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Inside my Photography Kit

For a few years, since starting MANFACE, many people have ever so kindly given me lovely feedback on my photos. The truth is, I’ve been a very keen photographer since I was 11 and took it right up to A-Level. I love digitital photography for its ease and speed as well as being perfect for blogging, but I also love 35mm photography because of the equipment and the technicality required.

So, I thought you might like a peek inside my Photography Kit that I’ve built up over around 10 years.

This isn’t everything but its what I use now; some cameras have been sold and I also have an Elinchrome studio lighting kit and a few tripods but they’re in storage as I don’t use them often.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is probably the fruitiest thing I’ve ever bought, but today I went down to Dunelm Mills to check out the sale (I live for homeware and they’re the best for it, also I get my Sodastream gubbins from them).

It was just £12.50 down from £25 and is beautifully and solidly put together with metal buckles and a magnetic fastener.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInside are 4 boxes and a few canvas bags. I have two Rolson LED strips that you can see a peek of in the top-left; they’re magnetic so I duck-taped some metal washers to the inside of the lid and they just magnetise on.

The plastic boxes I picked up for an absolute bargain at Poundstretcher; I think they were about £4 for the whole lot.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACamera-wise, I have 6 bodies (I’m shooting this using the Olympus E-PL7) including the Nikon J1, Nikon V1, Olympus OM-10 (35mm), Zenit-E (a 60’s remnant of the UUSR) and finally a rather groovy Polaroid 300.

I pick a lot of bits and pieces up from charity shops; they’re an absolute gold mine for old camera equipment. Check to see, as my local Kirkwood Hospice shop does, that they have a ‘camera-guy’ come in and give them a once-over first, ensuring that they work. I think my Zenite-E with 2 lenses was just £20 for the whole lot.

The Olympus OM-10 was bought from The Real Camera Company in Manchester where they restore and clean up to almost brand-new, old 35mm cameras (they’re also an excellent 35mm and Digital repair specialist). That being said, I think with a lens it was only £55; I bought the manual shutter speed adaptor from eBay for a tenner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love flash-guns. You can have all sorts of fun with them, other than just shouting to your friends “Oh look at this a second!” and then blinding them in the face; the top-right is amazing for that and cost just £8 from my local charity shop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese LED bricks are the best for filming and are not to be missed, particularly if you’re a YouTuber. I have one that attaches to my iPhone (right) and one that takes a whopping 6 AA batteries and is camera mounted; you can’t use it with the brightness set to full on YouTube, you’ll go blind. That was just £15 from eBay and the smaller was $45 from the US – Photojojo (Get 5$ off with that referral link thingy).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the Luxi, again from Photojojo. It’s the coolest thing in the world if again, you love lighting. It turns your iPhone 5/5s into a fully-fledged light meter.

A normal digital light meter for photography can cost an absolute fortune (hundreds) but this adapter uses your iPhone camera and their free app to give you just the settings you need in your surrounding lighting conditions. A life-saver!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Gorilla Tripod is super-cool and really worth it’s weight in gold. It’s strong and hugely posable legs allows your camera to grip and wrap to pretty much any surface.

I got this free a couple of years ago when I bought my Nikon J1 from Jessops but regardless, I’d have still bought one anyway. They’re available from John Lewis starting at £17.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a weird one with lenses. I seem to have amassed quite a few but I only ever really use a 50mm lens (at the moment a 14-42mm) on my Olympus E-PL7.

Many people collect lenses and change them like they change their underwear, but, just how I change my underwear, I like to try things out for a good few days and a ‘standard’ lens can give you the widest landscape shots as well as the closest macros.

Most cameras are so powerful these days in terms of megapixels, that instead of using a super-zoom, you can simply crop it down.

I use mainly a compact camera system, again like the Olympus E-PL7 or the Nikon V1. These are amazing cameras as they’re a great big black DSLR, compressed into a point-and-shoot sized body. The only problem therefore is that their lenses are proprietary and usually only available from the manufacturers meaning their quality is high, but the prices often eye-watering.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother Photojojo buy, these groovey little things are phone lenses.

You attach an easily removable sticky ring around your phone camera (I’ve taken mine off once and after a wipe, there was no trace it was ever there) and these magnetise on.

I have another one somewhere but it seems to be temporarily AWOL. The ones featured are a wide-angle lens and a super-cool fisheye!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFilters are an essential particularly this, the polarised filter. If you’ve ever tried taking a photo of fish in a pond, you’ll notice all you see is the light reflection on the water.

This filter, when rotated, cancels out that light so you can see the fish underneath very clearly. This is also great for shooting glass product/perfume bottles which can be bugger to capture!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI shoot a lot on the go and if I’m not using the wireless functions of my Olympus E-PL7, then this iPad adapter is perfect to plug my SD card into meaning I can edit and upload as I travel. I will point out that it only works on the iPad and not on the iPhone which seems a bit stupid, but there you go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally my film and cards. I’ve had that card case since I was 13 and it’s still going strong. I always carry a stack of SD cards when I’m shooting although at the moment, I’m using a 32GB card I bought from eBay for around £10; that takes around 1,500 photos in RAW format which is eye-wateringly impressive.

Film-wise, I use Lomography films that can produce some weird and wild results, they’re definitely worth checking out. I prefer to shoot in a fairly high-speed (800 if possible) as I’m used to shooting in more lower level lighting conditions. You can check out Lomography film here; be sure to get the right film for your camera (they do sizes other than just 35mm).

Comments
Harvey Specter
Posted at 22:25 December 29, 2014
Josh @ The Kentucky Gent
Reply
Author

That’s quite the kit you’ve got there, and thanks for the ideas on what to add to mine.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 04:11 December 31, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    Let me know if you pick anything up! x

Harvey Specter
Posted at 21:25 December 29, 2014
The Kentucky Gent
Reply
Author

That’s quite the kit you’ve got there, and thanks for the ideas on what to add to mine.

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 03:11 December 31, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    Let me know if you pick anything up! x

Harvey Specter
Posted at 01:38 December 28, 2014
Temporary:Secretary
Reply
Author

I absolutely love finding out what camera/camera equipment people use, in particular bloggers. I think I might buy myself a Luxi, looks like that will come in handy!

With the lack of natural daylight during the Winter months, what type of lighting equipment would you recommend for beauty blog photography? I was going to buy studio lights but they look like they’re going to take far too much space in my tiny flat, I’m hesistant about buying a set. I don’t tend to use a flash gun but I might borrow one off a friend and see how that goes! I used to use them for work but haven’t tried it for my blog yet (ps. hope you’ve had a fab Christmas, Thom!) x

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 04:10 December 31, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    I use to Rolson LED work lights which you can pick up from anywhere like Tesco or Morrison’s. They’re not expensive; then just a cheap desk lamp with them.

    Hope you had a great Christmas too! x

Harvey Specter
Posted at 00:38 December 28, 2014
Temporary:Secretary
Reply
Author

I absolutely love finding out what camera/camera equipment people use, in particular bloggers. I think I might buy myself a Luxi, looks like that will come in handy!

With the lack of natural daylight during the Winter months, what type of lighting equipment would you recommend for beauty blog photography? I was going to buy studio lights but they look like they’re going to take far too much space in my tiny flat, I’m hesistant about buying a set. I don’t tend to use a flash gun but I might borrow one off a friend and see how that goes! I used to use them for work but haven’t tried it for my blog yet (ps. hope you’ve had a fab Christmas, Thom!) x

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 03:10 December 31, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    I use to Rolson LED work lights which you can pick up from anywhere like Tesco or Morrison’s. They’re not expensive; then just a cheap desk lamp with them.

    Hope you had a great Christmas too! x

Harvey Specter
Posted at 01:14 December 28, 2014
Rahul Titus
Reply
Author

Jesus Christ and I thought I had a lot of equipment! That is one amazing kit right there. Also never heard of Photojojo so definitely going to go have a look around. Thanks for sharing.

Rahul
http://www.champagneandchutney.com

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 04:09 December 31, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    Such a great place to get some weird and whacky photography gear, they’re also great with making sure you don’t get stung for customs charges!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 15:23 December 31, 2014
    Rahul Titus
    Author

    I know right? I am obsessed! I might have gone a bit mental on the site shopping! Oops.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 00:14 December 28, 2014
Rahul Titus
Reply
Author

Jesus Christ and I thought I had a lot of equipment! That is one amazing kit right there. Also never heard of Photojojo so definitely going to go have a look around. Thanks for sharing.

Rahul
http://www.champagneandchutney.com

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 03:09 December 31, 2014
    Thom Watson
    Author

    Such a great place to get some weird and whacky photography gear, they’re also great with making sure you don’t get stung for customs charges!

    Harvey Specter
    Posted at 14:23 December 31, 2014
    Rahul Titus
    Author

    I know right? I am obsessed! I might have gone a bit mental on the site shopping! Oops.

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