I’m often asked how I got started, what gear I like to shoot with and what tools I use to take and edit my photos and videos. So I thought to make this gear page with some very brief thoughts so it can serve as a quick guide to the things I like to use with the hopes that it may help you get started with shooting the things you love.
I’ll be sure to keep this page updated as I continue to learn. As always feel free to shoot me an email via my contact page if you want more info on any of the items listed below.
DJI Phantom 3
This is hands down my favorite drone mostly because of the small size and incredible price. I can easily carry it in my backpack case and be up and ready to fly in two minutes (literally!). It can fly for about 23 minutes and it also shoots stunning 4K video and takes 12 megapixel RAW photos. (Amazon link)
iPad Mini 3
This is the monitor I use whenever I fly with the Inspire 1 or the Phantom 3. In my opinion, the iPad Mini’s 7.9-inch screen is the perfect size to have mounted to the controller. I looked at the iPad Air’s 9.7-inch thinking bigger was better but it just felt a bit too big/heavy. Sometimes I use my iPhone 6 and it works just fine but it can be hard to line up shots due to the smaller 4.7-inch screen plus when flying the iPhone’s smaller battery gets drained very quickly. (Amazon link)
DJI Phantom 2
This was the first serious drone I bought for taking aerial images and I love it. It’s super tough and has never given me any issues. Now that I have some newer drones it now serves as my backup drone along with the GoPro that I have attached to it. (Amazon link)
SanDisk Ultra 64GB MicroSDXC
I own several of these SanDisk cards and have never had a problem with them. They are very fast and also come with a micro SD adapter which plays nicely with my Mac Book. I personally use the 64 gig because I tend to keep media on it before deleting the card, but 32 gigs is more than enough if you regularly see yourself deleting the media off of it. (Amazon link)
Western Digital My Passport Ultra
Adobe Premiere CC
This is the editing software I use to edit all my videos. I love how it plays nice with all the other Adobe apps and it can natively handle almost any video file you throw at it. (Amazon link)
This is the application I use to process and edit all my RAW files which I actually convert to the DNG format when importing them. After any shoot all my photos get imported and then processed and edited through this application.
Adobe Photoshop CC
After doing a basic edit in Lightroom I like to put some finishing touches on my images in Photoshop (coloring, dodging/burning/curves). This hands down thee most powerful image editor there is and pretty much a default application for anyone working with digital media. (Amazon link)
This is by far my favorite editing app on the iPhone! Not only is the interface super slick and beautiful but there is a huge variety of tones and styles it produces and unlike some popular apps it’s not as harsh on the shadows and mid-tones. Pretty much every photo I post now first goes through this app. I also personally developed several styles for this app called Cobalt, Emerald and Vida. (App link)
This app does only one thing but it does it well. It allows you to create vignettes and ND gradients on your photos which I use to either darken the edges or the sky in my photos. (App store link)
This is an awesome app that works magic just like Photoshop’s clone stamp/content aware tool. If there is something you want removed from your photo, this app can take it away as if it was never there. I use this app to remove distracting elements like trash cans or sun flare spots from my photos. (App store link)
I love using this app to blend two images together. Sometimes I like to bring in the same photo but with two different styles (warm and cool) and then see how they look blended together at various percentages. (App store link)
My portfolio of work is a result of lots of trial and error, advice from amazing mentors and helpful and inspiring books from photographers & educators that I look up to. Here are a handful of my favorites…
The Unforgettable Photograph: 228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life by George Lange
This is hands down my favorite photography book because it taught me how to see things differently! George is a highly published lifestyle, celebrity & advertising photographer and in this book he provides lots of simple yet brilliant ideas on how you can take better pictures. He ultimately taught me how to use all my senses to create images with feeling! I highly recommend this book! (Amazon link)
The Photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman
This book is a helpful resource for getting better compositions. Michael goes in more depth than other photo books by discussing specific photography concepts and composition principles. My favorite part of this book is that he provides a lot of helpful examples by breaking down how/why a certain composition works. (Amazon link)
Desert Air by George Steinmetz
George is hands down one of the best aerial photographers and this book is truly awe-inspiring. The way he shoots people, landscapes and patterns from the air inspires me each time I look at his book. If you are in need of aerial inspiration or a beautiful coffee table book that contains stories behind the photos then look no further than this book! (Amazon link)
Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers. by Zack Arias
This book comes from a very respected photographer, teacher and advice giver. Many of the questions answered in the book were questions I use to wonder about. Zach isn’t afraid to tell you how it really is while being down to earth sharing his successes and failures. I learned a lot about specific gear and the business side of photography from Zach so if you want to make money in photography then this is a great book to add to your collection. (Amazon link)
The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby
As a beginner to photography, I pretty much learned all the technical photography stuff from Scott’s books (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 are all great!). They are designed to be short, quick reads but they pack a lot of helpful information like which buttons to push, which settings to use and a bunch of helpful tip and tricks to getting certain types of photos. (Amazon link)
Photography Changes Everything by Marvin Heiferman and Merry A. Foresta
This is not a technical photography book but rather more of a theory book that contains very short essays from a wide range of people who use photography in their field. It really opened my eyes to how photography is so much more than just an art, but also a way to solve problems in this world and shape culture. This is one of my favorite books to use each semester in my photography classes and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a book to make you feel inspired by the powerful medium of photography. (Amazon link)
Photo Trekking: A Traveling Photographer’s Guide to Capturing Moments Around the World by Nick Onken
Nick is one of my favorite photographers and in this book he does an excellent job of showing you basically how to “see”. His book features lots of beautiful imagery from his trips around the world (as well as the lenses and camera settings used which is beyond interesting to me) but he also shares business and brand tips, as well as really helpful techniques on how to better capture the world around you. (Amazon link)
I love shooting aerials with my drone but I really like capturing imagery from a helicopter or plane as well since it allows you can go to places where drones can’t. It also affords me the opportunity to capture high-res images from the air which is one of the only limitations left in the drone field. So here is the gear I like to shoot with when I go flying (and yes I like to bring two cameras so I can capture wide images and close up images without having to switch cameras in a bumpy aircraft).
Canon 5D Mark iii
Canon 16–35mm II wide lens
Canon 70–200mm II
Thanks for checking out my gear page! I hope it was helpful to you. As mentioned above let me know if you have any questions regarding the gear I have listed above and if you think this was helpful you might also want to check out my drone buyer’s guide here.