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Lesson 2 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

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Lesson Info

2. Gear

The number one question I get is: what camera do you shoot with? I shoot with many cameras because each one has unique characteristics that match the goal of the shoot I am doing.


Class Trailer



Workshop Intro






Gear - My Camera Bags


Mastering Camera Settings


Blue Hour, A How-To


Photos That Move Us


Visual Storytelling 101


Endurance In A World Of Sprinting


Keeping Your Ideas Fresh


Building Your Story Arc


Shooting More: Action Plan


Conveying Emotions


In the Field


The Assignment: Himalaya Pre-Pro


In the Field: The Himalaya Defender Shoot


The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro


In the Field: Canon USA Shoot




Keywords & Organizing Images


Commercial Grading


Masking & Radial Filters


Perspective Correction


HDR (Hand-Held)


Black & White Edits


Before & Afters


Moody Grading


IG Export Settings


Web Export Settings


Clone Stamping & Patch Tools


Grading in Lightroom


Hand-Held Panoramas


Radial Filters Pt 2


Delivering Files to Clients


Archiving & Organizing Images


My Favorite Software




Let's Talk Business


Building A Desirable Portfolio


How to Contact Clients


Prospecting: Finding Brands That Fit You


Getting Clients To See Our Value


Paid to Travel the World


The Art of Making Moodboards & Treatments


Keys To A Fulfilling Career


Three Things You Need To Know Before Pitching


Finding Your Value Proposition


Media Kit: A Walk Through


How I Built My Audience


Social Media Landscape


Module Recap


Bonus - Everything To Know About Filters


Do You Need Lens Filters?


Filters in The Field


Bonus - Find Your Path


Find Your Path


Bonus - How To Print Your Work


Why Print or Sell Photos


Preparing Photos for Print


Reviewing Major U.S Printers


Lesson Info


(gentle music) Gear, number one question I get is what camera do you shoot with? So as you can see, I didn't put this out there only to show off, it's also because I use everything that's here. My main workhorse is the 5D Mark IV which is being used right now there, when I have the luxury of being close to a vehicle, or I don't have to go too far in the outdoors, I use the 1DX, otherwise, anytime I go outdoors, I don't wanna bring this guy because it's just a bit too bulky, but if the weather's gonna be aggressive and I'm close to some vehicle or shelter, then this is the guy for sure. Pretty good for low light as well. On the 1DX, I have my favorite lens, and I will get into that in a bit. Then I have probably the second most used camera, the ESR which I take everywhere that I have to walk pretty much. I put it on my backpack. I'll show you later how I put it on my backpack. I usually have the 16-35 on it with the adapter, or the 35, which is really, really good, or the 50 which is ...

really, really good as well. So anytime I walk to ESR, anytime I close to a shelter or vehicle, 1DX, and anything in the middle, 5D Mark IV. When it comes to lenses, things have changed since when I filmed the adventure workshop classic, back then my main lens was the 24-14. Nowadays though, I've pretty much organized my lenses in order of usage. So 16-35 is actually my most used lens now because of how flexible it is. And because I really like taking wide photos. I like when the landscape is really wide. So 16-35, number one for sure. Number two, surprising I know, but it's the macro, 100 macro. This one is so light and you can do so many different things with it. You can either get a macro of course, or you can just shoot compression landscape and 72-100 will be a bit heavy for that. So I just roll with my 100. The only issue with that when you go out in the outdoors and this thing spends a few days in the backpack is that it stabilize, but it's not the sturdiest stabilization. So I've had to fix the stabilization a few times. Then probably this one, I put it on the left so it doesn't hide me, but it's probably my top my number three. 100-400, this one I use a lot outside and to shoot mountains because I can get compression again with this one. This is the grandfather of compression and this is like the uncle. So this is mini compression. And I love that After that, 24-14, probably still a keeper for the blue hour stuff, but otherwise, not as used as before. I think the 16-35 just does mostly. And as cameras get better with ISO, I feel like I don't exactly need 1.4. The 24-70 is used right now in the camera that is filming. So that one, I use a lot for commercial work because I can zoom in, zoom out. It's the do everything lens. And it's really good at that. You can travel the world with a 24- and never look back, right? You can get everything. Little note if you have, you're pretty heavy on your equipment. I like to change the cameras every year. The R and the 5D IV get changed every year because I just need them to be reliable. And I don't always take two cameras with me. So instead of taking two cameras everywhere where I go, I'd just rather change them every year so that I have something reliable. Now, when it comes to accessories, this is my newest edition. It is a joy to use. The new Aquatech 1DX Mark II housing. It is much lighter than the 5D IV housing. At least it feels much lighter and much sturdier. It's just a joy to use in the water. So I've been having a lot of fun with this. Other accessories, last time in 2017, I probably had the Phantom IV Pro. Now we've moved to the Mavic Pro II. I have the wide angle and the accessory that has the PolarPro circle polarizer which is really good for lakes. And I don't know, I have it on about 90% of the time and it's cheap and it's just awesome. Also filters. So I've been using the PolarPro filter on the Mavic which I'll talk about in a little bit. And I've been using these from PolarPro. They're called the quartzline, and I have a 77 and an 82. They're both circular polarizers. And the 82 goes into seeking 35 right here. And the 77 goes on the 24-14. So why do I use filters now? Well, these are, I don't know. they're real low key. This one is low key. They're real low key and they help elevate my landscapes, and I shoot a lot of lakes, it's not a secret. And whenever I shoot water, I love shooting water, having a polarizer, just I can cut out the reflections of the water, you know how to use that. But if you haven't used one of these, worth a try because they're really cool. So a few years ago in the first workshop I wasn't using filters, now I've have wised up and grown into using them because I think I was missing out. I know that you can do most of it in post production, but the polarizing you can't redo post-production, so definitely recommend them. Same with the Mavic, I have with the polarizer here too on. And it's neat because I just have it on 90% of the time and it just helps me get better aerial photos of my water again. And then on the Mavic, I've been preferring it to a helicopter, is much more environmentally friendly. I also can take my time when I'm shooting it. This thing has a lot of hours of flying and it's a bit scratched up, but it's been sturdy. It's been pretty sturdy. This is the fixed lens 24. When I have to get a really high quality photo from the air, I can either use a helicopter. And if I use a heli, I'm for sure use the 1DX Mark II. And if I don't wanna use a heli or I can't, I'd use the Inspire II from DJI which is a beast and I don't own one, I just rent it. Usually I rent it with a pilot, so I can myself shoot the photos and have the pilot fly. In terms of accessories, in the first workshop, I was showing you the Aquatech for the 5D. They've come up with a new version of their housing for the 1DX Mark II, which is dope, much sturdier, feels lighter to me. And then the buttons are a joy to use. So I think it's really important. The reason I use this is not because it's cool and it makes nice splits which actually visually looks great. But the reason I use these things is because it's all about expanding perspectives in photography. So drones allow me to expand perspectives, housings like this allow me to expand perspectives. Just going to Mexico last year is not a landscape I thought I was ever gonna photograph, and having this, I ended up using that, my underwater housing almost every day for a month. I shot so much underwater. People were making fun of me. It's like, did you go to Mexico? Islands, waterfalls. But again, I just love the satisfaction that comes with discovering new environments and anything that can allow me to discover new environments, I'll for sure use. These things are not cheap, okay? So travel with them. The housing you can buy for this for traveling, make sure you get one of those. These can get crushed in your suitcase. They are, I don't know how much this is, because they're expensive before you go crazy, I recommend renting one and see if you like doing that, right? Maybe you don't like the one. So instead of just committing into buying this $2,000 thing, rent one and play with it. Now, people always wanna know what's the best camera set up to get if you have a budget, if you're on a budget. So it's easy to recommend new cameras that are out there. Like the T-7, I dunno if they have a T-9. It's easy to recommend entry level cameras that are out there from Canon or Nikon or Sony, but we tend to forget that use stuff like this, 5D Mark II are awesome value. And it's not until my friend, Forrest Mankins introduced me to this thing that, I used to use it back in you 2010, I had one of these and it was awesome, but I forgot about it. So I pulled it out of the gear room and used it. And it's surprising how good it still is. Obviously low light, 1600 ISO you're done, but we shouldn't underestimate this with even a 51.8. That's like a cheap setup. I think Mankins did one for 500 bucks. He assembled this on a 51.8 full frame and shallow depth of field for 500 bucks. So I know there's a lot of fancy stuff here, but just remember, it's not about the gear, it's about what you do with it. And one of these with the 50, you'll be in good shape. Before we move on into the rest of the gear, I wanna talk about batteries. Everywhere I go, I like to have at least three batteries with me at all times. I wanna make sure they're charged. So the way I know they're charged is because if this little thing is on means it's charged, if it is not on, it's empty. So simple, just have a code. So have a system where you qualify your stuff so you don't have to double check them all the time. Memory card, so two boxes, one for a compact flash, one for SDs, 5D Mark IV, and 1DX Mark II. I use these on the 1DX to shoot like 4K-120. The rare time I do that, I have some 60 fours just to do that. Otherwise I keep two of these in the 1DX, 11-28 and 11-64 on the Mark IV or 128. I use Lexars because they've always been good to me. I've used that since day one. And these are fast and sturdy. I really like compact flash better than SD candidly. It's just such a more sturdy piece of thing that you can't break it, right? And you can't lose it because it's so big. Just to me, it's just a superior card, but I have to use SDs for the ESR. So I have these in a little Pelican. We're missing a few because they're being used to film right now, but this is, you don't need more than this but it's nice to show off a full thing. So 128, well, it's true right now, we're trying to show off. So 128s, again, the same thing. These are a little faster than compact flash, honestly anything over 150 megabytes per second is enough to film 4K on the 5D. So this is a bit over kill for the R. This is a backup one for the drone, the Lexar 128, the bigger, the better on the drone because I always forget to back it up. So the bigger, the better, it's one of these things that never gets backed up on time. And I keep them in a little Pelican box which is waterproof, sharp proof, and light. And both of these go into my camera bag which I'm gonna talk about right now.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

A Note From Alex

Ratings and Reviews


Not What I Was Expecting Let me just start by saying that the workshop was very good. There were lots of things that I learned and many insights I took away. Perhaps the greatest bit of wisdom imparted to me was not anything Alex said but how he approached every subject he talked about. I felt that he was talking to me as a friend, very personal and open book. This was both a blessing and a curse as the course tends to meander around and is not as structured as others I've taken. Alex's passion for the highest quality, and craftsmanship in every aspect of his business, is very evident. From the premiums he charges, to the attention to detail in client deliveries. This is where my review is going to give some hopefully constructive criticisms. For someone so focused on a premium experience I was a surprised to find the course a bit sloppily assembled, and the videography and editing lackluster. This is coming from a videographer and someone with a lot of experience in online training. A few short examples to illustrate my point include: repeating segments of the edit (in some instances the exact same segment), poor framing. Colors changing between cuts, and my biggest pet peeve, not leaving photo examples on for long enough to see them. These are all small things, but they add up, and along with the topics meandering, left me a bit disappointed. I'm curious who you would say this class is aimed towards. Amateurs, mid-level, or experts? The assumption of who you are addressing changes throughout the course. I feel like with a bit of work from an instructional designer, and some editing cleanup, you could help hone this course to be one of the best out there. I feel like I need to do a more in depth review than will fit here, to actually explain this well. Let me know if that would be helpful to you. One other note: When I signed up for a workshop on Adventure Photography, I honestly thought it would be more field focused. The field examples were all shoots for products, and not shoots documenting an adventure. I guess I had just hoped to learn that side of the storytelling process more. Getting into the nitty gritty of being wet, cold, and dirty, and still shooting bangers. The section on filters (going out and building the snow cave) was more what I thought this course was going to be. Anyhow, with all that said, I still found it valuable and worthwhile. To summarize, the course feels a bit unpolished and in some ways unfinished though there is still great value. I've taken Jimmy Chin's Masterclass on adventure photography and it felt very structured and highly polished. I purchased "Adventure Pro" on the "finish in a month" discount. I would have felt ripped off if I had paid full price with the course in its current state. Thanks for reading and I hope my criticisms come as helpful. As I've already mentioned I'd be happy to further elaborate.

Topher Hammond

One of the best photography investments I'm only 1/4 of the way through Alex's course and I feel like I already have a loose plan on how I can move forward in my own career as a photographer. I felt like my work was lacking a specific feeling. The way that Alex articulated ideas on how to convey emotion in your imagery and building that overarching story arc for your own life narrative were super helpful to focus on how to make my work better. Super looking forward to the rest of this course. Thanks Alex and team!

Sergi Mas de xaxars Rosell

Great Workshop I learned quite a lot with this workshop. Because I'm in the industry for 5 years now, there were a few things I already knew. On the other hand, Alex showed me different and more effective ways to improve my business. I like the way he gives the lessons, always in a personal and close way. This is the knowledge I wish I had when I started. Totally worth it!

Student Work