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What’s In My Bag: Littlecoal's Versatile Kit For Scroll-Stopping Imagery

One look at Eric Ward's Instagram (@littlecoal) and you can see that this member of the Alpha Imaging Collective doesn’t limit himself to a particular type of imagery. “My photography interests are fairly wide ranging from nature and travel to photojournalism and documentary photography, so the gear in my bag needs to fit a variety of situations. One of my daughters, Jocelyn, is 15 and she’s an incredible creative writer and I love photos that feel like they could be used as a creative writing story prompt. Imagery that makes the viewer want to know more is very compelling to me.” That approach seems to resonate with his nearly 400K followers as well. We connected with Eric to learn more about his modified Sony G Master zoom lens trinity (plus a prime) and how he uses it to create his diverse portfolio of images. Keep reading as he shares what’s in his bag.

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See how Eric Ward (@littlecoal on Instagram) uses a modified Sony G Master zoom lens trinity (plus a prime) to keep his 389+K followers coming back for more.

Cameras

Sony Alpha 7R III: While it doesn’t have the 60-megapixels found in the Alpha 7R IV, we can all agree that this camera is amazing with its 42-megapixel high resolution, incredible dynamic range and long battery life. It's still my favorite and you’ll find it with me everywhere I go.

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/640-sec., f/5, ISO 250

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/640-sec., f/5, ISO 250

Sony Alpha 7 III: Typically this amazing camera plays the role of either being my back-up camera or it comes out of my bag and gets used by one of my friends as they ask questions about it. My oldest daughter has even found herself in the fortunate position of being able to use this camera while we’re out exploring.

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/5.6, ISO 500

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7 III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/400-sec., f/5.6, ISO 500

Sony RX100 V: If I need to travel super light the RX100 V is going with me in my pocket. I’ve made it a habit of setting this camera up to capture a timelapse in an area if I know that I’m going to be shooting for a while.

Lenses

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master: The 24-70mm is my everyday lens. This was my first G-Master lens that I purchased after having an opportunity to test it out and it’s remained one of my favorite lenses over the years. It's incredibly sharp across the entire frame and gives me enough variety of focal length to completely change the story within the frame. A perfect example of why I love this lens is the photo of the horses in the foggy pasture shot in Oregon a few years ago. I loved the story of the wide shot with a horse leaving the frame on the left, a group who are focused on the camera in the middle and the others on the right doing their own thing, but the image that I shared on Instagram was a vertical crop which isolated only the center group, which allowed me to change the story and the feel of the image completely.

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/2.8, ISO 800

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/1600-sec., f/2.8, ISO 800

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master: If I'm going to be shooting landscapes or wide city scenes, this is the lens that I'm putting on my camera. The 16-35mm was just what I needed to shoot one of my favorite photos from the British Virgin Islands. I had found a little opening through the tops of a collection of palm trees, but was hoping for something to add to the composition, when a tiny cloud slowly crept into frame perfectly. From astrophotography to epic look up shots through the trees, this lens is wide enough to tell the story.

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R II. Sony 12-24mm f/4 G. 1/100-sec., f/16, ISO 100

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R II. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/100-sec., f/16, ISO 100

Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master: I remember shortly after getting the 100-400 I had an opportunity to set up outside a fox den before sunrise in hopes of seeing the newest members of the family. Looking through the viewfinder and watching their heads pop out from under a barn door was such an incredible experience. Another moment that the 100-400 allowed me to shoot was a winter lunar eclipse, where despite the near negative temperatures, the images and experience made it all worth it. From capturing a lunar eclipse to close ups of fox kits, having this lens always in my bag has allowed me to capture some of my favorite images.

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. 1/8-sec., f/5.6, ISO 4000

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master. 1/8-sec., f/5.6, ISO 4000

Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master: When I began using this lens for portraits it was instantly a favorite. I’ve used the 85 for portraits in sunflower fields to my own living room with my kids. While portraits have never been an area of my photography that I’ve shared much, the 85mm f/1.4 has convinced me to shoot more portraits.

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/2.8, ISO 400

Photo by Eric Ward. Sony Alpha 7R III. Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/2.8, ISO 400

Accessories

Extra Batteries: It’s hard to forgive yourself if you miss “the” shot because you ran out of power.

Extra Memory Cards: You’ll never regret having more than you need.

Gum: Great for flights when traveling and fresh breath is a must!

Notebook: Perfect for project ideas, travel information and just writing down memories you want to always remember.

Lens Cloths & Bulb Blower: Great for simple smudges as well as when things have gotten a bit crazier on a shoot.

See more of Eric Ward’s work on Instagram @littlecoal.

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