Here’s a quick rundown of the equipment I’ll be using during Fashion Week.
- Nikon D90: My first decent camera was a Nikon SLR and since then I’ve been loyal to the brand. They are heavier than the equivalent Canon, but I love their design and how solid they are. This one has an awesome sensor that allows me to get decent shots at much lower light than the D70 I had before. That’s really the only crucial thing about a camera body. The rest is details and personal preference.
- Nikon 50mm f/1.4 prime lens: I am in love with this lens. It is on my camera conservatively 95% of the time. I love that it is extremely fast and can work in almost any lighting situation. I also like being liberated from the zoom. If you want to get closer in, you move closer. In my opinion a prime lens makes you more creative and more conscious of framing. I’ll be using this one for a lot of impromptu people shots outside the shows.
- Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens: This one I rented because I wanted a very fast zoom for the shows where I can’t tell in advance whether I’ll be shooting something at the front, middle or end of the runway. Its a $4000 lens because of all the big high-end glass inside. The thing that caught me by surprise me when I picked up the lens yesterday is that it is very heavy. This is going to be a workout.
- MacBook Pro & Photoshop: I use this laptop for absolutely everything and it is also essential for the post processing I do on the photos. I don’t do much. On most photos I correct the rotation slightly, adjust the contrast to compensate for mistakes I made in exposure, and crop.
- Kata backpack: Friends bought this for me in Hong Kong on my 40th birthday. It has the perfect set of compartments and is very compact. The only drawback is that the Macbook doesn’t fit into its laptop compartment, but that’s ok because it would only have made the backpack too large.
Aside from other paraphernalia like the memory card and chargers, that’s it.
The thing I won’t have is a camera case. After years of carefully protecting my camera in a nice case I saw the light with the help of my photographer friend Dane Howard. You can’t take a picture with a camera that’s in its case, and you’ll always have a tiny internal debate about removing it from the case to capture something. Bumps and scratches just add character, and the reality is that it won’t be long before some new Nikon hardware will be calling my name.
The essential companion to a no-case strategy is a hand strap that attaches the camera firmly to your hand. Not a wrist strap, but something like this. When I’m in photography mode I spend the day with the D90 as an extension of my right arm.
If you have any questions about the equipment I’m using, or anything relating to the photography of Fashion Week, feel free to ask in the comments. I don’t consider myself to be a pro, but I’m happy to share my experience.
Oh, and Nikon did not pay me to write this post.