Post for Viewer Gear for That Nikon Guy
I am Atul Tayade. I am photographer based in New Delhi, India. First, wishing all the readers of TNG a very Happy New Year across the world. In this post I am gonna share how I started my photography, what equipment I use and why and how I use it.
Every photographer has a story of how they came to pick up a camera. For me I purchased a Rs. 250.00 (US$7.00) film camera in 1993 (I was is in 8th Grade). It was essentially a point and shoot plastic camera with a film in it. No batteries, no flash it was a ‘shoot day only’ camera. The amount I spent to purchase it, was from my personal savings and was a huge amount for me to pay for a camera. I was even unsure whether it is a real camera. So I exhausted the first roll of film within hours of purchasing it. In the next couple of days the film was developed and I got the first glimpse of the images. The images were not great but I liked one of the image with some of my friends as ‘subject’ with blue sky as background with some clouds.
Time skip- around 2005 I picked up Sony bridge camera DSC H2 IS which was a great camera till it fell into water. Later in 2008 I purchased a Canon SX-100IS a P&S which shoot awesome videos till date. I gifted this camera to my wife when my brother gifted me my first DSLR the Canon Rebel Xs on my 30th Birthday. Still new to DSLR (didn’t know how to change lenses) I could notice the lack of lag after pressing the shutter release as against my P&S. I started photography as a weekend photographer and attended a few workshops by experts in Wildlife and Wedding photography. I became focused towards photography from July 2011 onward when I begun to take small jobs and I am in the process of establishing myself as a professional wedding photographer.
I call my camera gear as my bread and butter kit, the one I use for shooting weddings.
My Bread and Butter Kit
- Canon EoS 60D with a Canon BG-E9 Battery Grip: Why? It’s a one hand camera, cheaper alternative to other bodies, Kelvin settings for white balance and variable angle LCD allowing me to get different angles, 3rd stop increments in ISO and I can shoot decent images till ISO 1000.
- Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Non VC: It’s really very sharp, good in low light and is the most frequently used focal length I need in weddings. The 17mm gives me wide angle and 50mm gives me a portrait focal length (considering the crop body).
- Canon EF 135mm F/2 L USM: Its a beautiful prime with 216mm (effective focal length). Gives me a telephoto focal length. I use this lens for extreme closeups, portraits and shooting Details in a wedding. The only drawback is requirement of at least 1/250 shutter speed to avoid camera shake.
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. This prime is a great low light performer. I use it sometime when I am not using the Tammy 17-50.
- Canon Speedlite 600 EX-RT. It provides me with E-TTL functionality in weddings (though I now shoot full manual flash)
- Canon ST-E3-RT radio trigger to trigger my speedlite.
- Camera Bag: Tamrac Expedition 6x, I recently upgraded from my Lowepro AW-102 slingshot. After I purchased my flash and radio trigger I had to carry 2 bags to weddings which was a logistics problem. So I upgraded to this bag.This bag has enough room for another pro-body and a EF 70-200 f/2.8 for my next upgrade.
- UV filters for each of the lens (attached on the lens and so you probably can’t see in the picture).
- LP-E6 Batteries (3 of them): I don’t want to run out of batteries in a wedding.
- Eneloop Rechargeable AA batteries: 16 of them, for my flash and in case all the three LP-E6 ran out of charge (can be used with the 2nd magazine of my Battery Grip)
- Battery charger: For my LP-E6 batteries and Eneloop Batteries.
- Memory Cards. Around 68 GB (3×16 gigs, 3x4gigs and 1×8 gig). Sandisk and Transcend Class 10. The 8 gig Sandisk SD card is Extreme Pro for video recording (in case i need it).
- Remote shutter release. (Not used till date but could be handy if needed)
- A Black Rapid RS-7 Strap. Handy and ease of use. Spares my neck with the weight of the gear.
On a side note, I would like to mention that Indian weddings in general do not happen in a Church. Due to n-number of religions with their own set of inherent traditions and rituals in India the wedding ceremonies can stretch to 5-7 days and can happen in small closed rooms, to wide open grounds, hotels, community halls of varying sizes or in a house :). Church weddings are extremely rare. Also, in most of the weddings the reception is held first then the wedding happens in the night. As the weddings happen in mostly nights I need fast glass and low light performing lenses and high ISO capability of my camera.
And just for the sake of information have shot this image with my back-up camera . The Canon Rebel Xs with the 18-55mm kit lens on it with two cheap speedlites from two shoot through umbrella on both sides of the camera.