Nikon FM3ACameras & Lenses

Many of the pictures on the Flash of Darkness site were shot with Nikon DSLRs.  My first serious DSLR was the Nikon D300, which I used for about 5 years.  I now use a Nikon Df.  I used an 18-200mm DX ‘walkabout’ lens on the D300 extensively and have the 28-300mm FX equivalent for the Df.   I really like using primes with the Df also (24mm, 35mm and 50mm).  I will admit that the looks of the Df made it a must have (I love the look of old Nikon film cameras such as the FM3A shown opposite), but it is also light and easy to carry.  For street photography I now use the astonishing Leica Q which has a fixed f1.7 28mm lens and a full frame sensor.

Other Equipment

I  always carry a Hoya circular polarizer with me – it really boosts contrast and often eliminates distracting reflections. For night and long exposure shots I use a Manfrotto tripod and the all metal ‘Focus’ GorillaPod, which is really useful.

Format & Post Processing

I shoot in raw format and use Apple Aperture as a library and for raw conversion and PhotoShop with a Silver Efex Pro 2 plug in for creating the JPEG and for mono conversion.   I use layers of different Silver Efex renditions and make extensive use of colour filters and all the slider options that Silver Efex offers.  Noise reduction, where needed, is provided by Topaz DeNoise.  My post processing workhorse is a 5K i7 based iMac with 16 GB memory and the fastest optional AMD Radeon GPU with 4GB memory.  The optional GPU makes a big difference when running Silver Efex  for monochrome conversion – my old 2010 iMac used to really struggle with these, whilst the 5K just zips through them.  The raw files are backed up to to a cloud based web service and a local Apple Time Machine.  The final processed JPEGS are stored on Flickr.  I also create a bootable disk using Carbon Copy Cloner.  I have learnt that you can never have too many backups.