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Robert now uses all zoom lenses. He uses and recommends the following equipment for wildlife photography:
For travel photography:
- A wide-angle zoom art lens: 24-105mm Sigma
- A fast telephoto zoom lens: 120-300mm F2.8 Sigma
- A sport lens, which changed everything for him as it eliminated the need to carry a 500 and 600 prime lens: 150-600mm Sigma
Robert especially enjoys macro workshops because with macro photography, at botanical gardens for example, there are always great subjects and you can control the light.
He recommends shooting in manual; if you are in trouble and need to catch up, or if a shot is too important, then set the shutter speed based on the amount of blur you want, then set the aperture, then aim at a middle tone, and then set the ISO to get the meter to zero. Aside from shooting in manual, he recommends Auto ISO -- and suggests to never use Aperture Priority, because you will surrender control of depth of field and shutter speed.
"The bears are really interesting; they're always up to mischief." - Robert O'Toole
"You need to understand how to use exposure compensation in manual mode with Auto ISO." - Robert O'Toole
Setup tip: Before going over to get a shot, set everything up! Look at the LCD display or hit the Info button on the back. Look for a blinking + or - sign; if it's blinking, you have exposure compensation setup.
How to keep your gear safe: Robert uses an F-Stop Bag, which is an internal compartment padded blocks. He recommends buying a normal roller/bag (his is from REI) and he can places the compartments right inside. This keeps your gear bag lowkey and invisible so that you aren't advertising that you have camera equipment! It also has prevented him from having his equipment taken by airport staff. If they do want to check the roller bag, he says you can unzip and pull out the compartment, so they check in the roller bag and you can keep the unit with your equipment!
How to keep your gear protected from snow and ice: He also has an F-Stop Backpack. It's flipped so that you enter from the side with the straps. When he puts a rain cover on it, it's imprevious, and by the end of the trip his bag is still clean and untouched.
Wear the right gear: Be sure to protect your body, too! Robert recommends insluated boots, multiple layered gloves, lots of layers of clothing. His mid-layer has a balcalava to easily cover his head to keep warm or keep bugs out!
Top Mistakes in Wildlife Photography:
Robert's Top Tips:
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Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, instructor, writer and speaker.
With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.
This free report will help you choose the right cameras, lenses and accessories for your travels. You'll need different equipment depending on where you are going, your finances, and the weight of the gear. We'll show you how to determine the best equipment for your needs. Also included is a comprehensive list on what you'll need, some things you may not have heard before but you'll be so glad we let you know!
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