The Gear

It seems there are always people and photographers interested in my gear and what kind of equipment I shoot with so Here is the down low;) Clients Beware It could get pretty Nerdy Below.

I truly truly believe that awesome photographs can be taken with any camera nowadays. Whether it be a fuji S2 S3 or a Nikon D2x D2h D2hs or take any Canon body. Its truly not about the camera just like it has never been about the fiddle. I used to think this mattered quite a bit - I would surf www.dpreview.com and look at all the pictures from each camera on www.pbase.com. If you understand photography fundamentals meaning how to use your camera and its light meter along with how to understand light then you can take great photographs provided you are patient, have you camera with you, are in the right place at the right time, etc etc. Yeah yeah yeah so many people say that this camera has great color or great dynamic range. Folks they are all so close in Dynamic range that is doesn't matter espescially with the use of raw which can give so much dynamic range. As far as color, if you look at any goodphotographers work the color adjustments are so a part of their workflow or effective final product. Color out of camera is important but not the end all. Again using software like Photoshop is what matters. Once a file is in this software then one can begin to adjust colors to their liking. Really noise and resolution is the only factor now and I think that resolution is really becoming insignicant. Look at this quote from Dennis Reggie in 2001 as seen in one of Philip Greenspuns reviews.

Back in the US from my 10 days of travel (Atlanta to LA, Honolulu, Fiji, San Francisco, then back to Atlanta..ouch.) with the new EOS-1D... I reluctantly had to hand over my test camera to the Canon rep, but not until I had 4 wedding assignments (yes, four... on October 13, 18, 20 and 21) under my belt with the 1D (along with a couple of D30's as backup). My camera was apparently one of 4 that Canon issued to working pros to shoot, one was in Afghanistan, another was being used by Doug Kirkland... Canon is looking for feedback and images for advertisements and brochures. I was thrilled to be in the bunch.

My read of the specs is a little different than Phil's. I actually thought that Canon's decision to go with a 4 megapixel camera was, well, brilliant. It seems that their camera line now handles consumers with their array of digital cameras, the prosumer/photobuff/enthusiast or photographer who works with slower moving targets -- like products, still lifes, even portraits -- with their very popular D30, and now, the 1D which seems near perfect for news and sports (two huge Canon markets) and surely to be a huge hit in the wedding photojournalism world (that's my area).

Going to 6 or more megapixels would have

Been overkill for my world given my primary need of images in album print sizes;
Surely have slowed the camera with a more limiting buffer for burst sequence ability
It would mean far fewer images on todays CF cards.

As you can see for one of the most elite photographers in the world only 5 years ago 4 Megapixels was enough! That said my main bodies have at least 8 megapixels with one going up to 13 if case any of my clients are worried, even though it really doesn't matter that much and big camera companies have marketed megapixels to death. Even more I believe that noise is awesome. I have even been adding noise to my color images a lot lately and I think it looks sweet. Naturally noise in Black and white looks sweet because it gives images that timeless feel.

That said, Awesome photographs can not be taken with any lens. I mean they can but they might not be as sharp or as contrasty and clear.

Finally, I understand too that certain cameras do do things better. Some handle noise better and are faster and these are many of the reasons I chose my current bodies for my specialty - wedding photography. I really want the best for my clients as far as quality and as far as my ability to work during a wedding a day with speed and precision. Because of this I have three different main bodies - they are Canon because I shoot almost 90% available light and I believe that they handle noise the very best. Each of my camera bodies has a different multiplying factor so they make my 4 primes effectively 12. I currently just love my new 5d because it lenses look so good doing what they were made to do. On a full frame a 24 1.4 and 50 1.4 looks so fresh. I can't get enough of them. I still love my Mark II because its fast and handles low light well and has a big buffer but I also love my 20D because it makes my lenses so long when it multiplies them by 1.6. I have also never had a problem switching between the use of these three bodies along with a dedicated IR 300D. They are all very intuitive and using them one to the other during a wedding day is not a problem. Finally I have not had any real problems with the 5D's large files. Barely noticable processing slow downs on my computor. Having these three bodies is well worth it for me and my clients.

Finally, I totally believe in my specialtly lenses that really add that salt and pepper to my final collection of images from a wedding day. the 50 1:1 sigma which is incredibly sharp is great for ring shots and the Fish is awesome for the ceremony and reception.

Finally the LIST:

Bodies: CANON
5D
1D MARK II
20D
300D dedicated to Infrared
REBEL XT (Assistant Body)

LENSES:
70-200 2.8 ISL CANON
85 1.2L CANON
50 1.4 CANON
24 1.4L CANON
15 SIGMA FISHEYE
50 2.8 1:1 SIGMA MACRO
50 LENSBABY 2.0

LIGHTS
580 EX CANON
550 EX CANON
SUNPAK READYLITE 20

MEMORY 50 GIGS
7 x 4GIG HITACHI MICRODRIVES
2 x 8GIG RIDATA FLASH
1 x 2 GIG LEXAR FLASH