Minimalist Travel Photography Gear – This Is What I Use

Regular readers will know that I have been moving towards smaller camera gear.

Well having got back from Canada how was my minimalist travel photography gear? It was pretty good to be honest. In this post I will tell you all about my much-reduced amount of gear for travel photography, the good, the bad, the annoying and the not needed!

I hope that this post inspires you to take less gear out with you and concentrate on taking photos – this has certainly worked for me!!

First, here is the stuff I took for a weeklong trip to Canada.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Yep, this is all I took for a week long break to British Columbia in Canada, visiting Vancouver, Whistler, Pemberton and all places in-between!

It might look a lot when laid out like this, but this is the least amount of gear that I have taken. And there is some more work to do to get to the minimalist set up I am after. But I am getting there.

Why am I writing about this?

Well this all started last year when I went on a two-week trip to Rhodes, and apart from photographing sunrises I did not get my Canon 6D out of the boot of the car at all. I was basically fed up with the bulk of my gear. Now this is not solely down to the size of my Canon gear, although that is part of it. It is also because I take too much stuff that I do not need.

Is mirrorless micro four thirds gear the travel photography answer?

In part yes. Sure the gear is smaller, but it is not that small that on its own this is the answer. When I stick my 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens on the front of an Olympus micro four thirds body it is quite a chunk of glass.

Sure if I used the 12-42mm pancake lens I good could get my Olympus EM10 Mk 2 in my pocket, but that is not my lens of choice.

Basically less gear is the other part

I always pack too much gear. For this trip I packed much less gear, and some of it I did not use. I will get onto that later but let’s start with the good stuff.

What did I like about my minimalist travel photography gear?

Well I liked the Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2. And the 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens.

I didn’t use the 40-150mm lens – to be fair other than to make sure that it works I have not needed this lens yet.

What did I like about the Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2?

Well it is quite new to me, so there is still the novelty factor, shiny new syndrome. A quick word about the camera and the main things I liked, and I will get on with the rest of the gear.

The size of the camera

As I said before the lens is quite a lumpy thing but that is my choice to use a Pro lens, but the camera is still smaller than my Canon 6D – smaller to make a difference.

The amount of space in my camera bag for other stuff.

I managed to get my camera and lenses in the bottom section of my Peak Design Everyday Backpack, leaving loads of space for other stuff.

I actually had a half empty bag for the flights to and from Canada which was different. And my bag was much lighter and did not have bulging sides.

The Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

I love the EVF on my Olympus camera. This is the first time I have owned a camera with an EVF, having spent a lifetime taking photos with SLRs and then DSLRs, all of which have an optical viewfinder. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Changing the focus point on the touch screen

I did not know how much I would take to the touchscreen, but it has been brilliant. And I mean brilliant in helping me to take photos. One of the main uses I have found for the touch screen is to change the focus point just by touching the screen where I want the camera to focus.

I do not want technology just for the sake of it – I want technology that helps me take photos.

The tilting touchscreen

Another thing that I really like and will be even better when I get the EM5 with the rotating/ tilting screen.

I like to take photos from unusual angles, high and low, and the tilting screen helped me with that.

The clarity of the screen

Yes the screen is brighter and easier to see. I have not tested it in Greek sunshine yet, but things are looking promising. And next month I will be trialling this little gem of a camera in Greece which I cannot wait to do.

One handed operation

I was able to walk around the Granville Island market in Vancouver and quickly raise my camera, focus and shoot with one hand, which was actually easier than doing this with my iPhone which was brilliant.

This is as close as I get to street photography!

The levels on the camera

Yes the Olympus EM10 has horizontal and vertical indicators in the viewfinder which I absolutely love.

Another word on packing gear.

I took a rear lens and body cap meaning that I could separate the camera and lens meaning they took up even less room in my camera bag.

And what about the other gear?

I also liked the Peak Design cuff – this was a big improvement on the strap that I was using, and this clever wrist strap tightens nicely around my wrist but is easy to remove – another great product from Peak Design!

And my favourite travel tripod

Yes, my good old Manfrotto Pixi is even more at home with my Olympus EM10 on it – I set it up on the top of the Whistler Gondola and recorded the skiers flying by down below – I did this whilst drinking a lovely hot coffee at the summit.

This is the scene, and here is one of the videos. I forgot to photograph my iPhone on the tripod but here it is rested on the window cill before I rememberd that I had my mini tripod to hand!!

Taking videos with my iPhone

Here is the video

What did I not like?

It is not all sweetness and light - there were things that I was not happy with that need sorting.

There always are……

The way the camera sits in my camera bag.

This is something I need to look into. The camera is so small there is no logical place for it to be secured on the top section of my Peak Design Everyday Backpack, which is where I like to have my cameras. My Canon 6D sat nicely in the top section of my bag – well it filled it to be fair!

No GPS

This is something that I really miss – the GPS on my Canon 6D was an invaluable tool, and my Olympus EM10 does not have this. I am going to have to look at how I can sort this when I get the EM5.

There is a work round for now – take photos on my iPhone and I can copy and paste the GPS data into the metadata of the photos taken with the Olympus camera, but this is a faff I can do without to be honest.

This is the main sticking point at the moment that needs to be sorted.

The fact that the widest I could go was in full frame equivalent 24mm – I want wider than that.

I use a 17-40mm lens in addition to my 24-105mm lens. And when I use the 17-40mm lens most of the photos I take are taken at the 17mm end.

So the question is this – do I get the 7-14mm lens? This will give me a super wide 14mm focal length. One for the future methinks.

The grip on the camera

The grip on the OM10 is too small for me – I am used to the big chunky grip on the Canon 6D to be fair. When I get the EM5 I will buy the grip that will sort this issue out.

The way that the tripod sits in my camera bag.

An unexpected annoyance was the way that my new travel tripod, the Peak Design Corey, sat in my camera bag. This needs looking at – I ended up with the tripod head either pointing up above the top of the bag or face down getting damaged.

Has this camera changed the way I take travel photographs?

Yes, In a number of ways,

I use it more and noticed that I have less photos on my iPhone. Not good for immediate use but as this is not really a priority to me definitely a good thing.

HDR

I have done more single image captures. This is in part down to having the wonderful EVF. Talking of which.

EVF and live in viewfinder exposure compensation

I used AV mode and exposure compensation pretty much the same way I did with the Canon 6D, but enjoyed it more, especially the instant feedback in the EVF of the image capture.

And what about things that have not changed?

Yep there are things that have not changed which is a good thing - this is not an exercise in binning everything I have been doing in the past after all!

Go to focal length

I still start wide and zoom in when required. So 12mm is my default focal length, as was 17mm with my Canon 6D.

I am going to analyse the focal lengths that I use – after all if I only ever use 12mm I might as well get the 7-14mm Pro lens and give myself room to play in the ultra wide arena.

What gear did I use?

  • Olympus OM-D EM10 and 12-40mm Pro lens

  • Pec Pads and Eclipse lens cleaning solution

  • Spare batteries and charger

  • Spare memory cards

  • Manfrotto Pixi for videoing skiers on the mountain

  • And what gear did I not use?

  • My brand new shiny three-legged thing tripod

  • My Platypod

  • My 40-150mm lens

Did I miss my Canon 6D?

No, not really. I was quite happy as I was.

And I have noticed since I got back from Canada that I am missing some of the features of my Olympus camera which my Canon 6 does not have, especially the EVF and touchscreen.

I know that newer Canon cameras have these features – it is just new to me with the gear that I have.

And some of things have very quickly become instinctive to me. I have started touching the LCD screen on my Canon 6D to change the focus points, but this is not a touchscreen, so nothing happens!

What about my ageing mince pies – sorry eyes?

I have adjusted to the smaller camera just fine, as the screen is much bigger than the one on my Canon 6D, and the EVF is much clearer and easier for me to read.

I should write an article titled “Cameras for the over 50s!” – actually that is not a bad idea.

I was concerned that I would struggle to read the dials and screens on a smaller camera, but this has not been a problem at all, which is a pleasant surprise.

A word about my Canon gear

My Canon gear still works wonderfully well and is still what I use for my commercial architectural photography work. This post is not a mirrorless is amazing/ DLSRs are so last year post. Nor is it an Olympus is better than Canon post.

No – my Olympus micro four thirds camera gives me options which are always good. And having some shiny new (albeit second hand) photography gear does help.

I am not knocking DLSRs or Canon – there is still a big place for both.

Lessons learned for the future

I think that the EM5 Mk 2 with grip will work even better.

Do I need to get a wider lens? I am going to stick as I am for now, and for my next trip I will take the other body with these two lenses.

I did not miss the longer focal lengths, meaning that my choice to buy the 12-40mm lens instead of the 12-100mm lens was the right thing for me.

I will hold the thought that the 7-14mm lens might be my go-to lens,

The one thing that I need to work out is a camera bag. I have contacted Peak Design and asked for their advice – lets see what they come up with.

Update – the good folks at Peak Design have got back to me and advise that I use the lower sections of the camera bag, which is not great as I want the camera to be sat on top of my camera bag so I can access it – one for me to work on.

I do have an idea.

My camera and my iPhone

The other thing which I mentioned earlier - I used my camera more than my iPhone to take photos. This is a good thing – the reason that I started looking for other gear was because I found myself not using my Canon 6D on a trip last year – it sat in the boot most of the time.

Now this is not good for the immediate access to images that my iPhone gives me – this is of course one of the brilliant things that an iPhone does.

But this is not the biggest thing for me, so I can live with it. I am more concerned about capturing the images I want whilst I am away which I can work on when I am back in my office.

Summary

This post is all about the minimalist travel photography gear that I used on a trip to Canada – there is a bit of refinement, but I am on the right road to having just the gear I need with me.

Rick McEvoy

I will write an update in June after my next trip and see how I got on using my new gear photographing a Greek Island with lots of sunrises!

Please check out my post next week which is all about Pinterest, the social media platform which is actually useful.

Rick McEvoy – travel photographer, writer, blogger

What do I want from a new camera?

What was I writing about this time last year?

12 months ago today I wrote about the new Canon 6D Mark 2, the release of which had just been announced.

I am excited with the news, albeit rumours, that the Canon 6D might be with us this summer.

This is what Canon Rumours are saying

"We’re told that the Canon EOS 6D Mark II will be announced in July of this year, though the exact date is unknown at the time of writing this. The EOS 6D Mark II will also start shipping relatively soon after the announcement, so it’s safe to say you should have your hands on the new camera some time in August, 2017.

Specifications have been extremely hard to come by, and anything out there currently is either made up or just logical features we can expect in the coming body.

We posted a predicted specifications list back in February,

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Predicted Specifications

  • 24-28mp full frame CMOS
  • 45 AF points (all cross-type)
  • Dual Pixel AF
  • DIGIC 7
  • Built-in Wi-Fi®, NFC and Bluetooth® technology
  • Built-in GPS
  • Vari-Angle touchscreen LCD
  • 6 FPS Shooting
  • HDR Movie & Time Lapse Movie
  • Some form of 4K video
  • Movie electronic image stabilization
  • Dual SD card slots
  • 100% coverage optical viewfinder with some new features

Read more: http://www.canonrumors.com/where-is-the-canon-eos-6d-mark-ii/#ixzz4gg3wL3Gz

but it’s nothing more than conjecture at this point.

We do expect legitimate specifications to leak out in the coming month or so.

We put a [CR2] on this because announcement dates can move, though it’s more common with lenses than with camera bodies.

Read more: http://www.canonrumors.com/canon-eos-6d-mark-ii-announcement-coming-in-july-cr2/#ixzz4gfwIAlb1

OK. Good news then.

Also there is the Peta Pixel report which said

"When the Canon 6D was first released in 2012, it was a big deal—a lightweight DLSR that significantly lowered the barrier of entry into the full-frame market. But that was almost 5 years ago, and people are hungry for a Mark II. Fortunately, they won’t have to wait long.

According to Canon Rumors, Canon is finally planning to release the 6D Mark II sometime in July, just two short months away. They’re also being told that wait time from announcement to ship date will be relatively short, claiming “you should have your hands on the new camera some time in August, 2017.”

Unfortunately that’s about all we know. Specs for the 6D Mark II have been notoriously fickle and hard to come by, with most of what’s out there falling into the realm of pure speculation.

As with all rumors and unconfirmed reports, you’ll want to take this with a grain of salt. Even CR, who is pretty confident about this information, admits that release dates are notorious for changing last minute. But if you want to mark your calendar and start saving, July is your tentative release month."

So I delved deeper.......

Digital Rev reports here

"If you haven’t noticed, the cacophony of rumours has quieted down to gentle whispers. This is the expected calm between the storms of Photokina and CES. Aggravating as that may be, there are still occasional mutterings worth paying attention to, including one choice bit of information on the future of the Canon 6D Mark II.

Canon Rumors has spoken to several of their contacts, who have confirmed that rather than sometime in Q1 (around early February 2017), we will in fact not be seeing the Mark II announced until way into Q2. The site estimates that it will be unveiled sometime in April 2017, after the NAB show, and will be slated for release in May 2017.

Not much is known about the 6D Mark II for sure at this time. Though we’re very appreciative of the probable inclusion of Dual Pixel AF to speed up focus times, we’re more than a little disappointed in the lack of 4K,and it isn’t the first time. Frankly, after 2016, we expected the inclusion of the format to be standard for any major release, especially on a full frame shooter.

Rumors also indicate that the 6D will include a touch screen, although it’s important to note that everything at this point is just speculation.

Canon 6D Mark II Potential Specs:

  • 24MP/25MP sensor
  • New AF system and Dual Pixel AF
  • NO 4K
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Tilting LCD touch screen
  • Wifi with NFC activation
  • GPS"

Tech Radar says

"Predicted specs: At least 24MP full-frame sensor | 6fps continuous shooting | Vari-angle touchscreen

We loved the EOS 6D when it first came out, but at almost four years old, it's looking quite tired now and its specs don't compare that well with the Nikon D750's. As Canon's 'entry-level' full-frame camera it occupies an important position in the EOS lineup, making it a shoe-in for a refresh.

Until the 5DS and 5DS R came along Canon was quite conservative about pixel count. Jumping from 20 to 24MP would be enough for many photographers, but some may expect closer to 36 million, though that's unlikely now we've seen the EOS 5D Mark IV. A relatively high pixel count would make the 6D Mark II much more attractive to existing Mark I owners.

With just 11 points, the 6D's AF system is rather lacklustre, and we think the new model will see a big jump in this area, perhaps up to 61 to match the 5D Mark III. Low light and continuous shooting performance also needs to improve, and a maximum sensitivity of ISO102,400 seems likely along with 6fps shooting. Wi-Fi,NFC and GPS technology also seem likely, and we're hoping there will be a vari-angle touchscreen as well, as on the APS-C format EOS 80D, to make the camera more user-friendly."

Finally Camera Times reported

"Canon didn’t announce any new DSLR cameras at NAB 2017 and they recently released the new instant rebates: Save up to $550 on selected Canon Cameras. So, what’s coming next? What can we expect from Canon in 2017?

1. Canon EOS 6D Mark II: the replacement of Canon 6D, is expected to be announced in late Q2 or early Q3 of 2017, before September 2017. There are some rumors around the web saying that Canon EOS 6D Mark II will NOT come in 2017. I don’t think this is true and I don’t think Canon will abandon the 6D line. We know the Canon 6D has been a great seller for Canon, and Canon EOS 6D successor is eagerly anticipated. So, hard to abandon a product line when it is successful. Join the Canon EOS 6D Mark II facebook groupor follow Canon EOS 6D Mark II facebook page  to get all news about this camera in time!

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Rumored Specifications:

  • 24-28mp full frame CMOS
  • 45 AF points (all cross-type)
  • Dual Pixel AF
  • DIGIC 7
  • 6 FPS Shooting
  • 4K video
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth technology
  • Built-in GPS
  • Vari-Angle touchscreen LCD
  • Dual-pixel autofocus technology
  • HDR Movie & Time Lapse Movie
  • Movie electronic image stabilization
  • Dual SD card slots
  • 100% coverage optical viewfinder with some new features
  • New connectivity feature on 6D Mark II
  • Price will be a bit expensive than 6D
  • Slightly smaller form factor and a reduction in weight"

So what does this mean?

I have had a Canon 6D for over 3 years now. It replaced my beloved Canon 5D, which can still produce great images by the way.

I am very excited to read that there will be a new Canon 6D Mk 2, and also that the Canon 6D line will not be scrapped and replaced by the much reported new Canon mirrorless camera that will accept Canon EF lenses.

So what of these rumoured specification reports?

Sensor – 24 – 28 MP

That is good for me. The current sensor is 20 MP. So an increase of 10 – 20% in image resolution will be nice and not too large in terms of file sizes.

Auto Focus

A reported 45 cross type AF points. Anther thing I will use a lot. I am constantly changing the focus points on my Canon 6D. But there aren’t that many of them.

Dual Pixel AF

Hmmm. What is this?

Well, according to Canon

"Dual Pixel CMOS AF is a sensor-based, phase detection Auto Focus (AF) technology designed to provide smooth, high-performance focus tracking in movies and fast autofocus acquisition when shooting still photos in Live View mode.

It is a unique, Canon-developed technology, ideal for creating professional-looking pull-focus effects and keeping a subject moving towards the user in sharp focus while maintaining a blurred background – a defining characteristic of EOS Movies.

Thanks to this ground breaking advance, capturing a subject and retaining sharp focus, even when moving, has never been easier.

Why was Dual Pixel CMOS AF developed?

With the ability to make a subject stand out with a limited depth-of-field, comes a requirement to keep control over focus, if the main subject moves or the point of focus changes. Dual Pixel CMOS AF was developed so that control of focus during movie making is made easier and smoother – removing the perceived notions that a DSLR’s movie mode is usable only to a professional. Additionally, Dual Pixel CMOS AF was developed to enhance the usability of shooting with Live View – moving closer towards the same performance encountered when using the viewfinder."

OK – I might find a use for that as I shoot a lot in Live View mode, especially when I am using my tilt shift lenses.

A new processor – DIGIC 7

A new processor. All good. It just means things will be quicker and better.

Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth

I hope the wi-fi is a lot slicker, and that they have done something about the wi-fidraining the battery when the camera is turned off. Not sure about NFC – never used it, and wil be interested to see what the Bluetooth functionality is. Connecting my camera to my iPhone?

Built-in GPS

My current Canon 6D has this, and I would be very disappointed if the Mk 2 did not. This is an incredibly useful tool that I use all the time.

Vari-Angle Touchscreen

I am not sure abut the touchscreen part of this, but I am sure this is only because I don’t have it now, and never have done on any of my DSLRs.

But a vari-angle is exciting, as long as it tilts up and down. I will use this feature all the time as well.

6 Frames Per Second

Not really of interest to me. I shoot one image at a time.

HDR Movie and Time Lapse Movie

I might have a go with these, but these are not significant features for me – I use my iPhone for video and that is enough.

4k video or no 4k video

Rumours both ways – I don’t care wither way. I would be happy if it didn’t do 4k.

Movie electronic image stabilization

Again not of any interest to me at the moment.

Dual SD card slots

I will use these to make an immediate back up f every image I take on a spare card. Very happy with this.

Finally, 100% coverage optical viewfinder

Another big improvement that I will make use of all the time.

Is there anything missing from this list of additional features?

Other things I want to see are (this should be in a separate post titled What I want from the new Canon 6D Mk 2)

  • An increased dynamic range on image capture
  • Better low light sensor performance
  • A lower ISO range (what happened to ISO 50?)
  • A higher top end ISO
  • In camera HDR with RAW files – now that would be very cool
  • Improved wireless functionality
  • Image preview showing the RAW file and not the JPEG interpretation of the RAW file
  • More Custom Function setting options

Not a lot really. I also want that faultless Canon reliability, consistency of use and image quality.

I have taken thousands of picture with my Canon 6D, and never had a problem with it. The quality is quite extraordinary. Every time I reach for the camera it just works. Every time. Faultlessly.

So yes I am excited about the prospect of the new Canon 6D Mk 2, and am looking forward to buying one.

Of course if Canon want to send me one to try I will happy to help!"

Canon 6d 11052018.PNG

 

12 months on – what do I want from a new camera?

That is the question.

And what has happened since I looked into acquiring the Canon 6D Mk 2?

In terms of me getting another camera - nothing.

Whilst the Canon 6D Mk 2 has lots of new and useful features, and I would very much like to have one, would it materially improve my image capture?

The short answer is marginally, but not enough to justify the expenditure. If my Canon 6D Mk 1 falls over then I will get the newer version, but to be honest I am happy as I am at the moment.

My Canon 6D is a great camera that has performed faultlessly since I bought it.

And what else has happened?

Canon have announced that they will be producing a full frame mirrorless camera.

This has been widely reported, such as on the Peta Pixel website.

Petapixel Canon 11052018.PNG

This is of interest to me. When will we see this?   This year hopefully. Ort the first quarter of 2019.

Why mirrorless?

DSLRs are great, but I feel that they are lacking in technology that can make a big difference.

I started to think this when using my iPhone 7 Plus which has all sorts of tricks in it. And when I put it on my new DJI Osmo Mobile more technological wonders were unveiled in front of my very eyes. I loved watching the Osmo Mobile move my camera to take a 9 scene auto stitched panoramic picture.

Now I know that photography is not all about the gear, but there are technological advances that I would love to be able to take advantage of.

Some of them will be of significant benefit to me and my work, some are just nice to haves.

So what are these features I would like to see in a new camera just for me?

In-camera HDR

The Canon 6D has this, but only produces a Jpeg file. What I want is to be able to capture a bracketed set of images in camera, with the camera producing a single merged HDR RAW file. This will be a huge timesaver to me, and there is no reason why a camera can’t do this these days.

This is my biggest request for a new camera. I take bracketed sets on every shoot, and have to manually create the HDR files in Lightroom every time.

This single feature may determine which camera I buy next.

Proper wi-fi connectivity

It seems a bit strange that I have a camera which cost £1,500 that has a wi-fi capability that appears to be from last decade. The Canon Connect app is hardly slick when connecting my iPhone to my Canon 6D.

Slick connectivity will improve my productivity significantly.

And when I get home should I really need to remove the memory card, insert it into my PC and import the images into Lightroom?

Surely this should be automatic when I get back to my office? Get back, turn the camera on and press a button to transfer the photos. That is how it should be these days?

If I had this I could leave the camera to it and go and get a beer! Sounds like a much better idea.

This is another feature which would be invaluable for me in many ways. WI-fi connectivity as good as on my iPhone.

Internet connectivity

As with wi-fi, surely cameras should have internet connectivity. If not direct then via slick wi-fi to a connected phone. And with this sharing of photos from in camera is not too much to ask is it?

In camera focus stacking

Very much a nice to have but the only way I will ever do focus-stacking, which I do like the idea of.

Another computational photography task that could be quite easily automated. There was a Kickstarter campaign for a product called Arsenal that had this feature built-in, so why not just add it to the camera?

Video

Better quality video capture with professional standard audio. I have not done much video, well I tried once in Spain one sunrise morning. Why did I say sunrise morning? When else does the sun rise???

This might be a feature where I need to look at myself first!

A big bright tiltable screen

One that you can view in bright sunlight. The screen on my Canon 6D is hardly the best, so much so that I use a viewer to use the screen, which also provides shade from the sun.

This is one of the main shortcomings of the iPhone 7 Plus for me – the screen is useless in bright sunlight, especially with all the Apps where the text is so small to maximise the screen image.

Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

I would love to have an EVF that gives accurate exposure simulation, showing the exposure as it is.

Apps

We have endless numbers of Apps on phones. Why not on cameras?

Summary

These are the things that would push me to by a new camera. In camera HDR is a definite for me, along with connectivity as good as provided by my iPhone.

I am sure there are lots of other computational things that will be appearing in the near future – I just want them in my camera and not just on my phone.

Rick McEvoy Photography

Why should you choose me to photograph your building?

Now that is a fair question.

Heres why.

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You will find me easy to deal with as I have a lifetime of experience in construction and photography, meaning you are not talking to a photographer who has never been on a construction site.

I understand buildings and construction, and am used to talking to

  • Architects
  • Contractors
  • Suppliers
  • Installers
  • Building owners
  • Estate agents
  • Developers

I even understand the rudimentaries of M&E, but cannot lay claim to understanding acoustics!

Need photos from a scaffold? Roof? Excavation?

No problem - you provide the safe access and I am there.

I can help you get the images you want and make the process as easy and hassle free as I can for you. 

This is what I do - I photograph buildings and construction sites. 

Before I go on - you can contact me by  

Phone - 07772252186

Email - sales@rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk

Contact form on my web page - click here

Here are 10 reasons why you might like to contact me to photograph your building. Well anything related to the built environment at all really.

1 - I am a Chartered Builder - MCIOB

I have proudly held the professional designation MCIOB for some years now. I have over 30 years of construction industry experience

Yes I am that old. And as a result of this experience I am at home working on construction sites of all shapes, sizes and complexities, and more importantly I am more than comfortable working with construction people at all levels (talking of all levels I am fine working on roofs, scaffolding, in excavations – anywhere on site – you just provide a safe place for me and I can be there taking photographs)

2 - I am also professionally qualified in photography – LBIPP.

I was delighted to achieve my LBIPP (Licentiate in the British Institute of Professional Photography) a few years ago.

These two on their own are enough for some people which is why I start with them. It saves time. I know you are all busy people out there so if this is all you need to know get in touch with me here and forget about the next 8 points, as good as they are.

3 - I provide a high quality, personal professional service on every shoot

I pride myself on providing a  high quality service on every shoot. Everything is agreed in writing, and regular updates are provided - this is particularly important with our ever so predictable British weather!

I wont go on about the quality of my images - I am a photographer after all sp that is a given. You can of course check out the images on my website.

I can even provide a next day service if required. I once had to produce a set of fully edited images for a 9am deadline the morning after an afternoon shoot.

4 - I have an eye for this stuff.

I like to think that I am quite good at what I do. I combine my years of construction and photography experience to give me a fairly unique insight into the world of architectural photography. 

I understand construction and architecture, and what is important within a design. OK the least bit the architect tells me but I will be able to quickly understand the key features. 

5 - And an ear too

Whatever you are  - architect, main contractor, property owner, landlord, estate agent, developer, material supplier, specialist installer - I get that your needs are going to be very specific.

And I am in a unique position to be able to understand you r specific requirements and deliver the images required.

I will be able to fulfill the very specific requirements of your brief. I will also where possible provide alternative views and compositions.

But first and foremost I listen to my clients. 

6 - I am a current CSCS card holder

I managed to pass the health and safety test with flying colours recently (phew). So if you want photographs taking on a live construction site no problem. I have been through more site inductions than I can remember so that is all good and familiar to me. And

I have all my own PPE

My collection of PPE is suitable for most construction sites. I had to purchase high visibility trousers recently to complete the luminous clothing set!

8 - My photography gear is designed for construction sites

My photography equipment has evolved over the years and my work in a wide range of live site environments to allow me to quickly and efficiently photograph any construction site. I say any - there must be exceptions to that but I have not come across one yet.

And of course all my gear is durable enough to withstand the rigours of live construction sites any time of the year.

9 - I process all my own images

I am highly skilled in Lightroom and Photoshop. I consistently produce technically accurate and correct images.

No architect likes their building to look wonky in a photo after all do they?

I can also produce images that are consistent in style from different shoots in different locations on different days.

10 - My company is just me

I am the only person you deal with from start to finish - I answer all enquiries, develop the brief, produce the quote, agree the scope, plan the shoot, take the photos, edit the photos, issue the photos and submit the invoices. There is no one else – just me.

And I am a nice chap. 

11 – I enjoy what I do.

I know. This is 11 things. But this important.

I always find that people who enjoy what they do produce better work than people who don’t, and I seriously enjoy taking photographs of construction products and construction sites, buildings, architecture, interiors – anything that is built basically.

I extend this enjoyment to holidays - there isn’t a destination I have been to where I did not photograph buildings, and pop into the local church to get a great interior shot! 

Thats it.

Please check out my work on the following pages of my website.

Architectural photographer

Commercial photographer

Construction photographer

Construction product photographer

Industrial photographer

Interior photographer

Property photographer

And to find out more about me all you need to do is pop over to my photography blog, where I make daily posts.

Any questions, please get in touch with me. 

Rick McEvoy Photography - MCIOB, LBIPP

10 bits of helpful photography gear which you won't get in a camera shop

Gaffers tape

Just over a tenner from Amazon for Pro Tapes Pro Gaff matte cloth tape - Black. Invaluable. It is just dead handy to stick anything anywhere. And when you take it off it leaves stuff behind.

Head torch

Really handy for anything when it is dark.  I have had a couple of Peztl head torches for so long I can't even remember where I got them from. They just work whenever I need them.

Carabiner

I have a couple of Carabiners which live in my Peak Design Everyday backpack. Like the head torch they have been with me for years. You can them at Go Outdoors.

Flask

One of the most important bits of kit for any kind of photo shoot. Especially early morning jobs and sunrise shoots. My current flask is a good old Thermos flask.

Shoes

Cold feet = unhappy grumpy photographer. For everyday photography work any time of the year apart from those rare scorching hot days I use these understated bomb proof boots from Clarks.

Hat

My North Face hat goes with me everywhere. My hat of choice is red. And yes it will be appearing in photos I take soon. Big update. I have treated myself to another one.

Groundsheet

Yes a groundsheet. My current groundsheet cost me a fiver from Blacks in Poole. I use it to lie down anywhere I need to get low down for a shot, which is quite often. 

Cable ties

Another cheap but invaluable piece of kit, used to attach things to other things, and sometimes to secure my camera in place. I have used cable ties to fix various accessories, including Speedlites and camera brackets to various things including trees.

Lots of different lengths for less than a tenner from Amazon.

Leatherman

My old faithful tool. This lives in my camera bag too. Just invaluable and always comes in when you don't expect it too. I have used my Leatherman to fix all sorts of slightly unfinished stuff on recently completed buildings.  Mine is the Wingman.

Rope

Yes I have a short length of rope in my camera bag. Para Cord to be precise. £7.49 from Amazon for 100 feet of the stuff.

These are all things that I carry along with my camera gear, lenses and tripods. I use these things whenever needed, and often these make a shot possible more than the expensive camera gear I own.

Many of these things cost less than a tenner! 

Rick McEvoy - Photography Tips

My thoughts on photography gear – how much photography gear is too much?

I was drafting out a post about a recent foreign trip. Not a photography trip.

A holiday.

Sure, I took my camera, and my Peak Design Everyday Backpack, which by the way is also my hand luggage/ day bag. 

I only took two lenses. No tripod. Just my Platypod.  

I barely filled half my bag. 

And did I miss all that other lovely photography gear? 

No. Of course not. And this made me think (Oh no is the cry!).

I only used the one lens as it happened, and spent more time looking around and not so much time taking photographs, which was nice. 

I hear so much technical talk about gear on the photography podcasts I listen to, and the photography publications seem to be full of reviews of this and that gear, which I rarely if ever read. 

I have a cupboard full of photography equipment, lots of which I never use. I have my go to gear which I use all the time, plus a few lenses and other funky accessories that I have picked up along the way.

I also have some unusual gear such as my painters’ poles – yes, I have two of them – with an adaptor so I can stick my Canon 6D (less than £1000 now on Amazon!) 5m above the ground if I want to.

I guess the point I am trying to make is this. This is how I look at photography gear.

Will a new piece of gear help me to take better photographs? If so then great. If not, I don’t buy it.

Sure, I still make the odd impulse purchase, and buy things that did not work as I had hoped they would, but in the main gear is not top of my list.

Not anymore. And yes, it was once. I seemed to be forever buying new bits of this and that.

Now I happily use what I have, which is principally

Canon 6D (Mark 1 – not the new one)

Canon 17-40, 24-105, 70-200 and 24mm tilt shift lenses.

Manfrotto tripods and geared tripod head.

Platypods (I have two of these now which I use regularly).

Lastolite grey colour calibrator.

Pec Pads and Eclipse lens cleaning solution.

Spudz lens cloths.

My red North Face hats.

And that is my main gear, which goes in my Peak Design Every Day Backpack.

When I go on a commercial shoot I take everything else I have with me just in case, in three bags and a toolbox. A spare Canon 5D, spare tripod, tripods, stands, flash, more cleaning gear, various tools to fix anything else.

Spare everything basically.

And various clamps, brackets and arms.

See - I do have all the paraphernalia, but it is a happy day I have to say when all I use is my backpack and a tripod.

And there is of course my iPhone and iPad which always go with me.

So back to the question.

How much photography gear is too much?

In my humble opinion it is too much

  • When the gear takes priority over taking photographs.
  • When the gear is a distraction.
  • When we spend more time on the gear than the photographs.

I have been using the same set up for a few years now, and know my photography gear so well I can assemble, disassemble, adjust, change, adapt in the dark. I do not need to be able to see my camera to know where everything is.

I do have the odd moment of course where I can’t find a button but most of the time it is instinctive.

And when you get to that point the gear is the tool you use to take the photographs. And when the gear is a tool that you use you can then concentrate on, wait for it

  • Taking photographs
  • Seeing what is around you
  • Enjoying yourself
  • Enjoying the environment

I love taking photographs, more so now than ever. In part because I have the freedom to enjoy where I am taking pictures, and do not need to worry about my gear. The scene comes first, and the tools I need to capture the scene are just that.

OK – rant over, but I hope you get the point.

Concentrate on making photographs.  And on enjoying making photographs.

Rick McEvoy Photography