(Suggested variety of equipment - but not necessary for the classes. I often suggest taking the class before buying equipment so you have a better sense of what you would like to purchase. Please contact us with any questions re: equipment)
~ 35 mm DSLR camera (or film), or advanced point and shoot camera - should have manual mode, aperture priority, shutter priority in addition to program mode - features - CMOS sensor, LiveView, auto-bracket, exposure compensation, full screen histogram, highlights alert, sensor cleaning, large LCD, RAW option, 100% viewfinder, remote release capability - I use 2 - Nikon D750 bodies and also have a Coolpix P7700 ~ Lenses - the lens is the single most important camera investment - use top quality optics - have a range - wide angle, normal, telephoto, macro (extension tubes turn any lens into a macro lens) - zooms are fine, fixed focal length lenses are great glass but have less flexibility - I carry a Nikon 17-35, 35-70, 70-200, 2x teleconverter, and Kenko extension tube set but also have a 16 fisheye, 20, 24, 28, 35, 50, 105 macro - all these are Nikon 2.8D series lenses or faster ~ Tripod - a tripod is the second most important piece of camera equipment for nature photography - select a versatile and very sturdy tripod that securely holds the weight of the camera and lenses (at least 10 pounds or so) - height adjustable from ground level to about 60" or better recommended with ability to shoot near ground level easily - I have 4 Gitzo tripods - Explorer G2258 w/ GH2750QR off centre ballhead, Systematic 3540XLS, Explorer #G2228 w/ Gitzo G1275M offset ballhead, and Benbos Trekker - Suggested Models - aluminum tripods - Gitzo Explorer G2220, Giottos MT93, Bogen/Manfrotto 3001B/3021B-Pro - carbon fiber tripods - Bogen / Manfrotto 440 or 441 Carbon One or the Gitzo Explorer series - GT2541EX, GT2931EX or Giottos (MT 93/83/73)Aluminum/Carbon/Lava Tripod series - tripod head - ball head, offset ball head - other brands available - these fit flexibility and weight specs - Bogen / Manfrotto ball - 484, 486, 488 grip action ball - 3265 - Gitzo 3 way - G1270M ball - G1177M, G1275M, G1276M, G1277M, G1375M - Acratech Ultimate ball heads - Really Right Stuff ball heads ~ EXTRA BATTERIES and MEMORY CARDS ~ Cable Release - electronic / manual / wireless remote depending on the camera - 12" long or longer is fine ~ Backpack - choose a pack that comfortably accomodates all your camera gear and outdoor gear - I use a LowePro DryZone Rover and have found it sufficient and comfortable in all seasons
~ Lens Filters (I only use a solid ND for digital photography) filters are a personal choice - polarizer (circular for autofocus cameras), warming - A-1, color enhancing - split neutral density filters (+1, +2, soft edge, hard edge) - I carry only a Tiffen 2-8 variable and a 10 stop solid ND for special motion effects, - all are Singh-Ray filters for Cokin P holder - In order of importance for use and purchase - Cokin 'P' system (1 filter holder w/ adapters for each lens mount size) - split neutral density (high quality glass with no color tones) - +1 stop soft and hard edge - polarizer (circular for autofocus) - beyond those, the +2 stop soft and hard edge split neutral density - last - color enhancers, etc. Today I do all color enhancing in Photoshop ~ ttl Flash System ~ Reflector (gold / silver) ~ Extension Tube System (for variations of macro photography and close-up wide angle views) - Kenko Extension Tube Set, Nikon PK11A 8 mm tube - thinner tubes for wider angle lenses ~ Lens Reversing Attachment (for micro photography)
~ Dress in layers of synthetics or natural insulating material - coolmax, thermax, fleece, wool, silk, polyester, or similar materials - No Cotton!!! ~ Windproof / waterproof Layer - gore-tex or similar breatheable materials is preferable over waterproof nylon - no plastic ponchos ~ Insulating layer - long johns (in season - always good to have as emergency clothing even in summer) ~ Lightweight long sleeve shirt / long pants - for protection from biting insects ~ Wide brim hat - or screen bug hat - good for sun protection - helps to keep black flies from around the face, ears, and hairline ~ Sturdy, comfortable waterproof hiking shoes - we might be in some wet areas, so it would be good to be waterproof to above the ankles - the NEOS overshoes are great for over the shoes water protection ~ Bug repellent ~ Sunscreen ~ Headlamp or flashlight - headlamp preferred so hands remain free ~ Water bottle(s) ~ Food for the trail ~ Umbrella - for working in showery conditions - a white or light colored one can double as a reflector - I use a 'Gustbuster' Metro
~ Additional layers of synthetics or natural insulating material beyond three season needs - coolmax, thermax, fleece, wool, silk, polyester, or similar materials - fleece jacket - fleece pants - check to make sure that all layers contain Absolutely No Cotton!!! ~ Windproof / waterproof Layer - gore-tex or similar breatheable materials is preferable over waterproof nylon - no plastic ponchos - important to have knee high gaiters to keep snow from going down into your boots ~ Insulating layer - 2 pairs or more of long johns that can be worn at once - they should have a gentle snugness and not be too tight ~ Comfortable winter boots that have a temperature rating to about 30 or 40 below zero F - large enough to comfortably accomodate liner socks and insulating socks - thin liner socks - vapor barrier socks or bread bags over liner socks are helpful for keeping insulating layers dry - insulating socks - I find that socks made from synthetics keep me warmer for longer ~ Head gear - balaclava - or hat and scarf - face mask - wide brim hat can be helpful for head / shoulders protection if it is snowing ~ Hand protection - liner gloves for handling cameras (Thermax or Outlast material is warmer than polypro) - well insulated gloves - or - mittens preferable - fleece liners with gore-tex or nylon overmitts ~ Hand Warmer packets - great for both gloves and boots to help keep extremities comfortable ~ Snowshoes / ski poles (if you have them) - (we have some available for loan) ~ My winter clothes consist of ALL synthetics - I have found that the combination of synthetic long johns / fleece jacket, pants / gore-tex parka and bibs is the most versatile and warmest combination I have used. I no longer use wool for any of my clothing layers. ~ Extra Camera Equipment - extra batteries - plastic bags / or good camera bags - to put equipment in before going indoors to keep condensation from forming on / in cold camera equipment
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