I thought it might be helpful to share some of the resources that I’m currently using. Whether I’m shooting photos, drawing, writing, or even building this website, I rely on a carefully selected set of tools to make it all as friction-free as possible.
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I’ve shot Nikon DSLR’s for many years. Lately I’ve been thinking about making the move to a mirrorless system from Fujifilm or Sony like all the other cool kids seem to be doing now. However, I still can’t bring myself to go through the pain of replacing my gear and learning a new system. So, for now I’ll continue to stick with Nikon. I currently use a Nikon D7200. While the build quality isn’t the same as something like the D500, it has all the features and functionality I need at the right price while I continue to sit on the mirrorless fence.
I’ve always relied on the stock strap that came with every DSLR that I’ve owned, even though I almost never put the strap around my neck. Instead I would wrap it around my wrist. When I purchased the Nikon D7200 I decided to go with with a dedicated hand strap instead of the standard Nikon neck strap. After doing a bit of research, I purchased the Clutch hand strap from Peak Design. It fits my hand perfectly and it’s super easy to loosen and tighten. It allows me to get at all my camera’s controls while providing a high level of security.
Using a macro lens while shooting at a shallow depth of field at a close distance can produce some really amazing images. For this type of creative close-up shot, I use a Nikon 60mm 2.8 macro lens. I’ve owned this lens for many years and just love the cool effects I can get whether I’m shooting obscure objects, flowers or various patterns that I stumble upon when I’m out and about.
I just love the results I get from this lens when shooting people either in natural light or with the use of off-camera flash. The combination of tack sharp details with beautiful “bokeh” (blurred background) when shooting at a shallow depth of field can’t be beaten with any other lens that I’ve tried.
I’ve had an iPhone since the original and each time I upgrade, I find myself using my iPhone in more and more situations where I would only previously use a DSLR. When I finally decided to upgrade from my iPhone 6s, I spent weeks trying to decide between the iPhone X and 8 Plus. While I’m sure the iPhone 8 Plus is great, the iPhone X is amazing and was worth the higher price. The combination of the OLED screen and amazing camera make this phone an absolute joy to use.
I currently carry a Cachet Riata sketchbook made by Daler-Rowney. It has a soft cover that feels like suede and is filled with 112 pages of 70-pound paper, suitable for pencil and pen.
For the time being I’m keeping things relatively simple and just using black ink with two tones of gray. For the majority of my drawings, I use a Sakura Pigma Micron Pen. After I complete the initial line work, I add depth with two gray brush pens made by Tombow. Occasionally I’ll add some varying line widths with two black Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens (both soft and hard).
iA Writer is a distraction-free writing app that I was turned on to while listening to Shahid Kamal Ahmad on an episode of the Mac Power Users podcast. At the time I was quite happy with Byword for most writing tasks. But after hearing Shahid describe how beautiful iA Writer’s Duospaced font looked in Night Mode, I had to give it a try. Soon after, I was hooked. The writing experience is wonderful. It works beautifully on both Mac OS and iOS and syncs seamlessly with iCloud. I absolutely love this app. It has become one of my top creative resources. It just makes me want to write for hours on end every time I launch it. If you love to write, I can’t recommend iA Writer enough.
To quickly jot down snippets of text, ideas for blog posts, interesting quotes, etc., I use Apple Notes. This app runs and syncs flawlessly on on my Mac and iPhone. Wherever I am I can quickly create a new note or add text to an existing note. No matter which device I happen to be on, all my notes stay up to date.
I’ve just started using the free version of Grammarly to help me with my grammar. After I complete my writing in Byword, I copy and paste the text into Grammarly and correct any errors that it finds. I’m contemplating giving the premium version a try to see the “advanced errors” that it often tells me that it finds.
Sometimes while I’m writing, instead of music, I like to listen to various forms of white noise, such as sounds from nature like rain, thunder in the distance or ocean waves. Noizio is an amazing little Mac app that contains these types of sounds as well as many others. It allows you to mix and match to create your own perfect combinations.
These are just some of the resources that I use on a day to day basis to shoot photos, draw pictures and do any kind of creative writing. I’m hoping to add more tools that I use to create and host this website in the near future.