Late Summer Newsletter
Greetings from Big Sky Country,

I’m often asked for equipment advice and what I use in the field. I recently re-tooled my gear, so this is the perfect time to discuss what is actually in my camera bag. I don’t profess to be a techno-geek; just the opposite. Most of time, I push the buttons and expect them to work. With all the whistles and bells on my fancy cameras, I only use a handful of helpful menu items. I figure out if a lens is sharp by closely examining my images.

I had a hard time parting with my older equipment as it served me very well and I trusted the results. The Canon 5D Mark III produced stunning images. So why did I succumb to the siren song of the new 50-megapixel Canon 5DSr and a bunch of new and sharper lenses? Well, the temptation of producing mind-blowing large prints to hang on the wall was at the forefront. I want to ensure my continued presence in the fine art market and producing the biggest and sharpest images has always been my edge in this very competitive field. I recently printed several images taken with my new set up and the results are exceptional to say the least!

Just like James, Brown sang: Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag!  I am sure I used to be 6’2″ until I started lugging all of this gear up mountains! lolSo what’s in the bag?

• Canon 5DSr camera body

• Canon ID Mark IV camera body

• Canon 11-24 L f4 mm lens

• Canon 24-70mm II f2.8 L lens

• Canon 100mm macro lens

• Canon 100-400mm II L f4-5.6 lens

• Canon 600mm f4 lens

• Canon 1.4x III

• Canon 580 ex flash (3)

polarizing filter, spare batteries, cable release, external microphone, extra CF cards, tools, remote trigger, lightning trigger, 2 Lowe camera bags 

The new wide angle 11-24mm @ 11mm. It’s really wide!
After shooting a variety of subject matter over the last several weeks, here are are my observations of the new Canon equipment.

Canon 5DSr camera body- I’m pleased that this amazing camera body is really similar in shape and feel to my old 5D Mark III. Having a whopping 50 megapixel sensor produces really large files. Instead of 66mb files, I now end up with 151mb files. Needless to say, adequate storage needs to be addressed. I upgraded to a 128mb CF card in the camera and I have a bevy of external hard drives, so this is just an adjustment. There are also 3 RAW settings in the camera, so I can shoot with the smaller 28mb setting for a great deal of my subjects and leave the huge files for those classic landscapes in great light that I might print in a large format down the road. With all that power, battery life is shortened, so 3 spare batteries now, just to be safe. At only 5 frames per second it isn’t blazing fast for action sports and bird photography, so its niche is definitely landscapes, portraits and still life.

Amazing morning in the Hanging Gardens of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana. Canon 5DSr with Canon 11-24mm 1/25th second @ f16, 100 ISO.
Canon 11-24mm lens- I am a big fan of wide angle lenses. I previously shot with the 14mm and loved it for getting up close to foreground subjects or tight shooting with sports action like mountain bikers or skiers. Though the close proximity can be a little hair raising at times. Close, but not that close! You can really emphasize the foreground with this lens. It is heavy, has a bulbous front element and is expensive, but this unique lens does not distort unless pointed upward and is tack sharp.
Sunset light paints the Great Northern Brewery in warm tones in Whitefish, Montana.
Canon 100-400mm II L lens. I actually traded two lenses (70-200 & 300) for a chance to grab this very sharp lens. Add in the improved 1.4 extender and now I have up to 560mm at f8. The minimum aperture isn’t that big of an issue due to the improved ISO ratings in new camera bodies these days. I have to say that after using this lens a few times, I am impressed with the fast autofocus and the quality of the images.
Canon 5DSr with Canon 100-400mm. Shot @ 400mm with a 1.4x and then cropped. 1/800th second @ f8, 800 ISO
I stuck closer to home this July and early August. After all, I live in a really picturesque area. It was great to hike into fantastic settings and explore new vistas. I shot a wide variety of subject matter, which is my norm. To see my new Montana and British Columbia images from this summer, please click on the viewing platform link;
Hey, have you seen that my 2016 workshop schedule is now out on my site? I have an exciting roster of locations. Many new classes for those of you who keep coming back and a couple of good ol’ standbys that have proved popular throughout the years.

Book early to ensure your spot in the classes and also your lodging.

Up next:

I will be bicycling along Lake Michigan for nearly a week in September as I produce another feature article for Adventure Cyclist Magazine. At the end of the month, it will be time to shift into autumn focus with my “sold out”Colorado workshop. I am really looking forward to re-vising all the amazing aspen groves! Then I will venture further south to capture the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival. I’ve always wanted to see this event in person, so another bucket list item to check off. I am planning on stills, video and time lapse of this very cool spectacle. I’ll head back north towards Montana in October and capture more fall color along the route. My next newsletter in mid- October should be full of amazing new images and tales.