Since many of you have asked, I’m happy to share my current photography equipment, including my favorite lenses for travel and portraits. This is the equipment that Ken and I use for all the photos on this website. I currently use a Nikon full-frame DSLR which I love, but I have also used and liked Canon, Sony, Fuji. (I chose Nikon mostly because my mom has a Nikon and I wanted access to her collection of lens. 😉 )
I love photography – I truly believe that it’s as much an art as it is about cameras, lenses and accessories though, and I firmly believe that you don’t need the latest and most expensive equipment to take beautiful pictures. Your artistic vision is the most important tool in your kit!
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Camera and Lenses
Nikon D750 – Most of the pictures on this website to date are taken with either this camera or the previous model, the D610. It delivers fantastic image quality even in low light, and is one of the most economical full frame cameras on the market today. The newer model D780 has an upgraded processor, improved auto-focusing and tracking, and 4K video capture. The Canon equivalent of the D750, the 6D Mark II, also gets very good reviews.
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens – This is my go-to lens. I prefer a prime lens for most of my pictures for the sharpness and the least distortion. Excellent reliable performance.
Nikon 105mm Macro Lens – Hands down, my favorite and most beloved lens. So incredibly sharp with the most beautiful bokeh. (I’m all about the bokeh!) Every shot is perfection. Excellent for close-ups of flowers AND for portraits, assuming you have enough room to step back to accommodate the focal length.
Nikon 24-70mm Zoom Lens and Nikon 28-300mm Zoom Lens – The 24-70mm lens is a great all-purpose and travel lens. Excellent image quality, especially for a zoom lens, but bigger, heavier and more expensive than other lenses. We often use this for travel for the wide-angle versatility. I don’t need a longer zoom lens often, but some situations require it, like when you’re shooting birds or monkeys in Costa Rica! 🦜🐒🦋
Fuji X100V – My favorite compact travel camera, and also the best looking! Amazing image quality with a fixed 35mm lens and 24.3 megapixels. It has an APS-C sensor, which is larger than most other compact cameras, so it’s able to capture more details. I love the classic knob-style controls. I learned about using the iPhone app to take selfies from Carin Olsson (Paris in Four Months), who uses this camera to take beautiful travel selfies! I actually have a previous model of this camera (the Fuji X100F), but hope to get the new one soon! You can see some of the pictures I took with it on my Purple Ice Plants of Monterey Peninsula post.
If you enjoy taking pictures of flowers as much as I do, you may be interested in my article on the best lenses for flower photography!
Manfrotto Aluminum Tripod with Horizontal Column and Ballhead – Strong, stable and reliable. I love the horizontal arm for flat-lays! We brought this with us to Mont Saint-Michel and were glad we did because it was windy there! It has a hook between the legs to hang extra weight to further stabilize the tripod.
3 Legged Thing Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod – Ken recently bought this tripod and likes it for it’s lighter weight and ability to use a variety of feet for different conditions.
I use these two lights when I’m shooting indoors and there’s not enough light. Both of them are great!
StudioFX 800 Watt Softbox – This light has four bulbs and is very bright and effective at reducing shadows for indoor photography. Plus you can switch two of the bulbs off if you want.
ESDDI 18″ Ring Light – This 100W ring light is dimmable, has temperature control and can hold a phone or SLR in the center.
Peak Design Hand Strap – I prefer a hand strap over a neck strap. This one is perfect.
L Bracket – This camera attachment allows you to easily switch between horizontal and vertical pics on your tripod without losing your composition. Both Ken and I leave this on our cameras most of the time. It’s so useful!
Camera Rain Cover – Important to have if your camera is not totally waterproof and you are traveling to a rainy destination such as Costa Rica! The one I bought is no longer available, but this one is very similar, with an opening for the eyepiece so that your view is not impeded by plastic.
Seagate 2TB Slim External Hard Drive – With RAW image files getting bigger and bigger, we now have quite a collection of these external hard drives to store and back up our pictures! We get them from either Costco or Amazon.
SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SD Card – I typically only need one of these for a trip, plus one more for backup.
Nikon Rechargeable Li-ion Battery – We have 5 batteries between us and we bring them all with us when we travel. Running out of power in the middle of a photo shoot is the worst! We’ve tried other brands, but the Nikon ones are the best and longest-lasting.
Remote Control Shutter Release – Essential for selfies and situations where you want to avoid camera shake, including flat-lays.
I like to travel light, and I’m able to because my
pack-mule husband Ken carries all the extra lens and accessories. (Thank you Ken! 😘) I prefer using a camera insert inside my backpack instead of a typical camera backpack which is usually heavier and bigger than I need.
Kattee Waterproof Camera Insert Bag – This insert turns any backpack into a camera backpack! The large-sized version holds my DSLR and two lenses, which is all that I typically carry. I love the zipper and top handle and how sturdy it is. I use it inside my large Fjallraven backpack, which is the best lightweight and sturdy travel backpack!
Software & Presets
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan – I think that a combination of a full-frame camera and Adobe Lightroom are essential for an artist-photographer who wants game-changing creative control over their images. A full-frame camera captures an incredible amount of detail and Lightroom lets you bring out and edit those details to become the works of art that you envisioned.
Lightroom Presets – For photo editing in Lightroom, I’ve used Rebecca Lily Presets and Refined Presets for several years and love them! I do make modifications for each set of photos to achieve the look I want, but they are a great base!
I hope this has been helpful! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 🧡