The Atomist

The Atomist sees the world in a way that few others can. While other photographers might look for monuments or great vistas, you like to think small—often smaller than the eye can see. Of course, working at this micro level takes enormous patience, not to mention a meticulous passion for detail. Even a millimeter’s difference can throw your camera’s focus way off. But when it’s all done correctly, the results are magnificent. The Atomist astounds by finding whole worlds in a single raindrop, by revealing the delicate hairs on an insect’s legs, by illuminating the incredible form and texture in the stamens of a flower. It turns out that if you slow down enough, the most marvelous sights can be found in the tiniest things. Here we take a peek into the Atomist’s bag to see what tools help make the magic happen.

Magnifying the subject

The first and most obvious thing a macro photographer needs is a lens with magnifying powers. If you can’t afford a dedicated macro lens like the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L, there are other ways to achieve the same effect. The three-piece Vello Auto Extension Tube Set can be added on to an existing lens in different combinations for a variety of macro ratios. Another option is Vello’s Macrofier Reverse Mount Adapter and Extension Tube, which enables you to mount your lens backward for extremely close focusing.

Adjusting focus by fractions of millimeters

When you’re shooting macro-level closeups, autofocus isn’t precise enough, and the tiniest variations of distance can make or break the focus you want. To get it right, you need a tool like Oben’s MFR4-5 Macro Focusing Rail. Mount your camera on the rail and adjust its exact position and distance from the subject with ultra-precise adjustment knobs. If you’re focus-stacking, this tool is a must-have.

Sweating the details

It’s all about the fine details. A specialized light like Bolt’s VM-110 LED Macro Ring Light fits around your lens to properly illuminate your tiny subject, while Delta lamps can hold cards to block stray light from entering the frame. Vello’s Universal White Balance Handheld Disc is the easiest way to achieve perfect white balance. To help position the light or the subject, it’s also a good idea to have a roll of gaffer tape, some Fun-Tak, and bobby pins on you—and pack some tweezers while you’re at it. Remember: at this level, no detail is too small to matter.

Vello

  • EW-88 Dedicated Lens Hood
  • Auto Extension Tube Set for Canon EOS
  • Universal White Balance Handheld Disc
  • ES-71II Dedicated Lens Hood
  • Macrofier Reverse Mount Adapter and Extension Tube

Other

  • Ruggard Memory Card Case
  • Ruggard Memory Card Case
  • Oben MFR4-5 Macro Focusing Rail
  • Impact Collapsible Circular Reflector Disc
  • Impact Multiclip
  • Bolt VM-110 LED Macro Ring Light
  • Ruggard Thunderhead 35 DSLR & Laptop Backpack
  • Watson LP-E6 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • Pearstone Microfiber Lens Cloth
  • Pearstone Battery Adapter Plate
  • Canon 7D Mk2
  • Canon 100mm macro lens
  • Canon 50mm lens
  • Tiffen circular polarizing filter
  • Tiffen neutral density filter
  • Tweezers
  • Measuring tape
  • Bobby pins
  • Fun-Tak Reusable Adhesive
  • ProTapes Pro Gaffer's Tape
  • Delta 1 Muslin Mover Clips
  • Delta 1 Flexgrip with 1/2" Clamps
  • Spray bottle

The Adventurer

It’s a kind of high that you can’t get any other way: a wide open sky, the grandeur of nature all around you. This is what the Adventurer lives for. It might be on a hiking trail to find those hard-earned, breathtaking vistas. It might be out in a crazy thunderstorm to capture streaks of electricity on the horizon. Or it might be right at home, uncovering the quiet beauty of nature in your own backyard. Wherever it is, you’re there with your camera set up and ready. While other photographers might shrink from wind and grit and moisture, you brave the elements to share with the rest of the world just how incredible and inspiring is the planet we live on. Let’s see what kind of gear the Adventurer relies on to get those spectacular shots.

Triggering your shutter remotely

One dirty secret of wildlife photographers is that sometimes they’re not even by their camera. With a motion detector like the Vello Freewave Stryker, you can set up your camera, pre-focus, scatter some feed, then go have lunch. While you’re munching away, you might get some incredible images of wildlife in its most natural state. The Stryker is also quick enough to capture lightning the instant it strikes. If you prefer to trigger your shutter manually, the Vello FreeWave Wireless Remote Shutter Release will help you get your camera closer to skittish or dangerous beasts without risking life and limb. If you’re doing night photography, the Vello Bluetooth ShutterBoss Advanced Intervalometer is ideal for triggering those long exposures without disturbing your camera.

Working with a tripod

You’ll need a tripod when doing any remote triggering, and when you’re outdoors you’ll want to make sure that your tripod is sturdy and level. A fluid tripod head like Oben’s GH-50 Gimbal Head will help you get the position you want without much fuss. Also important is a good level, like Vello’s Three-Axis Hot-Shoe Bubble Level, which is more accurate than the level included in the tripod because it sits directly on top of your camera. For landscape photographers, this is a must.

Surviving the wild

Of course, if you want good results from your photo outing, it helps to actually make it back home. Bring a map, a first-aid kit with you for emergencies, some Clif Bars to ward off starvation, a waterproof match kit, hiking gloves, a durable Vulta Tornado LED Flashlight, and a good multi-tool with implements for fixing your tripod. And to make sure dust on your sensor doesn’t mar your shots while shooting out in the elements, pick up a Sensei Bulb Air-Blower.

Vello

  • FreeWave Stryker Lightning & Motion Trigger Kit
  • Lens Hoods for Canon 70-300, 24-70 lenses
  • Three-Axis Hot-Shoe Bubble Level
  • FreeWave Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Canon

Other

  • Sensei Bulb Air-Blower
  • Watson NP-F975 Two-Battery Kit with Duo LCD Charger
  • Sekonic L-308 Flashmate light meter
  • Vü Sion 77mm Circular Polarizer
  • Canon 7D Mk2
  • Canon 70-300mm lens
  • Canon 100-400mm lens
  • Ruggard Thunderhead 35 DSLR & Laptop Backpack
  • Oben GH-50 Gimbal Head
  • Oben CT-3581 Carbon Fiber Tripod
  • Pearstone Microfiber Lens Cloth
  • Ruggard Memory Card Case
  • Vulta Tornado 547 Lumen Law Enforcement LED Flashlight
  • Fuji mirrorless camera
  • Chocolate Brownie Clif bars
  • Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight & Watertight .7 First Aid Kit Compass
  • Topographical hiking map
  • Moleskine Classic Notebook
  • UCO Stormproof Match Kit
  • AquaTech Sensory Gloves
  • Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
  • Black Diamond Spot LED Headlight
  • Gerber Dime Multi-ToolContigo 24 oz Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug
  • Contigo 24 oz Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug

The Chaos Specialist

It’s all about the rush of the moment. Whether it’s an A-list celebrity stepping out onto the red carpet, an elated groom smashing a glass under his heel under a chuppah, or a gaggle of suburban third graders screaming happy birthday, the Chaos Specialist is the one who’s there to get that perfect freeze frame. It’s not easy. These priceless moments come with little warning and are gone forever. Under high pressure not to miss the shot, you’re checking white balance, jostling for elbow room, and bouncing your flash while trying to be in two places at once. But this is what the Chaos Specialist lives for—the adrenaline, the celebration, and the split-second decision to capture the instant that defines the event for a lifetime. So what’s in the Chaos Specialist’s bag?

Flattering your subject

In a chaotic environment, it can be tricky to make your subjects look their best. Because you have to stay mobile and don’t often have a free hand or assistant to hold your flash, the best thing you can do is to at least move your flash off the camera. The Vello Speedy Camera Rotating Flash Bracket with TTL Off-Camera Flash Cord does just that, moving your strobe off axis to drop your shadows and improve depth. Your clients will thank you: no more of that mugshot look! The addition of a full-featured flash like the Bolt VB-22 Bare-Bulb Flash Kit with its built-in reflector and diffuser will temper the harshness of your strobe while also giving you the power to shoot large groups and illuminate your subject from a distance.

Working with the light you can’t control

Since you usually can’t predict or control the ambient light at an event, you have to adapt to make it work for you. With the Grid and Filter Kit from Bolt or other brands, you can adjust the breadth and temperature of your flash to make it usable in every situation. And if you’re shooting under bright lights of any kind, a Vello Lens Hood will prevent unwanted lens flare while also protecting your glass from accidental impact.

Shooting all day without running out of juice

Events can last from early morning to late night, so it’s no surprise that one of an event photographer’s biggest fears is running out of power. With the Vello BG-C-series Battery Grips, you won’t have to worry. Its vertical shutter button also allows you to shoot more comfortably in portrait orientation. And don’t forget your strobes: Bolt’s PP-400BP Cyclone DR Lithium-Ion Battery Pack speeds up your flash’s recycling time for rapid shooting while also making sure that your flash will keep firing until the last guest is too pooped to dance.

Vello

  • EW-88 Dedicated Lens Hood
  • ET-73 Dedicated Lens Hood
  • ES-71II Dedicated Lens Hood
  • BG-C4 Battery Grip for Canon EOS 7D
  • BG-C9 Battery Grip for Canon 5D Mark III, 5DS & 5DS
  • Speedy Camera Rotating Flash Bracket with TTL Off-Camera Flash Cord for Canon EOS Cameras (1.5') Kit
  • Off-Camera TTL Flash Cord for Canon Cameras (3') Off-Camera TTL Flash Cord for Canon Cameras (1.5')
  • FreeWave Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Canon
  • Bounce Dome Diffuser

Other

  • Bolt VX-760C Wireless TTL Flash for Canon Cameras
  • Bolt CZ2 HV Locking Flash Power Cable for Select Canon Flash Units
  • Bolt PP-400BP Cyclone DR Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • Bolt VB-22 Bare-Bulb Flash Kit with Cyclone PP-400DR Power Pack Bolt Flashtube for VB-22
  • Bare-Bulb Flash
  • Bolt Grid and Filter Kit for VB-Series Bare-Bulb Flashes
  • Arco Video Dr. Bag 40
  • Watson LP-E6 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • Impact Convertible Umbrella
  • Impact Air-Cushioned Light Stand
  • Oben CT-2361 Carbon Fiber Tripod
  • Ruggard Memory Card Case
  • Canon 7D Mk2
  • Canon 100mm lens
  • Canon 50mm lens
  • Canon 16-35mm lens

Top