What's in the bag / by Mark Brierley

Hello everyone and happy February to you all,

I thought it would be fun to put together an equipment list with a few photos to show the gear I use and an explanation as to why I use it as well as a sort of behind the scenes look of my work space.

So, we’ll start with the office, it has taken me close to 8 years to finally have a set up that works

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1.     BenQ SW2700PT: Great monitor for editing, fantastic true colours

2.     BenQ GW 2780: Secondary monitor, great for Adobe bridge and web searches

3.     HP 15.6 Laptop: Mainly used for on the go editing, emails and tethering in LIghtroom

4.     Wacom Intuos Pro II: Fantastic for making selections and brush techniques

5.     Drobo 4 bay: Running 4 10gb hardrives, back up, back up, and back up. Did I say back up?

6.     Steinberg UR22 mkII: Audio Interface for recording bass tracks for audio images

7.     Diary: As much as I keep everything digitised, still have to keep a hard copy

8.     Notepad: Always kept close for ideas and making notes on anything and everything

9.     On the left is a wonderful print by Lisa Ivandich APP M.Photog. I , on the right is my very first Gold award at which Lisa was a judge on and championed to get it to Gold.

I can spend entire days in here editing and creating. My sanctuary if you will.

Opposite this is my print area, if you aren’t printing you images, get on it, it will improve your images and editing faster than any gear acquisition syndrome will.

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1.     Epson Surecolor P800: prints up to A2, Love this printer and the 80ml inks are very economical. Check out their range here

2.     Canson Infinity paper: Particularly Edition Etching Rag, wonderfully textured fine art paper. Well worth checking out the different options here

3.     Hahnemuhle Finishing Spray: For sealing the prints after printing. Also an awesome selection of papers to try, check them out here

4.     Daylight Balanced Light: Bought this off Paul Jarvis at Perth Pro Lab to be able to see print in the best light can make all the difference.

All of these products and more can be found at Team Digital Chat with Ben about the possibilities

Now to the really fun stuff, everything from cameras to accessories. What I rely on to get the job done.

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1.     Nikon D810’s: indestructible cameras and it all ways pays to have a back up

2.     Nikon 16-35 f4: Fantastic wide angle lens covers everything I need and wicked sharp.

3.     Sigma ART 50mm 1.4: Need I say anymore, I adore this lens , so sharp it cuts you.

4.     Nikon 85mm 1.8: Great lens for portraits, corporate headshots and the like.

5.     Zoom H2N: Field recorder with dead cat, I use this for capturing the ambient sounds from where I’m shooting. Stay tuned to find out more.

6.     Manfrotto Neotec 458b: Biggest tip-DO NOT WASTE MONEY ON A CHEAP TRIPOD. With the Cullman ballhead this sits at $1400 and worth every cent. Notice how there are no lever/twist locks, the legs are reversed so you have nearly 50cm that you can plunge into water or mud and not worry about any crud or salt getting in you locks, I’ve owned it for nearly 5 years and don’t expect to buy another ever again.

7.     Small Supports: I use these for my speedlights and the Manfrotto ones can actually support my D810’s with lens attached.

8.     Hahnel Modus 600RT: I run 2 of these with the viper transmitter that you can use to control the settings from your camera, the cycle rate at full power is almost like a strobe effect and they have rechargeable lithium batteries, need I say more

9.     Filters: I use a small amount of filters from Lee, Various soft grads and a Heliopan 105mm Cir/pol plus various size adaptors for different lenses

10.  Cleaning: You can never own enough clothes the best one I use is from Camera Electronic and at $7.95 a bargain, along with that a Giottos rocket blower, these are awesome especially for cleaning out inside parts of your camera.

11.  18% Gray Card: Simple cheap and good for getting your white balance set

12.  Lightstands: I have various ones as well as umbrellas and softboxes for the speed lights

13.  Tethering cable: Being able to tether your camera to lightroom on the job is awesome for global editing that you can apply too each image as well as it can give the client more confidence when for example you are hired to photograph head shots for a company.

14.  Not Pictured Software: I use Photoshop and Adobe Bridge mainly, Lightroom for the tethering work and batch processing, Cubase 9.5 and Wavelab for audio recording and mastering and 3D LUT Creator for colour manipulation.

Well that’s about it, I try to keep my gear simple and as much as I would like more lenses I don’t really have any need for more at the moment. A couple of bits of kit that I do want to acquire are the DJI Ronin S for video work and the DJI Mavic Pro 2 for aerial use. If anyone would like to buy these for me I would be forever your friend.

I would love to hear what you think and if there is any piece of kit that you just can’t do without. As well as any topics you would like me to cover.

Stay tuned for next month as I will be uploading the transcript from my Urban landscape talk that I gave last year for anyone that wants to know more about Urban shooting.

Hope you enjoyed this little insight into my equipment and will see you next month

Keep smiling

Mark