It’s time for another installment of one of our favorite blog series, a peek inside. Today, we have one of our new CMmentors to feature, Allison Zercher. Allison is a brilliant California based hobbyist photographer and we couldn’t be more happy to have her on the CMteam and sharing here on the blog today!
a peek inside | allison zercher
1. Nikon 70-300mm VR – I love this lens for sneaking a picture of something from afar and shooting a portrait where I can sort of bring the background ‘in’ toward the subject(s).
2. Nikon 60mm 2.8 Micro – taking macro shots is such a great way to really experiment with photography. Make sure you practice manually focusing, however!
3. Arsat 80mm Tilt + Shift – a random purchase for the architectural photography nerd in me.
4. Nikon 85mm 1.8 D – I don’t love this lens like I should. I use it occasionally, but I just haven’t really fallen in love with it. I did do one session recently where my shots came out really wonderfully, but for some reason, I gravitate more toward my 50mm.
5. 10.5mm Fisheye – a fun lens to fiddle with… I pull it out now and then, usually when I’m feeling silly.
6. Nikon 28mm 2.8 – I use this often for wide shots, but not much else.
7. Pentax 20mm 4.5 – an old lens I inherited from my dad. I play with it once in a while.
8. Lensbaby Composer – another lens to experiment with. I wouldn’t call myself a pro, that’s for sure!
9. Nikon d700 – my beloved, beloved camera body.
10. Nikon d300 – my back-up body. I actually do still grab it sometimes when I need to take a quick picture of something and it’s the closest camera to me!
11. My CM exclusive Ketti bag. I cannot recommend enough. I love this bag
12. My Pelican Storage Box – the best thing ever for keeping equipment safe, dry, and out of the way.
13. Giottos Tripod – a very useful tool for lots of reasons. I love to attempt shooting star trails in the desert, so I really need something sturdy that will hold my camera safely!
14. Seagate Expansion Drives – I have three, two 1-Terabyte and one 2-Terabyte. Now if I could just remember to always back up everything more often!
15. Gary Fong Lightsphere – a helpful tool for shooting indoors and in low light – it helps diffuse the light for a more natural look.
16. Nikon SB-600 External Flashes – these are a must if you’re shooting weddings or other events where low light could pose problems. The 600’s have been improved upon since I purchased these – lots of newer models are available from Nikon.
17. Various DVD’s for saving photos and sleeves to keep them in
18. Joby Gorillapod – such a cool little mechanism – can clamp onto all kinds of stuff and keep your camera safe while doing so.
19. Impact Reflector – a really helpful tool for casting a little light onto something that isn’t lit well enough.
20. Remote trigger with shutter lock – I have used this many times for taking very long exposures so that there is absolutely no camera shake.
21. Giottos Rocket Air Blaster – a quick way to help clean your sensor and lenses.
22. An assortment of memory cards, varying in size. I have about 15 that I rotate through, ranging from an old 2G to a couple 16G. Cards bigger than 16G cost quite a bit of money if you want a fast one!
23. Quick Release Tripod Mount – I have two of these because I often misplace them.
24. Intervelometer – I use this to set up a series of shots that I want the camera to take in large succession. This is helpful for my star trails pictures in the desert (along with my tripod!)
25. Pelican Memory Card Case – an awesome little product for keeping memory card safe and where you can find them easily!
26. Various lens filters – a favorite is my 4-point star filter for taking Christmas tree shots.
27. Lens cleaning solution – I used this occasionally, when I accidentally get a fingerprint on my glass!
28. Magnetic Aperture Set for Lensbaby – I always grab this when I’m out and about using my Lensbaby.
29. Fuji Instax Camera – a fun little gadget… but mine is an old model!
30. Holga 120N Medium Format Camera – I must be honest, I have only taken one roll of film with this camera! It’s a cheap little plastic body that is fun to experiment with!
What can I say – I’m a humble girl that clearly spends lots more money on my equipment for shooting that I do for editing. I own a Dell PC and a Samsung monitor. On my desk I also keep my Lithium battery charger for my camera bodies, a mechanical pencil sharpener, and usually heaps and heaps of mail.
Allison Zercher, California
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As a self proclaimed happy hobbyist, Allison minimally explored photography in her college years but didn’t get serious about it until 2004. Since then, she has completed several 365 projects and enjoys documenting her family, husband and two daughters, with a lifestyle approach. Ideally her days would be spent with friends and family, coffee, chips and salsa, and of course her camera, a Nikon d700, and assortment of Nikon lenses, mostly primes.