In My Bag..

Camera

Canon 5D MkIV

As a landscape photographer I don’t necessarily need the fastest camera body out there. I have a 1DX that I use for sports photography but for my landscapes I prefer to carry my 5DX.

I’ve been a Canon user since the beginning of my photography journey and so I will stick with them for now. (The only system that is currently tempting me is Sony but the cost to change is prohibitive).

The main things I am looking for in my camera body are resolution, dynamic range and good weather sealing. I get all this with the 5D. The image quality and colours are excellent, while the dynamic range helps me to capture detail even in awkward, high contrast landscapes. It is a great all round performer.



Lenses

Canon EF 15mm f2.8 Fisheye

This is a bit of a new one for me and kind od a fun one. I’ve yet to try it out fully but am looking forward to seeing what it can offer. The wide fish eye perspective is interesting and I can’t wait to experiment.


Canon 16-35mm f4 IS USM

The majority of my landscape photographs will be taken using this focal range. Therefore it is the one that will be attached to my 5D body when it’s in the bag.

I love the perspective you get from the ultra-wide angle lens and so most of my images will be taken at the extreme end of 16mm. Although this is probably not the most expensive lens I could get with this focal range, the optics are good and it works for me.

I usually favour zooms over prime lenses, due to their versatility as you can cover a wide range of focal lengths with just a couple of lenses. Zooms also help to conserve space in my bag. An important, practical consideration.


Canon 24-105mm f4 IS II USM

This lens tends to be my 'everyday' lens. If i am doing a project involving walking around with my camera and shooting every day objects, people or just general photography then this is usually my lens of choice.

This is the f4 version rather than the bigger, heavier and more expensive 2.8 version, but that is fine with me. It works well in many situations.

Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM

Excluding my fisheye, this lens completes my holy trinity of lenses. So with this one I have covered all focal lengths from 16mm to 200mm.

I originally bought this lens to use when photographing sports and action but over time I’ve introduced it into my ladscapes.

Of the three lenses in my bag this is the most expensive and the one I use least of all in my landscape photography. However, it is perfect for isolating interesting details and points of interest in the landscape. The telephoto ability to condense the perspective makes it perfect for capturing rolling fields or countryside, mountain peaks and misty conditions.

Filters

Lee Filters 100mm system

I use Lee filters. They work well and give great results. I haven’t tried other brands so I can’t honestly say what is best, but I have absolutely no complaints with my Lee filters.

All of my lenses have adaptor rings on them so that I can attach the Lee 100mm holder. Then I use the Lee Circular Polariser and one or a combination of a 3stop, 6 stop or 9 stop Medium Grad filter, a 6 stop soft grad or the Lee Little Stopper or Big Stopper filters. I usually find that a combination of these fits most occassions, though I do plan to complete my soft grad collection and maybe invest in the hard grad versions as well at some time in the future.

My favourite of all of these is the Little Stopper. Although I managed to drop it over a cliff on my last trip to Cornwall and watch in slow motion horror as it shattered on the rocks below. (I went down to retrieve the parts).

These filters are all carried in the Lee Filters field pouch and cleaned with the Lee cloth provided.

Other Bits and Pieces

L Bracket

I always have an L bracket attched to my 5D. It just makes switching from landscape to portrait mode so much easier.


Spare batteries (x2)

I always carry spare batteries for my camera bodies, although the battery life is so good that I rarely need to change them.


Spare SD Cards

No surprise that I also carry plenty of extra memory cards. You just never know.

Zeiss lens wipes

My favourite place to shoot is Cornwall and I often shooting coastal landscapes. Sea spray can sometimes be an issue and using a cloth to remove spray can cause smears and make the problem worse. I always carry Zeiss lens wipes.


Micro fibre lens cloth

I’ve always got a few cloths in my bag ready to give my lenses or filters a quick wipe to remove dirt or greasy marks.


Head torch

I can sometimes find myself walking to or from a location in the semi-darkness in order to capture the best light. A torch of some variety is essential for safety and a head torch is the most convenient, logical option.

Gloves/Hat

Even during the summer months and good weather, when you’re on the coast the weather can turn very quickly. So I always pack a pair of gloves and a hat. You just never know.

In the winter months, and when working in cold or mountainous environments, it is important to wear suitable outdoor clothing. If you get cold, wet or uncomfortable, your creative juices will soon stop flowing, as you will just want to get somewhere warm. During these times I tend to pack two pairs of gloves.

Contact Me

Trowbridge, UK

steve@stevemccarthyphotography.co.uk

07881384256

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All photographs © 2020 Steve McCarthy

STEVE MCCARTHY PHOTOGRAPHY - LANDSCAPE & TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER