In My Bag: The Equipment I Use

Those of you familiar with my work will know the emphasis I put on simplicity in capture, and in telling stories in your images. I’m not an overly technical photographer, but that has never stopped me from achieving great images. You don’t always need the most modern, most expensive lenses to get the results you desire. Below you’ll find the gear currently at my disposal. I wholeheartedly, and without reservation, recommend all of these products and receive no commission/kickbacks for doing so. Each and every one of these items is capable of delivering stunning, professional results that clients and editors will love. Where I believe there might be some negative aspect of the equipment that ought to be considered prior to purchase, it is noted below.


Nikon D610When I first picked up this camera in early 2014, it felt like the thing had been designed especially for me. It’s light yet very capable, though I wish I’d known the Nikon D750, with its superior autofocus system, would be released so soon afterwards.


AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED. I’ve heard a lot of people describe this lens as “soulless,” or claim that “pros don’t use it!” I think this is honestly as close you’re likely to find to a one-lens solution for travel or commercial work; for that reason it will always have a place in my bag. I don’t have the fancy newer version with VR, but saying as I use this for landscape and people photography, this version works just fine – for landscapes, I’ll be shooting from a tripod, and for people, my shutter speed will be <1/100sec so as to render the VR as good as useless. A great lens and can be picked up at excellent value since the release of the younger model.

AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G VR. I made do without a dedicated wide-angle lens while in South Korea, but moving to Cambodia and working so regularly in the Angkor temple complex made one a necessity, as did frequent trips to Singapore. I find this lens is plenty sharp and a fair bit lighter than the 14-24mm behemoth; it takes a regular 77mm filter, too, just like my 24-70 f/2.8.

AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D. This was my first ever prime lens and is still one of my favourites. it’s inexpensive, weighs nothing, and I love it deeply for how easy it makes environmental portraiture. It’s a real classic (just don’t buy if for your APS-C (crop sensor) unless you’re planning on doing regular headshot portraiture.

AF-Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED. I picked this one up for steal in an underground camera store in Daegu; it’s nothing fancy and doesn’t have the stabilisation of the multiple-thousand-dollar kind of lenses, but I use it infrequently. Handy when you need some extra reach without spending a pretty penny.


Manfrotto 055CXPro3 with 498RC2 ballhead. This tripod is steady as a rock, and the carbon fibre design keeps the weight down. Admittedly, it’s a little on the unwieldy side – I’ll be looking for a more compact version, preferably one that is compatible with the Manfrotto Magic Arm, in the near future. This model is very reliable when you need that extra stability, though.

Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom. Invaluable in locations that don’t allow you to shoot from a tripod. I’ve managed to get a couple of epoxure-blended shots I’m really pleased with from rooftops in Singapore that would have been impossible without this handy accessory. I always throw it into my backpack for trips overseas.

Joby Pro Sling Strap. I’ve never been a fan of the camera straps supplied by the manufacturers (my Nikon straps have all now become straps for other accessories). The Joby Pro Sling Strap keeps my camera safely tucked by side side, but I can grab it and start shooting in a moment’s notice. One you shoot with a sling, you’ll likely never go back to the classic neck-strap.

Nikon SB800 Speedlight. Essential in my commercial work, allows me to get my lighting out of the hot-shoe use the Nikon Creative Lighting System remotely in tandem with a series of other speedlights (I tend to borrow others from friends). I trigger the CLS with the excellent Yongnuo YN622N triggers and receivers.

Hahnel Giga Pro T II. This wireless remote has all the bells and whistles of the more expensive Nikon one, and is great for shooting time-lapse and long exposures. I tend to use it with a cable rather than wirelessly; very simple to use.