The photographic equipment used is not nearly as important as a person’s knowledge and competence using what is available to them, having sound technique is paramount. While the images on this website were taken with various cameras, I now shoot almost exclusively with a digital camera and a series of tilt-shift lenses. There are a myriad of benefits to this set up, the tilt-shift lenses offer a good range of movements and focus control, when combined with the large screen of the camera, critical focus and acceptable depth of field can be achieved while using the optimal aperture of the lens. These features combined with the complete control I get using my digital dark room, which mainly consists of Photoshop and Capture one, offer me ultimate control over the image and the final output. It’s also worth mentioning the convenience of being able to visually correct images to convey the mood of scene to a faithful rendition of what I saw at the time of shooting shortly after the image was taken is a luxury one doesn’t have when shooting with film.
I have a Nikon D3x, with all its bells and whistles aside is very easy to set up, the menu system well laid out and easy to navigate and the large high resolution rear screen allows precise focusing. The camera is also fully weather sealed allowing me to work in harsh conditions and still get the shot.
I use a range of lenses, from 14mm to 200mm and occasionally 300mm. I prefer to use wide angle lenses and for most of my work, the Nikon 24mm tilt-shift lens is used. This lens offers me great control over depth of field and offers sharp images from front to back at its optimal aperture. That been said, I choose a lens that will give me the best result for my subject, whether it be a Nikon, Carl Zeiss, etc as it ultimately about control, final output and image quality.
A tripod is an essential part of my equipment. Apart from the obvious, it also plays an important role for taking multiple exposures for blending images and panoramic shooting. I have used various makes and models, all of which have their merits, currently I use a Gitzo carbon fibre tripod, both light and very stable. Heads are almost as important as the legs although for me it’s about how they function. For most of my landscape work I use a Really Right Stuff ball head which are excellent and very well engineered and occasionally I use a Manfrotto 410 geared head which is also very well made and offers precision movements.
I carry a set of Lee neutral density filters for all my landscape work, they are well made and help to control the brightness levels of the scene when the dynamic range exceeds that of the cameras digital sensor. Often I will resort to exposure blending when a filter is not appropriate due to overlapping, in this situation I feel blending offers better results.