Photography has been my passion for over a decade.... well.... I fell in love with creating photographs while watching my dad in our tiny bathroom have a makeshift darkroom in Riga, Latvia. The magic of the image appearing on paper as the paper went from one tray to the next, and then ended up clipped on the line. In those days besides camera and film, he had the chemicals and stands and variety of different gadgets. I grew up when budgets were tight, and in Latvia school did not offer a photography class. Yet somewhere that love for creating images stayed.
Now my tools are different - image making is still a process - darkroom has become digital darkroom, and trays have been replaced with Photoshop, variety of plug-ins and digital enhancements.
So let me start with cameras - I've photographed with Nikon since I had a film SLR - N75.
Few cameras later, Nikon D810 is my trusted companion. But last year my gear tool kit joined SONY α7RII - quite a bit of power in this smaller body. So for a while I've been with this blended system - Nikon - I know inside and out - their dials don't change much and every time I needed to upgrade, it was intuitive and familiar. Sony - surprises me in so many ways - its ability to focus, and handle dark places, the file size and video. The only draw back is its appetite for batteries. But it seems to be fixed with its new big brother SONY a7RIII. I'm still going to wait a while before upgrading. The technology is advancing leaps and bounds and only time will tell, what photography will look like even in just few years.
But camera is just a starting point - and it is only as good as the glass that's on it. My lens choices have changed over the years - few came and went - mostly because I didn't use them that much. But my busiest and favorites are my Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 , Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 , nikon 105mm 2.8 and nikon 50mm and Sony G series 24-70mm. While I enjoy shooting with primes in controlled situations, my zooms get the most workout.
So here come the lights. For many years my studio set up had Alienbees - sturdy affordable workhorses - reliable in creating the lighting I needed. As I photographed more weddings, I started to look for wireless solutions. Neewer speedlights were affordable, and several of them were with me at the weddings. But few years ago a fellow photographer ( Rob Hall ) from the area reviewed an "new kid on the lighting " - Godox. And it seemed to strike the balance - one system, one remote, wireless flashes and speedlights. So is sold my Alienbees and now enjoy my Godox/ Flashpoint lineup ( Flashpoint is Adoramas rebrand of Godox lights)
I have on camera flashes for both my Sony and Nikon as well as sturdier and more powerful AD200 and AD600 and its is all controlled by the X Pro remote.
The Light Modifiers have become more affordable as well. I have few square softboxes , strip boxes and and umbrella softboxes for on the go, as well as couple of shoot through white umbrellas. Depending on lighting needs, only few of them usually travel with me to a wedding. But will end up at a head-shot setup on location.
When it comes to Backgrounds - I have painted several of my own on a seamless drop -cloth with "oops" paints from hardware store ( the paint has to be flat). I also have a collapsible backgrounds and reflectors for Head-shots for easy transport.
So that's about it - a quick overview. When it comes to the gear. But most important is the experience and knowledge. And my top source for that is creativeLIVE
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