Tools and Resources

I’m always looking for new and better tools and resources that I can use to satisfy my photo addiction. I also often get emails asking what tools I use as a blogger.

So I thought it might be helpful to you if I put together a resource page that lists all my essential tools. I will be updating this list in the future as I move to newer gear or when I find new tools to add to my arsenal. If you know of any exciting tools related to photography, please let me know. I’ll be sure to check them out.


Cameras

Sony A6000

Check full specs on Amazon 

My new camera. I believe this is the best camera for my travels; very compact and light. The EVF (Electronic View Finder) is to die for. Top Reason Why I Switched from Canon to Sony

Lumix LX-7

Check full specs on Amazon

The best compact camera I’ve found. It has a wide (24mm), fast (f1.4) Leica lens and in combination with its extremely effective image stabilization (1/15 -1/10), it allows me to take pictures in nearly complete darkness. Freedom!

Sony A7R

Check full specs on Amazon 

The best full frame mirrorless camera for landscape photography.


Lenses

Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS

Check full specs on Amazon

This is my first lens I bought when I switched to Sony universe from Canon. Combination of compactness and optics quality makes it my most important piece of equipment.

Sony Vario-Tessar T E 16-70mm

Check full specs on Amazon

For a long time, I dreamed of owning this lens. It is still compact but at the same time has an extremely useful range (24-105mm equivalent) which makes it go to lens for my travels.

Sony 70-200mm

Check full specs on Amazon 


Tripods & Ballheads

Feisol Tournament CT-3442

Check full specs on Amazon

This is definitely the best travel tripod I’ve ever used. I believe the technology finally reached the level where you can have a full size, steady like rock, lightweight (1kg) tripod at a reasonable price. Read my review >>>

Dolica ZX Series Carbon Fiber Tripod

Check full specs on Amazon

This is one of the best “entry level” tripods. It has enormous value, for $100 you get a light carbon fiber tripod with the ballhead.

Neewer Lightweight Portable Carbon Fiber Tripod / Monopod

Check full specs on Amazon 

Light, compact and reasonably priced travel tripod.

Feisol CB-40D Ball Head

Check full specs on Amazon

My ballhead of choice from Feisol.

Oben BE-117

Check full specs on Amazon

Another great alternative for compact and reasonably priced ballhead.

Docooler® Universal L Plate Bracket

Check full specs on Amazon

Quick Release L Plate allows me to switch a camera from landscape to portrait position in seconds.


Web Portfolio & Online Sales

SmugMug is one stop solution for photographers. I use it for safely storing my photos, share them and online sales. Every single photo featured on this blog is hosted on SmugMug. I designed my Portfolio using SmugMug tools and linked it to my blog. Read my post: The Way I Use SmugMug in My Photography Business.


Editing Software

Lightroom + Photoshop

Check full specs on Amazon

Lightroom + Photoshop are two essential tools for any photographer.
These days Adobe tools are affordable as never before. Now you can get Photoshop + Lightroom for $9.99/month at Adobe Cloud.

Photomatix

Use code PHOTOTRACES to get 15% OFF

Check full specs on HDR Soft

Photomatix is the most popular and matured HDR tool around. I use it quite often and I really like it for the unique looks it produces. Also, I like its unpredictability factor. With experience you learn what to expect from Photomatix but once in a while it still surprises you anyway.

Perfect Effects

Check full specs on onOne Software

Perfect Effects which is part of Perfect Photo Suite 9 from onOne Software. I used Perfect effect occasionally since version 7 but with the new amazing features in latest version 9 I am found myself using it more and more.


Lightroom and Photoshop Plugins

Topaz DeNoise

Use code PHOTOTRACES to get 15% OFF

Check full specs on Topaz Labs

My tool of choice to deal with excessive noise in my photos. The latest version of DeNoise makes noise reduction an almost completely automated process. I simply apply one of the presets that comes with the plugin and I’m done. Check my Topaz DeNoise Product Review.

Topaz Detail

Use code PHOTOTRACES to get 15% OFF

Check full specs on Topaz Labs

This tool provides incredible control for finding and bringing out hidden details from my images that I would never have known existed without this plugin.

Topaz Clarity

Use code PHOTOTRACES to get 15% OFF

Check full specs on Topaz Labs

Topaz Clarity intelligently enhances contrast and clarity. Lately I started to use it more and mode with HDR processed photos.

Topaz Photography Collection

Use code PHOTOTRACES to get 15% OFF

Check full specs on Topaz Labs

If you use more than 3-4 Topaz products you should consider getting the entire collection.


Blogging Tools for Photographers

Blue Host – This is where I host PhotoTracees.com. I recommend BlueHost to everybody who is starting with blogging. To start a blog you need 3 components: domain name, hosting and WordPress. BlueHost covers all 3 components in one easy package. When you buy hosting from BlueHost you get a free domain name and one-click installation of WordPress. It means you can have your blog running in under 10 min.

WordPress – The best blogging platform. Completely free, easy to install and with functionality that can be extended nearly infinitely with plugins for every purpose. Read my article Why Starting a WordPress Photography Blog is Crucial for any Photographer.

Genesis Framework by StudioPress is what PhotoTraces runs on. StudioPress provides out-of-box search engine optimization, responsive design, airtight security, instant updates, faster load times and easy customization. StudioPress allows me to concentrate on photography and not on WordPress. The theme I use is Streamline Pro. I customized design myself using help of StudioPress support forum.

Elegant Themes – beautifully designed and well priced. For $69 you have access to 87 themes. You can use them on multiple blogs. I use Explorable theme for my Photo Location Guide Interactive Map.

Please check my post on how to choose right WordPress theme for your blog: The Best WordPress Themes for Your Photography Blog.

 


Photography Learning Resources

“The Art of Digital Blending” Video Course by Jimmy McIntyre

The most complete luminosity masks tutorial In the world. (My review…).

Landscape Photography Tutorial Series: New Zealand by Trey Ratcliff

Trey Ratcliff covers the topic of landscape photography giving us the whole picture from the conceptual idea to the final, ready for publishing, photo (My review…).

 


3 Levels of My Storage and Backup Setup

WD My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive

Level 1: While traveling I backup all my photos to 2 portable hard drives.

WD My Book 4TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

Level 2: When I am back from my travel I backup my photos to external hard drive.

Cloud Backup – Crash Plan

Level 3: Every time I have a new file on my computer it immediately gets uploaded to the cloud.

>