What's in the Camera Bag: Mike Bartick
First off, I need to say that it's all about function and not fashion for me. My gear MUST all be durable and able to withstand the abuse of diving daily. Logging more then 400 dives a year with my camera gear puts everything to the test. My current housing has more than 1200 dives on it without any rebuilds - kudos to Sea&Sea!
My gear configuration changes almost daily depending on what my target subject might be. I've minimized my need to change ports by selecting a port and extension that will accommodate both 60mm and 105mm macro lenses. The port is threaded to accept my diopter adapter.
For shorter focal lengths I'll change to a shorter port, but I've also been known to break a few rules along the way.
Inside Mike's Gear Bag
Camera: Nikon D7100
Housing: Sea&Sea MDX-D7100 housing (more than 1200 dives on the housing in the photo!)
My favorite setup is currently my Nikkor 105mm with the SMC diopter, with the Nauticam flip adapter. This setup allows me the flexibility to shoot the way I like to shoot the most: capturing behavior.
This setup is heavy underwater as well as on land, so I use float arms to offset the weight. I use Ultralight Control Systems float arms and INON mega float arms with long clamps. I also use long arm clamps supplied by Beneath the Surface for my modeling light.
Lighting is where I become more picky. I like big, bold macro images as well as contrasty or smoothly-lit snooted images.
For hard targeted shaping, I use the Retra Ultimate Light Shaping Device (LSD). I almost never dive without this snoot. That doesnt mean that I'm always using it, but just that the option is always there. I've also been known to use my Subsee optical snoot. This snoot is a bit tougher to use but offers a different form of light that I like with subjects like hairy frogfish.
Some of the items not seen in the gear image above include a variety of torches used for backlighting, side lighting and other specific lighting effects. These include video lights from Kraken Sports, Xtar and INON.
I experiment often with my gear and am always adding to the arsenal.
Editor's note: Mike Bartick also manages Crystal Blue Resort in Anilao, Philippines, conducting frequent photo workshops to share his knowledge.
Enjoy the rest of our What's in the Camera Bag series:
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