Equipment History

Canon EOS Camera Equipment (current setup)

Previous Equipment (old setup)

My First SLR

Back in 2009, I picked up my first digital SLR camera.  I did not come from a photography background, but my love for the outdoors and wildlife fueled my interest in learning.  I thought I would share the history of the camera equipment that I own and previously owned to give you a sense of how I’ve gotten to where I am today.

Circuit City announced that it was going bankrupt back in 2008, less than two months after I got back from a stay in Bar Harbor, Maine.  It was that vacation that made me decide to take up wildlife photography. On the final days of our local store coming to an end, I picked up a floor model of:

My First Telephoto

I got both for a heck of a price, but I had no idea if I made the right choice.  I didn’t do any prior research on cameras other than hoping to get one, and now, I had one.  My first SLR and short zoom telephoto lens!  I was so excited!  I did have one minor problem though, where do I go?

At the time, I didn’t know a fraction of what I know today, but I did know of the mansion grounds (Vanderbilt, FDR & Locust Grove).  That was where I started taking my first photos.  I remember the first wildlife photo I had taken was of a mallard at the Vanderbilt Mansion.    It was a terrible photo, but I was so proud of it when I got it.  I took mostly landscape photos that day, which was February 2009.

For following month, I went to Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie.  It was there that I really began learning how to shoot wildlife photos.  I still remember like it was yesterday.  I saw virtually nothing but a black-capped chickadee.  The photo looked great on the camera, but when I uploaded it to my computer, I saw just how out of focus it was.  I was so upset at the sight, I went back the next morning to try again.

Garter Snakes

I fared much better the following day, capturing shots like the one you see here of the snakes.  It was this exact day that I decided I wanted to go full steam ahead with this little venture, so I began looking for a longer telephoto lens.

In less than two weeks, I had ordered my next lens.  It would be this lens that I used for nearly a year developing my skills as a wildlife photographer.  I still knew virtually nothing at identifying birds or their songs, but being out in the field so frequently accelerated my learning.  The lens I picked up was:

That wasn’t the only thing I picked up over the course of the year.  I began picking up books, like the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America and The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America.  I also picked up a pair of inexpensive Bushnell Binoculars to help me locate those elusive species.

I also found websites online such as the Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club. That led to field trips where I learned a wealth of knowledge on bird watching, which prompted me to become a member.  They gave me a ‘Places to Bird’ pamphlet too, which I still reference today.

After using this camera setup for a year, I realized it probably wouldn’t be enough for my own personal preference.  I wanted to really make a statement with my nature photography.  I was still learning with the Olympus rig, but I had already began looking for bigger and better things.  When the timing was just right, I ordered my next digital SLR:

The moment I got this camera out in the field, I knew great things would happen.  It wasn’t the most professional camera and lens combination you can buy, but it is a great budget choice for an outdoor enthusiast such as myself.  After a few months of use, I had to share to find a unique way to share the photographs I was taking.  In June of 2010, Local Exploration was born.  Everything you have seen has been taken with this camera.  99% of the bird photographs are taken with the above mentioned lens.  The other 1% would be from a lens I picked up later on:

Macro lenses are great for getting a beautiful amount of detail with small objects and animals.  This became my go to lens when I would visit any local gardens to get stunning shots of butterflies, insects and flowers.

In 2013, I stepped it up further with the Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens.  I lost a little bit of distance, but I made up for it in photo quality.

And there you have it, my main equipment from beginning to present!

1 Response to Equipment History

  1. skhdesigns says:

    One of these days I hope to get a DSLR!!! Loving your site!

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