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Inside My Camera Bag | John Quintero

I’m John Quintero a travel and documentary photographer from Colombia and based in London. I’m an architect, but my passion for travelling and photography was too strong when I was young.

I started working as an intern for several newspapers and magazines while studying at the University of The Arts in London. This is where I gained experience and learnt from other photographers, reading books and experimenting with my Nikon D70 camera every time I had a chance. I was also shooting film with my beloved Nikon F100, which I still use.

Eventually, I got a job for the BBC as a picture editor where I stayed for several years; an incredible experience that made me see photography in a different way; however, my real passion was out there, in remote areas of this world, documenting tribes, rituals, celebrations and traditions and no behind a desk.

After leaving the BBC, I bought a single ticket to South East Asia and it was one of the best decisions of my life. Since then, I have travelled to more than 45 countries and I’m not stopping yet. I’m packing for my next trip to Colombia, Turkey, and Kenya as I write this, leading my next photographic expeditions.

Besides leading photography tours and workshops, I also work as a lecturer for different photography clubs, festivals and institutions.

My photos have been published in major newspapers around the world such as The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, Dier Welt, and in campaigns for American Express, Nike, several airlines magazines and National Geographic Traveler UK, Digital Camera, Photo Pro, etc.

I have also won some photography exhibitions such as the second place professional in the Sony World Photography Awards in 2014, IPA, PX3 and many more. Recently, I won the World Water Day Photography Competition which is currently exhibited in Italy.

Regarding my equipment, I’ve been a Nikon shooter for a long time. One of the best cameras I have had is the Nikon D3s, a workhorse that now belongs to a friend and it’s still working perfectly.

For the last 4 years, I have been using a Nikon D850 and I love it. However, I’ve been considering moving to a mirrorless system, not to follow the trends but because my back is paying the toll of many years of carrying heavy equipment.

I love shooting film for personal projects, so I always travel with the Nikon F100, a great camera that allows me to use the same lenses I use for my D850.

Regarding lenses, my first choices when travelling are the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II and the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lenses. Depending on the assignment, I add the 14-24mm f/2.8 or the Nikon 105 mm AF-S f/2.8mm Micro Nikkor lens which I love for portraits more than for macro photography.

I recently bought the Nikon 80-400mm VR f/4.5-5.6 but I’m thinking about upgrading to a Sigma 150-600mm soon.

I also have the 60mm AF-S f/2.8 mm Micro Nikkor lens to use with a Nikon ES-2 digitizer attached to the D850 camera to digitalize my film negatives but I ended up using it for portraits as well and I love the results!

For lighting, I use 2 Nikon Speedlights, the SB-900 and the SB-800, triggered with Pocket Wizard Plus III transceivers radios. I also use a Manfrotto Speedbox 54x54cm Softbox with the Nikon Speedlight.

I also use constant lighting and my favourite is the Yongnuo YN300 Air II LED Light, which is great as a filling light or to use indoors producing very natural-looking light.

I have been using GoPro cameras almost since they appeared in the market. They are great for BTS videos and even to take photos when a big camera is not ideal. My latest one was the GoPro Hero 6 Black but now I’m considering buying the Hero 9 Black.

I also carry a Macbook Pro 15’ laptop with me and several 5TB Seagate Portable Hard Drives. Regarding editing, I use Lightroom and Photoshop.

I have had several camera bags from different brands, but the LowePro Whistler 350 BP AW II Backpack is my favourite.

I also own several tripods in different sizes, but my favourite is the Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 and the Manfrotto 808RC4 3-ways head.

Additionally, I never travel without Zeiss Pre-Moist Lens Wipes, a first aid kit, strong Gorilla tape, carabiners in different sizes, an Anker 20000 mAh power bank for my mobile and mosquito spray.

That’s all for me, thank you and good luck with your photography, remember to take your camera everywhere you go! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. | @johnquintero

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