Visual artist Abel Perez does some amazing things with images. With the Instagram name @abel.psd, it's not a surprise that Perez has some skills with Photoshop. To create his final images, Perez works to have control over as much of the capture phase as possible so even when he travels, he takes a full collection of cameras, lenses and lighting gear. After his return from Spain, with the Alpha Imaging Collective (see more about that trip here, here and here), Alpha Universe caught up with Perez to find out more about the gear he travels with.
Sony α7R III: The α7R III is at the core of my essential tools for capturing ultra-high-quality and dynamic images. Shooting at 42-megapixels allows me to think less about framing and gives me the ability to freely experiment with my shots because I can crop and reframe in post-production.
Another lovely feature of the α7R III is the auto-focus system with face detection and eye tracking. Shooting moving subjects with an 85mm lens at f/1.4, I use the face detection and eye AF modes and I get super sharp images. Also, with face detection, it’s amazing how effectively I can jump from subject to subject in a group setting, this was crucial when I was photographing flamenco performances in Spain .
Sony RX0: I use this tiny, rugged camera for video and behind the scenes stills when I’m shooting.
Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master: This lens is my default for shooting architecture, cityscapes, landscapes, and dramatic portraits. It’s ultra-wide and mega-sharp with no distortion and the fact that it opens up to f/2.8 is excellent for low light situations. The 16-35mm is an excellent lens for capturing narrow alleys and elongated vanishing points. The 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master replaced my 16-35mm f/4 (also pictured here) which I kept and use as a backup.
Sony 12-24mm f/4 G: This lens is the lens that comes into play when my 16-35mm just isn’t wide enough. For example, some prime destinations in Spain can attract herds of tourist resulting in crowded hallways and crammed areas with little room to shoot. With the 12-24mm shooting at 12mm I can easily capture an entire area in a crammed location due to how wide and close to the subject I can be. In addition to the beautiful wide perspective and minimal distortion, the lens is super sharp. It’s a must-have lens for me for architecture, cityscapes, and landscapes.
Sony FE 24-70mm f/4: I use the 24-70mm f/4 as my main general purpose lens when I want to travel light and not have to switch back and forth between multiple lenses. 24-70mm gives me a nice set of options for shooting wide angle at 24mm for architecture, 35mm for street photography and 50mm to 70mm for portraits. It’s an excellent lens for dealing with spontaneous situations where I don't have my full bag and for scenarios where things are changing fast and I don’t have time to go back and forth between prime lenses.
Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master: The 85mm is by far one of my favorite lenses for shooting portraits. Wide open, this lens yields the most beautiful soft, buttery bokeh ever with extraordinary sharpness on the point of focus. Combined with proper lighting this lens is ideal for creating pure artistic shots out of camera.
Sony 55mm f/1.8: The 55mm f/1.8 is a little beast of a lens. It’s essentially the little brother of my 85mm. It’s half the size and weight and produces beautiful bokeh and sharpness. I mainly use the 55mm for street shots in low light with fast-moving situations. Combined with the α7R III’s Eye AF, the 55mm makes a wonderful tool for capturing those inflight unexpected moments in streets. It’s super-light and non-intrusive making allowing me to explore and shoot all at the same time.
Sony 35mm f/2.8: The 35mm f/2.8 compliments is incredibly small and weighs nothing, making it ideal for street photography and spontaneous shooting. At f/2.8, I also use the 35mm for shooting night photography and other low-light situations.
Although I always prefer natural light, I usually carry a small set of portable lighting gear to give me some control over the illumination of a scene.
Profoto A1 and B2: I use the small Profoto A1 to add artistic and dramatic light to subjects, and the Profoto B2 Location Kit to overpower the sun, enhance beauty of models, and soften harsh shadows. I also use a small set of reflectors for bouncing light and to fill-in areas that are poorly lit. With the Profoto lights I also use a Profoto Air TTL, softbox, gels and a Profoto light stand.
Extra batteries. Two Sony NP-FZ100 Batteries for my α7R III and Sony BC-QZ1 battery charger. I also carry a Sony power bank just in case.
Memory cards: Four Sony 128GB SF-G Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Cards.
Prism: I use a prism to create abstract light flares. I simply position the prism in front of my lens and try to shoot through a portion of it. If I have good ambient light, most likely I'll get some interesting flares in my shot.
Lens cleaning kit: I carry a Carl Zeiss Lens cleaning kit which has cleaning fluid as well as a brush, cloth and lens wipes.
Remote Trigger: Foto & Tech Wireless Remote Trigger.
Drone: The DJI Mavic Pro drone with spare batteries for aerial footage.
Camera supports: Tripod: MeFoto A0320 Aluminum Tripod and Gitzo monopod.
Manfrotto Manhattan camera backpack Mover 50 - This bag is big enough to hold all my lenses, camera bodies, tripod, and small accessories. It truly helps keep everything in order and portable.
Light modifiers: Promaster 7 in 1 photo reflector disc for fill light and a roll of colored gels.
Tethering cable: TetherPro cable for shooting the α7R III tethered to a laptop.
Manfrotto Manhattan Mover 50 bag: This bag is big enough to hold all my lenses, camera bodies, tripod, and small accessories. It truly helps keep everything in order and portable.