The argument still goes on, is photography an art or a science??
Most of us agree that it is some of both. But here is some of the science of it. Of course, now digital is in the mix, however, soon photography will get back to being just photography. Cameras, flashes, lenses, filters, tripods, and film are just some of the tools of the trade. Here is information on what the Backroad photographers are talking about.


Most of the images on our site and in our portfolios are made with 35mm cameras and accessories. Although sometimes the use of medium format equipment ( Mamiya) and 4x5 view cameras are needed to capture the highest quality, best tonal and dynamic range images. With the advent of the newer, higher quality lenses and features we can achieve very high quality with this small format film. We use mainly Nikon equipment and our cameras range from F3, 6006, N80, F100 to the digital D70, D200 and beyond. We have all used many brands and models of cameras over the last thirty years but found it useful to have a main brand so lenses and accessories could be interchangeable.


With most of our camera bodies being Nikon, most of our lens are also Nikon. They range from 19mm to 600 mm with teleconverters to match. We each have our favorite lens for favorite subjects. It boils down to the right tool to accomplish the job at hand.


We use very little filters in our work. But occasionally we prefer to use of a warming filter or a polarizer to enhance/correct the color of light.


Sometimes we use the additional light source of on-camera flash in some areas of wildlife or nature photography. It provides a small amount of fill and catch lights in the eyes if the image required it. Sometimes the flash can provide some foreground light if the day is overcast,dark or dusk. Obviously flash is critical to people and wedding-type portraiture where we use it nearly all the time.


Tripods...... well what can you say. We use them as much as we can. Only in a few instances (in a car or boat, etc.) will we use a window mount brace or a beanbag. We mainly use Bogen tripods with heavy-duty heads so we can switch from 35mm to 4x5 without changing tripods. Needless to say the tripod constitutes the majority of the volume and weight when traveling in the field. The newer VR lenses have been a big benefit for traveling lighter.

Film and Digital

Well, here is another personal choice for us. In each situation we ask ourselves two questions...
What will our end image be used for?

What film or digital file will provide the best results for this particular condition?

We use whichever will produce the best results, not the one that is most convenient to use at the moment. The key is extensive knowledge of the advantages and short-coming of each.

Keep this in mind.
Have you ever looked at a beautiful house and asked your self, I wonder what kind of hammer the carpenter used?
I doubt it.
Just remember, the camera is the tool. It is how you use it that create the beautiful images.




All images on this site are the sole property of Backroad Images and it's photographers. Any use of, copying or downloading is strictly prohibited.