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What's in the bag?

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

With the advent of digital cameras, more and more people are picking up photography as a joyful past time. Photography encourages people to get outside, enjoy scenery, nature, and making magic with others. Many will hear "your camera takes nice pics" and that's okay. With technology advancing at a mind blowing pace, the ability to take high quality photos is getting easier and easier.'s not all about just capturing a person in focus. There is so much more that goes in to taking a "nice pic"

So what do I use to make magic? My brand of choice is Canon. I have had Canon cameras for the better part of 30 years. I started on film cameras but didn't have the guidance I needed to catapult my pics into art. When digital cameras hit the market, I jumped in to see what I could do without having to spend a fortune on film and wait FOREVER to develop it....or make an investment to learn how to develop my own film. (Which I may still do someday....maybe.)

My current armory includes the Canon R5, which is a mirrorless full frame camera. (Mirrorless cameras work without a reflex mirror where the light passes through the lens straight to the sensor.) I also have my old reliable, 5D Mark iv, a DSLR full frame camera. (DSLR is a digital single reflex camera, the light passes through the lens to a mirror to bounce it to the sensor.) This was my first "pro" camera and as long as I can keep it going, I will hang on to this beast. The list could end there, but I have to acknowledge my 70D too. This was a replacement for my 60D that was stolen while I was at a trade show in Las Vegas....but that's a nightmare for another day. The 70D was my go to for shooting sports. I made many MAAANY mistakes with this gem, and learned more each time. The 70D is mostly retired these days, but I will still take Lucky out for a spin just to keep me on my toes. Those camera bodies would be useless without good glass. This is where I don't scrimp. I create top quality images so I get top quality lenses. I started out with a 70-300mm f/ 4-5.6 lens and had a blast growing and learning, but I needed some variety. I splurged and got a 50mm f/1.4 to get a bit closer to my subjects for portraits. However, I was also growing in my sports photography so I needed to upgrade the 70-300 to a faster, sturdier lens. That was the 70-200mm f/2.8, my sports photos advanced with the upgrade as I learned more and more. It has been a good lens for portraits as well, so it was a solid investment all around. As I did more portraits I learned new things I wanted to accomplish. So I made a big investment on a gently owned 85mm f/1.2. This is the quintessential portrait photography lens and I completely understand why. It rarely leaves my R5 unless I'm shooting sports. A few other additions to my lens bag have been the 100mm Macro lens, this is a peach for portraits too, but I use it more for interesting and unique looks at plants, flowers, insects, and spiders....yes....spiders. Then the 16-35mm wide angle zoom has been awesome for big landscapes, group/team photos, and real estate photos.

I have one more lens that will complete my arsenal. I have rented this baby a few times to see what the fuss was all about...and it is all that and a bag of chips. The 400mm f/2.8. This is the lens I didn't know I needed until I took it out to the rugby pitch and I was able to get so much closer to the action and stop time with higher clarity and more powerful images. Wildlife photos also became better than I could imagine. However, as any pro will tell you, it is easy to get everything you need....then discover something else fun and useful. I have a lot more gear such as lights, light modifiers, camera bags....hooooo boy let me tell ya, I have WAY more camera bags than I need. I don't need to drag this on longer though. It's not the gear that makes me a photographer, it is so much more.

If you've made it this far, just know, what's in the bag is not going take "nice pics". You have to grow your skills and learn to use all of that top notch gear for what you want to accomplish. Create your works of art with what you have available, then upgrade as you grow. If you have questions about which lens I used for which of the following photo samples let me know! I am happy to share!

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