This is my landscape photography set up. It has changed multiple times throughout the years, but is now at the place where I don’t seem to need to make changes. Landscape is the first medium in photography that I started photographing. As I slowly learned more, the gear I acquired kept growing with it. Currently, there aren’t many pieces needed to create a landscape image. I have one primary camera, the Canon 5D Mark iii, with a secondary back up of the Canon 60D. Luckily I haven’t been in a situation where I have had to only use the 60D. I can’t recommend the 5D Mark iii enough. Even with the new 5D’s that have come out, with a huge amount of mega pixels, the 5D Mark iii keeps going along. It has plenty of megapixels to create stunning detailed prints. The ISO range is fantastic for low light situations, and the ability to drop down to ISO 50 makes it perfect for those long exposures. It’s a full frame camera which works wonderfully with wide angel lenses to capture the whole scene. Speaking of lenses, lets get into those! Really, I only use two lenses. The Canon 24-70mm 2.8, and the Canon 14mm 2.8. A nice wide angel zoom paired with a super wide angel is essentially all you need. That’s not to say I don’t bring out the 70-200mm here and there for those far away shots, but generally, those two lenses do most of the work. Both pair well with the full frame camera, and have the viewing angel to capture the whole scene no matter how big. The 14mm works great for up close wide ranges, and or creating that distorted feeling as if the foreground goes on forever. The 24-70mm is basically the work horse, and photographs most of the scenes. At 2.8 it has a beautiful shallow depth of field, but can hit those higher apertures to have sharp detail throughout the whole images. Paired with the lenses, are Filters!!! What’s a filter right? Everyone seems to be using post production (photoshop cough cough) to edit there images to have the look for filters. Now, I could do the editing in post and make the picture look very similar, but there is just something different when the filter is on the camera. The brand I have is tiffen, and the work great. I use a polarizer for those sunny days to pump up the sky, or to help with reflections that might occur in say a lake. Next up are neutral density filters. I have them in a variety of stops (darkness’s) which can “stop down” the camera for long motion captures, such as blurring water. Those are defiantly needed when out photographing, because it’s difficult to stop down the camera enough in bright sun light to create that motion. Finally, there is the graduated neutral density filter, which is a 2 stop soft edge. It’s made by singh ray, and provides the ability to block out the sky when doing a long exposure, to capture enough light in the foreground. For long exposures, or shots in general, I have a shutter release cable that is wireless (ooo’s and aww’s). It’s by Vello and I notice a huge difference in camera shake compared to the cable version. That is it fokes! Not very much right? Now of course, there is the tripod, which is a gitzo explorer, with a really right stuff bh55 ball head attached, but any old tripod and head will work just fine. This equipment works well for me in capturing the wonderful landscape around us, but find what works best for you and go capture it!
Turner Smith Photography – Colorado Photography Experience