I get asked about the equipment I use fairly often, so I put together a general list of all the important stuff in my tool box/bag.  Yes, I call them tools because that is exactly what they are.  Just like any other artistic device, they are made with a specific purpose in mind.

Camera & Lenses

My first camera was hand-me-down Canon AE-1, and while I still own my trusty 35 mm, and enjoy creatively experimenting with film, I have been using the Nikon system for quite some time.  The first DSLR I used was a Nikon D80 and the kit lens that came with it, a 18-135 mm.  Since then I have pretty much stuck with Nikon, eventually upgrading to a  Nikon D7100, then to a D500.  With the latter, I also use the additional MB-D17 battery grip, this makes it feel quite large, so this option may not be for everyone.  But most recently, I made the leap to full frame mirrorless with a Nikon Z6.  Most of the glass I use is made by Tamron, so here I have highlighted the ones I use most often.

  • Nikon FTZ lens adapter – If you don’t know, this adapter allows me to use the current F-mount lenses in my tool kit on the spiffy new Z-mount cameras.  These lenses did require firmware updates, but the adapter works swimmingly with all of them.
  • Tamron 18-400 mm – A good general purpose lens, I got this one as a replacement for my (now retired) Nikon 70-300 which came to me slightly used by my friend and mentor (and the “Dean of Alligator Wrestling” himself), Tim Williams.  This Tamron has worked out surprisingly well, and I have come to rely on it quite a bit.  You can read more about how I’ve been using it in Tamron’s eNewsletter here.
  • Tamron 150-600 G2 – This lens works well for wildlife photography, but has also been a great work horse for me with aviation as well.  And you can read a bit more about my work with this specific lens, in this post on the Tamron website.
  • Tamron 15-30 – When Tamron first gave me this lens, I admit that I was a bit skeptical.  But it has definitely grown on me, and has actually become one of my favorite lenses.  It’s spectacularly sharp, handles well, and has yet to disappoint me.
  • Tamron 35mm  – A prime lens, this one is very sharp, and the lens I combine with my ND filters for long exposures.
  • Nikkor 24-70 – This is the kit lens that came with my Nikon Z6, and is currently the only native Z-mount glass that I own.  Overall it is a good lens, but the one use least with the Z6.
American Alligator – Nikon D7100 & Tamron 18-400 mm.
Sun 'n Fun – Nikon D500 & Tamron 150-600 mm
Kissimmee Lakefront Sunset Rainbow – Nikon D500 & Tamron 15-30 G2
Red Rat Snake - Nikon Z6 and Nikkor 24 -70

Tripods, Filters, and Remotes

  • Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod – I chose carbon fiber maily because it reduces weight, which is especially helpful when I am out hiking.
  • Manfrotto XPRO Geared Tripod head  – This thing is pretty awesome.  I am constantly making micro adjustments, and this handles them well, and does not slip the way every ball head I’ve used has done!
  • Manfrotto Monopod with feet  – Because sometimes a monopod is just easier.
  • Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote – I love this remote, it’s taken quite a beating, having been immersed in water, dirt, sand, etc. (never on purpose, I swear!) However, it’s only compatible with my Nikon D7100.
  • Triggertrap Cable Release – Although this one is outdated, it’s still easily works with the smartphone app.
  • Miops Smart+ Camera Trigger – This is one that I am still learning all the details on, as I have only had it short time.  It can be used on it’s own, or in conjunction with a smartphone app.
  • Hoya Filter  – Because sometimes, I want to protect my lens.
  • Lee Filters  – Something I really enjoy with my artwork, is taking time and slowing down, and doing long exposure photography allows me to do that.  Currently, I only own their Big Stopper, a few ND graduated filters, and their Landscape Polarizer.
Seneca Creek Falls, WV – Nikon D7100 & Tamron 35 mm. prime & Lee Filters Big Stopper & Manfrotto tripod with XPRO gear head
Big Talbot Island State Park – Nikon D500 & Lee Filters Big Stopper with Triggertrap Cable Release

Outdoor Supplies

  • Cleaning Cloth  – Whatever brand you care to use, always remember these.
  • Solar Battery Back Up – For when I’m not anywhere near an outlet.
  • Garmin GPS Unit – Because I really, really, really, don’t like getting lost!
  • Water Pack – I experienced serious dehydration once, it’s not fun.  Seriously, drink lots of water!

Post Production

  • Macbook Pro – I’m not fancy.  I do my editing on 13″ laptop at the moment.
  • Adobe Photoshop – There are a great many options available, and eventually I will learn more of them.  But right now I just use what I am comfortable with.
  • Topaz Labs Plugins – Topaz Labs has a variety of Photoshop plugins, I use for various projects as needed.