I use a digital Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a couple of lenses:
- Canon 24mm f/1.4L II USM
- Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/50mm ZE
- Cannon 85mm f/1.8 USM
- Canon 135mm f/2L USM
- Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
- Canon 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS
- Canon 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
A good tripod with a remote switch is a must. I got a great deal on my Revelli APGL professional tripod with an adjustable pistol grip head. The remote switch allows me to take pictures without touching the camera. This is a must with slow shutter speeds! When I am hiking or simply require better mobility, I carry my Manfrotto 680B Monopod.
- UV Protector – Protects lens from dust, moisture, scratches, and breakage.
- Polarizer & Circular Polarizer – Essential for outdoor photography; deepens intensity of blue skies; reduces or eliminates glare.
- FL-D®/FL-B® – Provide pleasing skin tones and corrects color under fluorescent lighting.
In my opinion, it makes no sense to purchase cheap filters. Why would you spend good money on a fine piece of glass (lens), and then put a cheap piece of glass in front of it. It’s like throwing $1.99 sunglasses in front of a $1,000 lens. Why?
But to combat the nastiness of indoor lighting, I take care in setting my white balance using white, black, and 18% gray cards.
Digital photography can require a lot of storage on the camera and on your computer. I recommend using the faster class 10 flash memory cards. For long-term storage, I have a Blu-ray burner, so I can burn CDs, DVDs, 25GB & 50GB discs. The external unit I own has lightScribe capabilities so I can “burn” the label right on the disc. I encourage my friends to “burn” their pictures to this type of media and not just rely on internal and external drives.
For post processing, I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 & Adobe Photoshop CS6 with Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4, Viveza 2, HDR Efex Pro, Dfine 2.0, and Silver Efex Pro 2. Adobe Lightroom has plugins for Flickr.com and Facebook if you like to publish photos. If you can’t afford Adobe Photoshop CS6, you might try the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). It is free and has many of the same features as Photoshop. Also, if you’re not willing to purchase Lightroom, I recommend using Google’s Picasa for organizing and editing your pictures. It is free, it has face detection technology, and it is very easy to use.
I started taking pictures in 1989 and fortunately, I kept the negatives and slides from those days. I also own an HP Scanjet G4010. It is capable of scanning prints, negatives, and even slides. The key to this process is cleanliness! Use eye-glass cleaner on the scanner surface and get some cans of compressed air.
For my adventures, I have a Canon 200EG Backpack, Lowepro SlingShot 100 AW, and a Garmin Oregon 450 GPS unit. To geoencode my pictures I either use Garmin’s Basecamp software or Jeffrey Friedl’s free “GPS-Support” Geoencoding Plugin for Adobe Lightroom.
Lastly, I have an extra camera battery, dry socks in my camera bag, and of course: several packs of HeatMax Hot Hands Handwarmers! Use the hand warmer packs to keep your batteries warm, too.