Gear I use:

Here’s what I use, and why:

Cameras

  • Nikon D3S

Absolutely fantastic piece of gear. It’s an older camera now (2017), it’s only 12MP, but it can take any beating, focus in almost pitch-black, the noise at high ISO’s (necessary at live shows) is very uniform and fine like sand, and it seems to capture small details in the shadows, all by itself sometimes. This is my workhorse for when I need to get the shot every time, and the environment is dark and hostile (for a camera).

  • Nikon D800

Another fantastic piece of kit. This 36MP monster is what I use for all non-live work, like portraits, shooting a business, a restaurant or whoever I’m creating images for. The huge resolution and dynamic range is fantastic for slower work, especially with flash. High ISO capabilities aren’t the greatest, but it will get very good images up to ISO 6400, if exposed correctly.

Lenses

  • Nikon AF-S 14-24 f/2.8G

This has become one of my most used lenses, especially for live music work. It’s capable of getting the entire stage in, with me shooting 3 feet in front of the stage. It’s sharp as a knife at f/2.8, the autofocus is very fast and accurate. My style is very much defined by this lens, and the way it distorts.

  • Nikon AF-S 24-70 f/2.8G

Another lens that I use A LOT. Possessing the same qualities as its wider cousin above, this let’s me get a more normal perspective, without the distortion of the 14mm, and a bit more compression on tight zooms.

  • Nikon AF-S 70-200 f/2.8G VR

The third and final lens in the “holy-trinity”, this is the original VR version. It’s built like a tank (and it’s made of metal), it’s sharp and fast. For bigger live shows and portrait sessions, this lens gets used a lot.

  • Nikon 50mm f/2.0 AI

This oldie-but-goodie is old, it’s manual, it’s sharp if you nail focus, and it’s small enough to carry wherever. Used mostly for slower candid event work.

  • Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AE

This lens is as sharp and contrasty as any Nikon or Canon, and gives me a more comfortable field of view than the 50mm. Lets in a huge amounts of light, and is usually my go-to lens for video and events.

Bags

  • ThinkTank Retrospective 20

This bag can essentially hold all my gear, but normally doesn’t. It’s a great bag to shoot out of at live shows, and its shoulder strap is one of the most comfortable you’ll find. It can hold either camera with the 70-200 attached (no hood), or either camera with the 24-70 attached, with hood in place. It doesn’t have a lot of padding though, but does so in the bottom where it counts.

  • ThinkTank Retrospective 30

The larger version of the bag above, this bag is used for travel, and if I need to bring a couple of speedlights.

  • LowePro Nova 200

Used to be my only camera bag, this one still holds up extremely well, although old and worn. Since I got the ThinkTanks, this is used mostly for flash-gear, or if I need to bring extra gear not fitting in the ThinkTanks (that’s rare, though).

  • LowePro Lens Changer 200

Essentially an assistant in a belt. Holds a 70-200 2.8 without hood, or a 24-70 2.8 with hood. Holds one lens, but opens up to two pockets, allowing me to place one lens in one pocket, while grabbing the other one. Allows for very quick lens changes.

  • LowePro S&F Belt & Harness

Great for festivals. This system allows me to carry individual lens bags and the lens changer above, without pulling my pants down, or straining my back.

  • LowePro lens bags

Used with the lens changer and the S&F belt above.

  • Carry-on sized square backpack

Used for carrying my lens changer, belt/harness and lens bags, to and from festivals.

Workstation setups

I’m using a 2013 Retina MacBook Pro 15″, with an i7 quad-core CPU, a massive 512GB PCIe SSD, 16GB RAM, and a beefy 2GB GPU. This is my field-workstation for hotel-edits, travel, and when shooting festivals.

My main setup is a 2013 27″ iMac, boasting an i5 quad-core CPU, a 2GB graphics card, 24GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD. I’m using this with an attached 27″ Apple LED Cinema Display, giving me efficient screen real estate for working with Lightroom. I’ve got an attached Terramaster DS-210 USB 3.1 dual-bay 3.5″ RAID enclosure, and with two Toshiba X300 4TB 7200rpm drives setup in RAID 0, this is my main RAW file storage at 8TB with awesome read/write speeds. Also attached is two ICYBOX 2.5″ dual-bay RAID boxes, directly attached via USB 3.1, each containing two Samsung 120GB SSD’s, setup in SPAN mode. One enclosure is my scratch drive for Photoshop and Lightroom, and temporary project files. The other houses my iTunes and private photos libraries.

Backup of everything is done through Time Machine via network, to a Mac Mini with OS X Server on it. This little beauty had a faulty DVD drive which I removed, and I converted the now unused SATA port to an eSATA cable, running out the back of the Mini. This eSATA cable connects to an OWC four-bay RAID enclosure, housing 4x4TB drives in a SPAN configuration, giving me 16TB of backup space. Attached via FireWire is a two-bay SansDigital enclosure, housing the family iTunes movie library, shared on the network for everyone.