My Equipment (Nikon vs Canon, a brief history)

I get asked a lot what equipment I use and why I chose what I did. The answer to both questions lies in a fun and exciting back story, so buckle your seat belts while I take a trip down memory lane.

Sometime around the turn of the century I started getting interested in photography and in short order landed a job at Blacksburg Camera Repair. As the name implied, BCR was a camera repair shop, but they also had a large selection of refurbished old equipment. And that is where I found the finest piece of camera magic I have ever held in my hands, a Canon F1. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the F1 was an all metal all manual pro level camera produced in the early ’70s. To this day I still love that camera and lament selling it, but here is why I did. Flash forward a year (and a couple weddings) and I got bitten by the technology bug. I wanted an auto focus, auto exposure camera so I could pay more attention to whatever I was getting paid to photograph and less to fidgeting with dials and buttons. I still wanted the old manual workhorse for the more artistic “fun” side of things, but I needed something quicker to keep pace with me at a wedding. This is where Canon lost me. In the transition from manual focus to auto, Canon changed their lens mount. This meant that my bag full of manual lenses wouldn’t work on a new auto focus body and I would have to buy a second set of lenses for the new camera. Meanwhile, Nikon, bless their hearts, had not changed their mount and everything was backwards and forwards compatible. So I made the switch, trading in my beloved F1 for a Nikon F2 manual and an N80 auto everything and lenses that would work on both cameras. That is the sole reason I shoot Nikon over Canon. They both make some fantastic cameras, but I still use some of my manual lenses when the need arises. I love having that option. As the saying goes, they don’t make em like they used to.

Since then I have had quite a few cameras pass through my hands, but that is a story for another day. Now that you know my story (not as exciting as promised, I know) here is what I have in my main camera bag currently, with their long and proper name in case anyone cares to look it up:

Nikon D3s

Nikon D3

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8G ED Lens

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f.28G ED VR II Lens

Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4D

Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f2.8D

Nikon SB900 Flash

I carry it all in a Manfrotto Pro 30 backpack (a top loading backpack on the beach is the only way to go)

I use a SpiderPro holster system when on the job to keep the cameras ready to go without having to fool with straps.

Other than the usual odds and ends that fill every photographers bag but never actually get used, that’s about it. I hope that answers everything I set out to answer, and maybe a little more. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks for reading!


Editing vs Retouching

Throughout the year we see the same question pop up in many different forms, and that is what do we do with the images between taking them and delivering to you a final product.

“Do you edit the pictures?”

“Do you retouch the photos?”

“Will you Photoshop them?”

“Are they enhanced?”

And so on. To a lot of people these all mean the same thing, so I think it is important to differentiate between the nuances so that you, the client, know exactly what to expect. Every CD we give you comes with edited images, so hopefully this will clear up what that entails.

Edited vs Retouched vs Enhanced vs Photoshopped vs …

To us edited and enhanced are the same thing. Every image we give a client has been edited, which means we make sure the color, brightness, exposure, contrast and saturation are all correct and match as best as possible our overall style of photography. These edits also ensure the best overall print quality and consistency.

Retouching on the other hand is where we go in and make specific changes to one part of an image. Photoshop is the program most photographers use for retouching tasks and has become a household term, like when you ask for a Kleenex when you need a facial tissue. The most common basic retouching tasks are things like removing zits or generally smoothing your skin, taking out fly away hair or rogue bra straps, whitening teeth or putting a twinkle in your eye. A more involved retouch would include swapping heads, removing wrinkles or taking off those last 10 pounds. Retouching is very time intensive and not something we include standard in our family packages. For our HS seniors we do include some basic retouching due to the nature of the shoot and the more glamorous look we are going for.

We have included some examples below since, as they saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.