atmosphere.
How Much: $79.95 (depending on mounting option)
Why: When the above 7ft umbrella is impractical.
Where: Studio or on location. I have used this on a beach at 6am. With a heavy enough stand and a calm day, it will sit still and give you beautiful light. Perfect for use with a speedlight (although possibly a little too big for a speedlight to use the entire diameter).
How Much: $59.95
Why: A good all-rounder with decent power for a speedlight. Known for it’s overheat issue, but there is an option to turn off the auto-shutoff. Just keep a close eye on the temperature reading.
Where: Anywhere it’s dark. Not quite enough to “overpower the sun” even at very close range.
How Much: $450 (approx… It has now been replaced with the SB910)
Why: The Flex’s have PW reliability, with the convenience of TTL. Combine these with the SB900 and 60″ umbrella and you have yourself a quick and easy lighting setup that will give amazing results. The Power MC2 is specifically for the Einstein E640 strobe, but will not only allow you to trigger the light, it will allow you to adjust the output right from the camera.
How Much: $199 / $219 / $119 (respectively)
Why: To catalogue, edit, organize, rate, resize, enhance your images. Lightroom is now so versatile that for a lot of my work, I have no need for Photoshop!!
Where: On your desktop, anywhere you can take your laptop and now, thanks to cloud storage technology, you can sync with your iPad and/or iPhone. And get this!… Now you can even rate and edit your shots and sync them right back!….. I edit photoshoots in bed, on my iPad! 😀
How Much: $149 (standalone license) / $9.99 per month (for Creative Cloud subscription)
Why: Ever tried shooting tethered? (ie, having your camera directly linked to Lightroom, or similar software, for transmitting of the images directly to your hard drive)… If you have, you may have been frequently pi**ed off by USB the cable detaching from the port in your camera… Well if you have $8 to spare, it’s no longer a problem thanks to the awesome folk at Tethertools.
Where: Anywhere you plan to hook your camera up directly to your computer.
How Much: $7.95
Why: Equipment storage that will stop a bullet. I have three Pelican cases; a huge 1650, the 1510 and the CF card holder. Other than the CF card holder, the smaller 1510 is what I use the most. Very convenient in size, tough as nails and configurable with either cutout foam or padded dividers that can be reconfigured depending on your needs.
Where: Anywhere, everywhere… Your stuff will be safe.
How Much: $175
Gear I dream of:
Why: Bullet proof, fast, powerful, accurate, state of the art and low light monsters! The D4s is a slight upgrade from the D4, but with used items now showing up for around $4k, the choice just got a little tougher.
Where: Anywhere (excluding the ocean without a dive housing), the D4’s will most likely survive. These things are used in deserts and wars!
How Much: $5,950 / $6,500 (respectively)
Why: Just released as update to the megapixel monster that was the D800. This is an upgrade that’s worth trading in for. Fast FPS, better low light performance, and best of all, a “Small RAW” option. If the 36 megapixel made your hard drive break into a cold sweat, the option to cut that to around 16 megapixels will be welcome news. Having 16mpx with the options of a huge 36mpx when you or the client demand it, is just fantastic!
Where: Almost all applications now. The raised FPS rate means it’s even a possible contender for sports shooters.
How Much: $3,295
: Studio light power with TTL!! What more can I say?!… Well, a lot apparently, here
Where: Anywhere, anywhere, anywhere!
How Much: $1,995 each (or two light location kit for $3,950)
: Finally, for us Nikon guys
, a way to get the amazing TTL capabilities from the Profoto B1.
Where: Anywhere your Nikon and you Profoto B1 are going.
How Much: $395 (Release date; September 15th)
Why: If you have almost $9k to spare and a large studio space, you need one of these. A beautiful huge light source, almost 10ft across! Focusable spread of the beam means you can create a variety of looks from this one unit.
Where: Indoors, if you have a big space. Take it outside at your own risk.
How Much: $8,159
Why: Power and flexibility, along with a super fast flash duration and recycle time.
Where: A battery powered pack and head system you can take anywhere.
How Much: $5,555 (pack only) / One and two light packages from $7,105)
Why: By no means essential (despite what some nerds may tell you), however, it is 110% bad ass!
: Outdoors, duh… Though if you’re skilled, take it inside. Just make sure you lock the cat in another room first. As well as being fun, strap a GoPro to it (or buy one of the ‘Vision’ packages) and get some truly incredible arial footage that a few years ago was reserved only for pros with deep pockets. (If you’re using a GoPro, you’ll want the H3-3D Gimbal