Photography Profile: Wildlife and Landscape Photographer, Neil Mclntyre: Page 3
Right: Lying flat on the shore and using a beanbag to rest the 500mm lens on I was able to get a low viewpoint to show the seal’s reflection on the calm water
Canon EOS 20D, 500mm IS lens, 1/640th @ f4, ISO 200
Here’s a breakdown of what’s in Neil’s kit bag
Canon 1D Mk11 N
I’ve got a Canon EOS 1D MK II body. It was the fast autofocus of Canon models that first appealed to me and I’ve remained with them ever since.
Canon 500mm f/4 IS L
A popular lens with many wildlife photographers, this piece of my kit gets very regular use. I’ve had quite a few front covers with it, and it’s a great way to get close to your subject without scaring them away. I’ve also got 1.4x and 2x convertors.
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L
This is a great lens for wildlife and some landscape shots. It’s versatile and has been a popular Canon lens for a long while.
Canon 180mm Macro f/3.5
Obviously great for close-up work, and a real asset to my camera bag.
Canon 17-40mm f/4 L
This is my main landscape lens, and gives me all the optical quality that I need.
Tripod and Monopod
I use a Gitzo G1348 carbon fibre tripod with an Arca Swiss B1 QS monoball head – it’s sturdy and not too heavy. I also have a Manfrotto monopod – great when you want your camera up quickly but don’t have time to erect the tripod – www.gitzo.com and www.manfrotto.com
Storage comes in the form of a selection of memory cards. I use 1 and 2GB cards, as I don’t want all my images to be on just the one card, and I have an Apple Powerbook – www.apple.com/uk
These will include some Neutral Density (ND) filters and a polariser. www.leefilters.com
Spare Battery Pack
I’ve got a spare battery pack for my Canon 1D MkII N, because I’m often out in cold weather conditions and this can rapidly drain the batteries.
I’ve got three bags for three different scenarios, but all play the same role. With their superb build quality and vast ranges to choose from, you can’t go wrong with Lowepro or Tamrac when it comes to picking decent bags. For a big day out, and if I’ve got my big lens with me, I’ll opt for the Lowepro Photo Trekker. It’s got stacks of space, and can get everything in that I need. If I’m not taking the big lens, but still have a fair amount of kit, I’ll go for the Tamrac Expedition 7 – a great middle bag. And when I’ve got a great distance to cover, I’ll take the Lowepro Rover Plus AW – it’s a brilliant bag that is comfortable to carry and great for landscape day trips in the hills. www.lowepro.co.uk, www.intro2020.co.uk
When I’m unable to use a tripod, or when working from a vehicle, a Wildlife Watching Supplies double beanbag keeps the camera and lens steady.
I’ve got a 550EX Speedlite flash in my bag.
I’ve got a Giottos Rocket Blower – www.giottos.com.
I have a couple of hides from Wildlife Watching Supplies as well – a one-dome hide and a low-level version.
This is a vital part of anyone’s photography kit, and I place great emphasis on getting the best stuff for the job in hand. I have a variety of warm and waterproof trousers from Haglöfs and Gore-Tex jackets. The trick is to be able to put them on and take them off easily. My jackets are from the Mountain Range, and my fleeces are from the Paramo range. I’ve also got very comfortable socks and boots from Salomon. www.salomonoutdoor.com, www.haglofs.se, www.paramo.co.uk
I have two-way radios so I can give one to clients if they are in a hide somewhere else. It gives them a chance to ask questions, and acts as a safety net should something become amiss – though this rarely happens.
Great for reconnaissance, I’ve got a pair of Swarovski EL 8.5x42s.