Journal: 22 June 2018

My gear.

Whilst I have a fixed base in the city, being a photographer means, quite literally, the world is my studio.

 

 

As a result, my setup and my kit has to be lean (from a practical perspective).

I am content in being a proud minimalist (in terms of values and aesthetics) and, over the years, I’ve identified exactly what I need and carry only those. The tools of my trade.

 

 

My day-to-day comprises of an Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch (so I don’t need to connect to a screen), my cameras and a strong and sturdy backpack. 

A backpack is a necessity for me, because I need my hands-free especially when I am travelling.

I’ve been using the Horizn Studios Gion backpack for three months and it looks as good as it did the day it arrived! As well as the paired-back aesthetic, it’s most importantly waterproof. It’s also vegan.

I really struggled to find a good looking and practical bag that would fit a 15 inch laptop (which this does) as well as ample (zipped) pockets – so it’s ideal for travel. I took it with me for my Lisbon trip and safely stored away the important documents behind the straps.

 

 

My camera system is the Sony Alpha A7 series. I migrated from Fuji at the start of the year, but it was with a heavy heart. The Xt2 had served me well and is incredibly intuitive. I had simply outgrown a crop sensor system and was ready for full frame.

My current cameras are the Sony A7riii, and a back up mark 2. I buy all my camera equipment from local supplier, Wex, who are really friendly and offer great advice. The back up was in fact a second hand camera (from Wex, as they come with 12 months warranty). I only bought the back up when the 3 developed a fault and had to be returned to Sony (which took 6 weeks).

 

 

I’ve got three lenses for the Sony–

35m Samyang, 2.8 (my everyday documentary lens)

24-70 Sony G Master, 2.8 (my all round lens, ideal for city breaks)

16-24 Sony G Master, 2.8 (perfect for interiors and architecture)

I will always prefer prime over zoom lenses but, with a lot of my travel work, I often don’t have time to change lenses so to have multiple focal length options means I’m less likely to miss ‘that shot’.

I am about to buy a Sigma Art 85mm, 1.4 portrait lens for portraiture (only recently released for the e-mount Sony A7 series). A must for clumsy me, are the Hoya filters from a lens protection/prevention measure.

 

 

For fun, I’ve got a Pentax film camera with a 55m lens (currently has a black & white film in it). I also have an instant film camera, the Automat Playa De Jardin camera by Lomography.

When I’m shooting on location, especially outdoors, I carry a bum bag across body. Once I was shooting crouched on the road and my iPhone fell onto the concrete, thankfully unscathed but I bought a bum bag online that night – it was the ideal solution (giving me access to keys, phone and money without interfering with what I’m doing).

Other accessories for shoots that I can’t live without are a SanDisk card reader (to review photos), my portable JBL speakers (to create the mood) and my tripod.

I’ve got lights but these aren’t in my everyday setup. I like to keep my kit lean and know it inside out. After changing systems and bags, I feel like my gear now delivers superior quality and also looks great.

Words and photography by Fiona Burrage.

 

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