by Erin Babnik
What’s the most recent assignment/project you did?
Last month I made a quick trip to the Dolomites of northern Italy to do a fun project for Canon. I was asked to produce a photograph and behind-the-scenes video clips on the theme of “Golden Hour” for their Explorer of Light “Challenge” series. I had a window of three or four weeks in which to choose a good day for exemplary golden hour photography, but as fate would have it, the conditions were not great during most of that time. Finally, near the end of that period, a bit of autumn color started to appear, and a front of photogenic clouds finally moved into the Italian alps. With no time to spare, I was able to produce the photo and video clips that Canon needed, and I had a lot of fun in the process.
What have you done to adapt to the current situation as a photographer?
I’ve spent the majority of my time since the pandemic began investing in my creative needs by setting up two new offices. I’ve always maintained offices on two continents, one in Slovenia, and one in California, but neither was very functional when the pandemic first hit. One of the offices was impossibly small, and the other was just a temporary space that I had set up after my main office in California was destroyed in a wildfire.
After months of renovations and outfitting, I now have both new offices up and running, along with a third space that is a dedicated video studio. One of the offices is the creative space of my dreams, complete with multiple work areas, flexible smart lighting, and an inspiring ambiance. All three new spaces share the same paint color on at least one accent wall, helping to tie them all together across the continents for video purposes. That color is of course purple, which is not only my favorite color but has become a fun part of my branding over the years. I love it!
What’s your go to camera setup?
My main camera body is now the Canon R5, and I added a few RF lenses to my kit for use with it. The one EF lens that I’m continuing to use is the 11-24mm f/4L, but sometimes I swap it out for the new RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS. On the other end of the focal length range, my new favorite lens is the RF 100-500mm. Lately I’ve been carrying the RF 24-105mm f/4L IS in my bag a lot as well.
What f-stop gear you are using?
The two backpacks that I use most are the Sukha and the Tilopa. My needs vary depending on the length and environments of my hikes, but usually I have a medium slope ICU in my bag, along with 1–3 different accessory pouches. I’m also quite fond of my f-stop tripod bag, which allows me to scramble around without any concern that my tripod might get separated from the backpack.