Golden Hour Photo Shoot
Golden Hour Light

This image is from a photo shoot I did mid-season soccer.  Soccer is a great game to shoot because generally the games are early enough that there is good light – until the sun goes down and the field lights come on.  The golden hour is when the sun is just going down – everything is clear, colorful, and warm.  This is a great time to take photos of anything outdoors.

  (Canon 1D MarkV body, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 lens)

Kayak on water
Ad Photo on River [iPhone 4]

Some of the best photos I’ve ever taken have happened suddenly.  Sometimes I’m on a shoot on location with all of my equipment and a plan to get the perfect image.  But sometimes, I’ll find myself in a situation where a scene presents itself that just communicates a feeling or an idea.  This photo is an example of one of those times.

Floating along by myself in a kayak on a river in Idaho, the perfect lighting, scenery and opportunity presented itself.  When I go to places like this I always struggle with the question of what camera equipment to take – if any.  This was one of those times that I decided not to take ANY equipment but my iPhone.

This image is from a series of photos taken along the river with my iPhone 4 in a waterproof case.  I’ve used several of the photos in advertisements.  The quality of any of the iPhone 4+ images can be quite acceptable for use on the web as well as in print media of reasonable size.

  (iPhone 4, LifeProof Waterproof Case)

Canon Camera Backpack
What’s in My Bag?

I absolutely love Canon’s cameras and lenses.  I’ve tried everything else and have always come back to Canon.  I’ve gone through several Canon body variations, some lower cost (and fewer features) and some high end like the Canon 1D Mark IV (which is my absolute favorite) but I’ve settled into a mid-range camera body that I think is perfect for what I do most.

I shoot a lot of digital advertising images, a lot of sports photography, and then just some for family fun.  Since most of my images used professionally are usually in the digital realm (online, web, etc.) and not large format print, I’ve found that I can really get away with using the Canon 7D for just about everything.  Yes the 5D has much higher quality for print, and the 1D Mark IV is extremely fast (and expensive) for sports photography, but I usually find myself able to be extremely happy if with just the 7D and a fast Canon lens like the 70-200mm f2.9 IS and a shorter fast lens like the 50mm f1.8.

Having a good middle range camera that covers 95% of my needs is so much better than even having only one of the extreme high end, or low end cameras and feeling kind of stuck without a lot of options.

This is what I have in my bag:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 70D body
  • Canon 70-200 f2.8 ID II (zoom lens)
  • Canon 50mm f1.8 (prime lens)
  • EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (low end wide angle)
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS (extreme zoom)
  • Canon 430 EX II Speedlite Flash

You can’t go wrong with Canon.  If you’re just starting out, I would suggest getting a cheaper body (60D or lower) and put the money into a good lens to start.  Then trade up the body later and use the old body as a backup.

But sometimes it all boils down to what you have with you at the time.  Take a look at a few commercial shots taken with an iPhone.

  (Canon 7D, Canon 50mm f/1.8 )

football team during national anthem
Ready to Play..

One of my favorite photos. This image was captured at the beginning of a big game.  Sometimes we wait for the action and miss some of the foundational shots like this.

  (Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS)

Football receiver
Golden Hour Football

Shooting under the lights can be tough sometimes, but games earlier in the season when the light is still around for the first part of the game are the best games to shoot hands down.  You’ll get at least a full quarter of great light that will produce more great shots in that short time than you’ll get for the rest of the game.

  (Canon 7D body, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens)

Pioneer home
Pioneer Home at Harrisburg

This is another one of those “I have to stop and take” photos.  An old pioneer home in Harrisburg near Silver Reef in Southern Utah. (Cannon 7D body, Canon EF 280135 lens)

View of Zion National Park
Zion National Park – at 55 MPH

Sometimes you see a great scene and want to stop to shoot it, but don’t have the time or the cooperation of the driver.  I took this out the passenger window at 55 mph when we just didn’t have time to stop.  This was with a low end camera and a good lens.

 

  (Canon Xti, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 )