Equipment

MY TOOLKIT FOR IMAGE-BUILDING

Hardware

In 2005 I invested in my first piece of professional gear; the highly-acclaimed Canon 20D. I shot tens of thousands of images with that camera before upgrading to the full-frame Canon 5D in 2007. The 5D was such an enjoyable workhorse that when the 5D Mark II came out with substantial improvements (most notably: improved sensor, auto cleaning and full-HD video recording), upgrading was immanent. I paired this body with one of the best lenses ever made – it’s photographic bliss.

Studio

I really enjoy the precise control that a photo studio provides. My simple setup consists of four strobes (with umbrellas and soft boxes), wireless remote triggering, a 5-in-1 bounce and 9×13′ backdrop with a bunch of seamless paper and muslin options.

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Body

Refined updates to the highly regarded full-frame 5D are found in the Mark II. New processor, twice the resolution, live view, expanded ISO, full HD video, etc. This camera is an incredible workhorse that never fails me. It’s images are flawless and features are top-notch. Oh, and its full-frame, full-HD is gorgeous. Good enough for prime time TV and Hollywood – good enough for me.

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Zeikos ZE-CBG5D II Battery Grip

Custom-designed grip for 5D Mark II, with shutter release, AE/FE lock, AF point selector buttons and main dial. Doubles power. Easy verticals. I’ve had a Canon vertical grip in the past and always felt they were a little overpriced. This go-around, I decided to give the Zeikos grip a try. I’ve had great success with it (and saved a bunch of money).

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Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II

Impressive successor to the legendary 20-200mm f2.8 lens with improved optics and refinement of its IS system. This lens is one of Canon’s finest. With this 5D MII, I was pretty set on getting a few high-end prime lenses, then this new zoom came out that magically harnessed the performance, quality and detail of multiple primes in one lens. I went for it and it’s totally lived up to its glowing reviews.

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Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II

This is the lightest EF lens of all. This prime lens is compact and has great value. Its Gaussian optics provide sharp delineation from near to far focusing distances. The color balance is excellent. I always wanted a walk-about “nifty fifty”. I did some research and found this high-value, high-performance lens to be a ‘humble rock star’.

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Westcott Studio Strobelites

Matched, professional strobe lights with softboxes, umbrellas, dishes, etc. Flexible, high-quality output with wireless control. The control that these lights provide is exceptional. They’re trustworthy and well-built. I have a variety of light modifiers that help me get the exact look I’m after.

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Westcott 5-in-1 Bounce

5-in-1 collapsible reflector kit provides shadow-lightening detail in your subject, using available light, or studio lights. This versatile, portable reflector is inexpensive, yet makes a great difference to all types of photographic settings I encounter. Reflector, fill, diffuser – it does it all!

Software

My primary vocation is graphic design, so quite naturally I eat and breathe Adobe’s software tools. I use these world-class apps every single day. I run Adobe Creative Cloud on my custom-built PC workstation. After the camera’s done with the vital step of image capture, I rely on the following professional tools to catalog, process, edit, composite and enhance my image to fully realize my creative vision.

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Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop offers unrivaled editing and compositing power, an intuitive user experience, and productivity enhancements.

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Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge is a powerful media manager for visual people like me. It allows me to easily organize, browse and view creative assets.

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Adobe Lightroom

Offers powerful features that help streamline my digital photography workflow whether it’s during a shoot or in post-production.

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onOne Software

Plugins that maximize the power of Photoshop, including tools for color correction, masking, resizing, selective focus, framing, and more.

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Nik Software

Robust tools for digital photo pros including: Dfine, Viveza, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and Sharpener Pro.

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