Posted by: photographytuition | November 23, 2012

How much gear do you actually need?

In the spring I went to Scotland for 3 weeks specifically to photograph wildlife and the magnificent scenery.

Evening, west coast, Isle of Lewis. Nikon D7000 with 16-85mm lens at 16mm. ISO 400, 1/90th second f8. Exposure +1/2 stop to keep sand looking bright.

I took with me a Nikon D80 and D7000 and a Nikon (not so!) compact camera, the P7100. I kept things pretty simple by keeping a 70-300mm lens on the D80 and using a 16-85mm and 300mm f4 lens on the D7000.

The P7100 was for when I wasn’t expecting to see anything i.e just in case something cropped up. On this trip I had fantastic views of an otter but only had my P7100. I managed shots but it’s no match for a DSLR with a 300mm lens on. You live and learn – hopefully!

View from Isle of Harris to North Uist.Nikon D7000 with 16-85mm at 22mm. ISO 200, 1/350th second f11. Exposure -1/2 stop.

I mainly used Sandisk Extreme, 8 GB Class C10 memory cards but never filled any of them.

Perhaps unconventionally I look through the photos I take every evening and delete the ones I don’t like from the camera. I’ve always done this and it’s a method that has served me well.

So it wasn’t until I returned home that I downloaded the photos onto my computer. By deleting as I went along I ended up with just 260 images on the D7000, 30 images on the P7100 and only 6 images on the D80. This way I don’t end up with huge numbers of photos clogging up my computer when I finally come to download them.

No tripod, no monopod – just the basics. I could really have done without the P7100 compact camera – that way I would probably have been carrying my DSLR and 70-300mm and got a better shot of the otter.

10-15 pm in the Outer Hebrides (it never really gets dark in mid summer). Nikon D7000 with 16-85mm at 38mm. ISO 400, 1/90th second f5.6.

Great news this week: I’ve been contracted to supply all the photos for a new experience day website. This a different kind of experience day website – can’t say much now but more on this in later blogs.

If you would like to chat to me about Scotland, wildlife or photography or if you are interested in going on one of my photography courses please contact me:  Tel: 01497 847183,

For general commercial photography see


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