In the world of photography, there never seems to be a year when there’s not something on our wish lists. Holidays are often the time we hope to see that new DSLR under the tree, more memory cards stuffed inside our stockings, or perhaps unwrap a gift to discover the latest version of our favorite software.
As photographers, we all have preferences or favorites when it comes to gear, so take it from one of the pros and one of our favorites here at pictureline, Mr. Michael Clark. Michael is an internationally published outdoor photographer that has worked with some pretty big names ranging from Apple to National Geographic, the New York Times to Red Bull, and Nikon to Men’s Fitness. In addition to the great tips Michael offers in his Workflow Friday posts, he was also kind enough to share his must-haves this holiday season.
1. Nikon D800: The D800 is hands down the best DSLR that I have ever shot with. It has the best over all image quality of any camera on the market and handles just as well as its bigger brother, the Nikon D4.
2. Nikkor Lenses: I have quite a few lenses, but my main workhorse lenses are the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, and the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII.
3. Nikon SB-910 Speedlight: These small flashes are incredibly powerful and easy to use. When used with the PocketWizard ControlTL system (see below), this setup lets you put your lights just about anywhere and control them from your camera.
4. PocketWizard ControlTL System: The MiniTT1 and the Flex TT5 transceivers, along with the AC3 ZoneController, allow me to fire my speedlights and strobes wirelessly and also offers some very advanced features for controlling flashes. They allow me to trigger my cameras remotely when needed. In my view, this is the top wireless system on the market. Check out my latest newsletter for a full review of this system.
5. SanDisk Extreme Pro Memory Cards: These are my go-to memory cards and they have never let me down. I use 32GB and 64GB versions of these with the Nikon D800
6. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: My go-to software for working up digital images. Nothing else compares to the raw processing engine in Lightroom 5. For more info on using Lightroom, check out the Workflow Friday blog posts on the pictureline blog.
7. Hoodman Loupe (3.0 or 3.2): When shooting outdoors, this loupe is perfect for looking at your images in detail or even for shooting videos with a DSLR. I have this hanging around my neck on most of my shoots, especially when I am shooting with strobes or flash.
8. Lastolite 12" EZY Balance Grey/White Card: This white balance disc is key for getting awesome and accurate color using custom white balances on my Nikon D800. Using custom white balance settings also speeds up my digital workflow on the back end – especially when it comes to portraits.
9. X-Rite Monitor Calibration device: At a minimum, I would suggest the X-Rite i1 Display Pro. If you want a higher end model, check out the Colormunki Photo. I have an older i1 Pro, their top-end option. This color management device and a top-end monitor are just as important as the camera you shoot with.
10. Lenspen: I use these all the time to keep my lenses clean. They are simple, effective, and inexpensive.
For a full list of the gear Michael Clark uses, give the Behind the Scenes section of his website a gander. Hopefully this list will help you decide just which presents to put under the tree this season. And we hope Santa drops a few of these off too, at least for Michael’s sake!