I just switched domains - from jayryserphotography.com to alpenglow.photo
Since I'm the only one that ever reads this, it won't be big news, but there it is.
Since I mostly do location photography these days, sometimes in some fairly remote areas at pretty high altitude, I’m trying to use a lightweight, minimal kit (as I mentioned in my previous post). I’m using 2 lights (Godox AD200 and 860ii) – both fairly small and light, and to cut down weight in the camera bag (a Photography Bug Out Bag), I tried a small LowePro shoulder bag for lights and modifiers, but I didn’t like a bag on each shoulder. I tried my old Think Tank belt and shoulder harness system, but that turned out to be kind of a pain as well. I’m now strapping a Think Tank speedlight pouch on wither side of the Bug Out Bag and I’ll see how that works on my next shoot. I really don’t want to go back to a bigger photography backpack.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I’m making some gear changes, and I’m pretty satisfied with my current kit for outdoor shoots. I’m a fan of fast primes, so I’m using an 1.8/85, a 1.8/55, and a new 2/28. They’re light, fast, small, and provide great image quality. My kit fits into a small shoulder bag with an AD200, an X-Pro trigger, and a few MagMod light modifiers (MagSphere, MagGrid, some gels) – toss in a small light stand, and I’m good to go. Since I do primarily outdoor shoots with a model in tow, I can get to remote locations, set up a light, make images, and get back out with minimal effort. This kit works for what I do.
If you’ve been following this blog (but really, who am I kidding – I’m the only one who reads this) and noticing some of the changes I’ve made to my web site, you know that I’m in a period of transition. I’m not doing as much nature and wildlife photography, and I’m doing more people and location glamour photography.
And the biggest pain in my ass for the last year or so was administrating a wildlife photography group on Facebook. This used to be my baby, a baby that I lovingly tended for about the last decade. And lately, that baby has turned into a monster that was consuming my time, energy, and enthusiasm. I had to deal with constant complaints; I lost respect for a lot of people, and, my GAWD, the whining sometimes.
The group had over 11,000 members. And I shut it down. What a relief that was. I now administrate a much smaller group (right now, under 100), and I’m actually enjoying things again. I’m trying to get rid of all the stuff that makes me miserable, and do more stuff that brings me joy. I’m enjoying this new chapter.
I’m making some changes in my kit – I don’t expect this to be of much interest to anyone but photographers, and probably only Sony users.
I got rid of 3 of my cameras and several lenses. Specifically, I got rid of my A7II (with the 28-70 kit lens), A7RII, and A6300. I also got rid of my Canon 600mm f/4 and the Metabones 4 adapter, the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8, the Sony Zeiss 16-70, the Sigma 24mm f/1.4.
What did I get instead? I got the A7III and the A7RIII as my only camera bodies, and I got the Sony 100-400 GM, and I’m probably going to get the Sony 28mm f/2 in the very near future.
I was very happy with the image quality on my old cameras, and waited for quite a while before I upgraded. The thing that finally got me to upgrade was the improved autofocus. If I only shot in the studio, I wouldn’t have upgraded, but since I do a lot of outdoor shoots, frequently shooting in near darkness or directly into the sun, the improved AF, particularly the improved Eye AF, has been a huge benefit.
Why did I trade in the Canon 600mm? Since I don’t shoot nearly as much wildlife, it wasn’t necessary, and even then, it was just too much focal length (not to mention, it’s a BIG, heavy, awkward lens – it was just a huge pain to use). The Sigma lenses were both great, too, but I wanted to go native E-mount instead of using adapters.
Now, I have a very light kit that really suits the photography I’m doing lately. I can be in remote areas, sometimes in some really steep, tricky terrain, and it’s so much easier to use my current kit.