Photography Gear And Stuff That I Love - Part 1

I’m not gear head or tech guy so if you’re looking for histograms, calibration thingabobs, pie charts, Bunsen burners, or any scientific type tests read no further.  I may seem rather complex from my scarfed and bearded profile pictures but once you boil me down I’m a rather simple man.

Here is a list some gear and stuff that I use and a couple reasons why I use it. This isn’t a comparison blog so if you have a better alternative please add it to the comment section and explain why you like that particular gear better.

Prime lenses

I use Canon exclusively,  my two favorites are the reportage classic 35mm L-Series  1.4 and the 24mm  L-Series 1.4 They have such an interesting look to them. Primes lenses make you move more and think more and of course they are amazing in low light. My former editor at the NY Times told me, be careful of over-doing shooting at 1.4. I was so in love with the look at 1.4 that I was ruining some of my images with giant out of focus blobs in my foreground that just didn’t work. Figure out how you like to use them, they are worth the hefty price tag.

Wotancraft bags

Disclaimer, yes I am sponsored by them. But I chose to work with Wotancraft for a good reason though. First it started as being a pure fan of their stylish leather/waxed canvas hand made camera bags. Now it’s more than that: they are a cool company and they listen to photographers and each version of their bags improves on that last one.

WD hard drives

We use WD for everything from our internal drives to our portable on assignment drives. For our office archiving system we use the WD MyCloud DL4100 Business Series 4. This system is a beast and it enables me to be able to access my archive wherever I am in the world, they even have their own app. I’ve got a full archiving blog here.

Adobe Lighroom

Lightroom is the most underrated photography tool out there. Learn how to use this program inside and out and your workflow will improve saving you endless hours to actually go shoot.

VSCO filters

I love the VSCO collection of filters and so do my clients. I don’t use them for editorial assignments because it takes away from pure photojournalism but for my personal work and for my wedding work I love them. The best way to use them is to find your favorites and then tweak them to suit your taste.

Cambodian Kramas

They cost $2 at most markets in Cambodia and they have unlimited uses. In extreme circumstances you can mold them into a tripod. For my thinning hair and pale skin they work wonders for sun protection. Hypothetically speaking, if you find yourself dating a Khmer woman and you happen to end up in her tiny home village taking an outdoor shower and half the village shows up to watch a foreign man wash himself they provide excellent cover. Riding a motorbike in a dust storm or you end up behind a sand truck, which happens to me way more than one might think, you’ve got a mouth cover. Works as a protective camera wrap as well. If you are ever in a situation where you want people to know you are a photographer just wrap it around your neck and without saying a word people know. Photo-MacGyver would love the Krama and so do I.

Neonsky websites

Love love love them. They had a lull for about two years not making many updates but someone lit a fire under their ass and they ran. You now get three sites for the price of one. Shooting weddings, commercial, and editorial I like to separate my work and now I can afford to do so. Add to that they are now SEO friendly and you can link to direct pages. I’m shooting more video these days and you can now show video content on the site. Their navigation system is so damn easy, just drag and drop. They also have excellent customer service. Some photographers might complain that their template is too generic and now everyone has a Neonsky site but while I love other photographers my goal isn’t to please them – they aren’t hiring me. These sites look sleek and professional and they’re really easy to navigate.

Photoshelter

Back in the day I was a Digital Railroad member, choo choo, but once they left the station there was only once choice. Since those days Photoshelter has blossomed into more than just a place to host your photos online. They are always coming up with innovative ways to keep up with the changing times staying up to date with social networking tools, and offering up fantastic blogs and forums about our business. I use PS various ways definitely getting my money’s worth. I use it on assignments as a safety net to store my favorite photos. I set up downloadable galleries for my wedding clients so they can share and download their photos easily and it also works for me to draw more traffic and potential new clients to my brand. I use it as a back up when clients have a server problem, setting up a gallery for them to download high res files. I’m about to use them for all my printing needs. Finally they are a great resource, I learned everything I need to know about SEO by reading their SEO cookbook and it’s worked like a charm.

Aphotoeditor

Dude is smart and understands our business. His site is beneficial to all genres of professional photographers. Not only is he in tune with what’s going on in photography he knows loads of people who are as well and does very candid interviews with them. Bookmark this site and check it every day.

Check out more photography tips! Look for #AskMott across social channels and tag your posts with this hashtag to ask me any questions you have about being a better photographer

Justin MottComment