Over the years I've used many systems to meet my various creative goals and technical challenges. I shoot both film and digital. For my black and white work I shoot film, developed in my darkroom and scanned on a system I invented to give me an extremely high resolution digital file. I print using a technique called Piezography on a modified Epson Printer.
For my panoramic images I wasn't happy with the equipment available so I designed my own. I pieced it together to keep it lightweight and robust. A Arca Swiss P0 ball-head is the base, to which an L-braket is placed that has a vertical rotating plate-head. The camera is mounted vertically to this plate, which allows me to pivot the camera vertically while the PO ball-head lets me rotate the camera on the horizontal. It's small, lightweight and works beautifully.
Commercial setups are less set and vary by project and client.
My digital setup is used for commercial work, fine art color and panoramic images and scanning black and white film
- Hasselblad 501, with a 45' prism
- Hasselblad Flex-body
- Zeiss Hasselblad lenses; 50mm, 80mm, 120mm, 150mm
- Arca Swiss P0 ball-head
- Gitzo carbon fiber tripod, 4x leg extension
- Minolta F Spotmeter
- LEE filtration setup
- LEE soft/hard split ND
- Various ND
- LEE #8, #11, #12, #25 filter
- Nikon D810
- Nikon D600
- 28mm AIS Nikon manual
- 40mm Voigtlaender
- 50mm AF Nikon
- 58mm Voigtlaender
- 60mm Nikon AF
- 85mm AF Nikon
- 105mm AF Nikon
- L-bracket & nodal slider for panoramic
- 4x5 viewfinder camera
- Schneider lenses 150mm, 210mm
- Handmade 6" sliding box camera
- Handmade simple lens and aperture discs
- converted film holders
- Bogen studio tripod
- Sensitizing tank
- read more about my Wetplate work
A lot of my landscape work is done solo in the backcountry
To get myself and my photo gear there requires lightening the load and streamlining organization. I've designed a system that works quite well for my needs.
I have 3 options for choosing gear
- Film setup with 3 prime lenses, 2 dozen(+/-) rolls of film, 1-2 film backs, spot meters, filters
- Digital setup with a full quiver of prime lenses, filters, extra batteries, panoramic attachments, cable release
- Combination setup with both cameras, but less lenses for each. Typically 1 film lens and 2-3 prime digital lenses.
My camera gear goes into a LowePro Flipside 300 Backpack that straps to the outside of my main backpack. This allows me to get access to all my camera gear fast and easy while walking between camps. I always carry my tripod in hand or strap it to the side of my backpack if I need to scramble. My photo gear usually comes to 15lbs no matter which setup I choose to take.
Base Backpacking Gear
I've been streamlining my photo backpacking base gear for years, making new adjustments after each trip. I now have it down to 12lbs without photo gear, food or water.
- Removed tent, replaced with a hand-sewn bivy sack and hand-sewn tarp if the weather is going to be nasty.
- Took out commercial made stove (MSR pocket rocket) and fuel canisters, replaced with handmade cat food tin stove and light water bottle filled with denatured alcohol as fuel.
- this little stove costs .49$, has no moving parts and has never failed me. The alcohol fuel is non-corosive and can be found in any hardware store. It can also be used as a disinfectant if needed.
- Since this stove is on/off, I do all freezer-bag cooking. Pre-making dehydrated meals placed in freezer-bags, just add boiling water to re-hydrate. Since there's no cooking there's no need for cookware.
- Took out extra clothing and replaced with layers, the only exception being one pair of extra socks.
- Stopped wearing heavy boots, replaced with Merrell hiking shoes which are more comfortable and dry quickly after a stream crossing. And the best part about these shoes, no blisters!