Photography & Computer Equipment
Mastering Your Tools
Your most creative photography will almost always come from operating in a state of calm awareness, unencumbered by technical distractions…
By having a solid command of your tools, you are free to concentrate on the creative elements of finding the decisive moment. During the course of our workshops, we’ll always be available and excited to help develop your technical skills, but we recommend that you take the time to familiarize yourself with your tools before you join us. This way, we can spend as much time as possible maximizing your creative potential.
Please read through the following information to make sure your are well-equipped for your chosen workshop. As long as you bring your camera and a few other essential items, we’re sure you’ll have an amazing time!
What kind of camera should I bring?
We require you bring at least one digital SLR or rangefinder camera and at least one additional lens…
It is also suggested you have a basic grasp of working with your camera and its manual mode. This includes an understanding of light metering, the ability to apply aperture or shutter speed settings, and how to get a correct exposure. A useful source for information on these subjects is the National Geographic Photography Field Guide, which will aid you in gaining an understanding of these technical basics.
What other gear do I need?
During our workshops, you will need to download images from your camera to your laptop, edit images using an image browser, and backup your images for critique.…
We ask you bring the following equipment with you: A laptop computer, several digital memory cards, a card reader, and at least one external hard drive. We also request you install a photo browsing application such as Photo Mechanic on your laptop. Plus, all our students get a free extended demo copy of Photo Mechanic to use on the workshop. Please feel free to call us once you register if you have additional gear questions. We’re happy to help you develop the perfect kit for your trip!
Do I have to bring a laptop and an external hard drive?
Yes. In order for you to photograph with a digital camera while traveling for extended periods, it is necessary for you to bring a laptop and external hard drives…
You may shoot more than you ever dreamed possible on our workshops. Thus, you will need to safely archive and organize your images as well as quickly access them to edit during critiques. We recommend the largest hard drive you can find and the fastest connection as well as plenty of free space and memory on your computer.
Photography Equipment Suggestions
For most workshops, we send you a specific list of the equipment suggestions for the country or workshop.
The general equipment outlines below are a great starting point though!
BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY KIT
- A Digital SLR or Rangefinder Camera – No brand specific requirement
- Lenses Suitable for Low-light Photography – At least one 2.8 or faster lens, a fast prime lens is helpful
- Memory Cards – Enough for a half day of digital capture
- Power Adapters and Surge Protectors – Appropriate for country
- A Laptop Computer – Mac or PC, instructors use Apple equipment
- Photo Mechanic Editing Software – Demo version provided to Momenta clients for use
- External Hard Drive – Of sufficient size to contain a complete back-up of workshop content
- USB Jump-Drive – Of sufficient size to contain a days worth of photography for editing (? 32GB)
ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY KIT
- A Digital SLR or Rangefinder Camera – Include pro camera bodies with features such as high impact chassis, weather sealing, video, etc. It is advisable to have two bodies for ease of work and redundancy.
- Lenses Suitable for Low-light Photography – Include at least one fast prime lens (1.8 or faster), along with telephoto and wide-angle zooms of at least 2.8 or faster. Momenta staff prefer prime lenses for their sharpness and resiliency.
- Extra Batteries for Your Digital Camera – Make sure you have at least 18 hours of battery life available for a day’s shoot without access to charging stations.
- Compact Flash Memory Cards – Bring as much in-camera storage as reasonable, with extras in case of failure or loss.
- Power Adapters and Surge Protectors – Many countries have several power conventions; best to equip accordingly and redundantly.
- A Laptop Computer – It does not matter if it’s MAC or PC; simply that it’s robust, fast, with ample memory. It should be equipped with a compliment of photo browsing and pixel editing software, as well as communication software as necessary.
- Photo Mechanic Editing Software – Frankly it’s the fastest and best application to edit photos with. It runs circles around Lightroom et al for loading RAW previews and doing fast edits. You may use other applications for your home office catalog or retouching needs, but fast editing work in the field benefits from using a fast browser with strong IPTC and sort functions.
- External Hard Drive – Bring enough to back-up an entire trip’s creative content, then bring one more. “One is none, two is one.”
- USB Jump-Drive – Bring several of sufficient size to contain a days worth of photography for editing (? 32GB). One never knows when they might want to drop one in FedEx to move or secure content in a pinch.
- Data Rescue Software – We’ve only had to use it a couple of times, glad we had it when we did.
- Lens Cloth – Because life’s dirty and you’ll probably need it. Get a big microfiber towel. They are handy for other things too.
- Tripod – Frankly, it’s your most important and valuable lighting accessory. Invest in a good medium sized one that isn’t too heavy, but is sturdy. Ball heads are preferred for photo, pan/tilt for video.
- Flash – Useful for times when the tripod isn’t enough. Bring a quantity of batteries and an off-camera cord or radio slave. Multiple flashes can be very helpful if they can also be slaved.