INTRODUCTION

The one thing this site is not going to do is provide hints and tips on how to take photographs.  There are numerous excellent sites written by professional photographers to do just that.  I have provided a list of some links that may be useful on the links page.

I will, however, provide information on the equipment I have used and am currently using. 

Portrait2

Many years ago my first camera was a Pentax S1 single lens reflex which I used to take B&W images developed and printed myself.  Once colour film became the norm and developing and printing became impracticable for the amateur I lost motivation.  Digital photography restored my interest by once more empowering even the amateur photographer.  My first venture into the digital field was with a Fuji compact with only a several million pixel sensor.  This was followed by a Sony Cybershot with better sensitivity and a good optical zoom.  I have now committed to Nikon and used either a D300 or D3X body with a range of lenses. A recent addition is a D7100 body which combines a 16 million pixel DX format with light weight. The most recent addition has been the D810 body, which is FX format with 35 million pixels. Using the D810 with a telephoto lens permits significant cropping of the image yet retaining resolution in the image.

LENSES

Lenses of choice include:
20mm f 2.8 D AF lens for wide angle and hyperfocal shots
50mm f 1.4 D AF lens for standard views
105mm f 2.8 G AF-S VR Macro lens for hand held close up work in the field
200mm f 4 D AF Macro lens for close up work using a tripod
Alternative lenses are the 400mm f2.8 G AFS ED VR and 600mm f4 G AFS ED VR, which definitely require a tripod.

lensesA new combination which has proved valuable in forest situations is a 300mm f2.8 AFS ED VR plus a TC-14E III for use in more open areas. The traditional degradation of image quality by teleconverters seems to have been overcome in this new design and the ability to have a 400mm capability with very little extra weight penalty is appealing. Consequently this is the combination I now use on all overseas trips. As a further weight saving strategy on long trips a Fujifilm X10 compact is used for environment shots, although for locations where large animals may be encountered the D7100 body with a 70-200mm f2.8 GII ED combination has proved ideal.

SUPPORT

Although the camera and lens are important suitable support, especially for long lenses, is also vital to achieve sharp images. Image stabilisation technology provides some help but eventually a good tripod and head are essential. When weight is not a factor I use a Slik Professional 4 with a Giotto MH5001 pan and tilt head and have acquired a Really Right Stuff B55 LR ball head. The large lenses are best used with the Wimberley gimbal head. When transport is a problem a Gitzo GT 3530 carbon fibre tripod or Manfrotto 695 Magfiber monopod are used.