Professional landscape photographer reveals what's inside his kit bag

Canon
Matty Graham: "I’m drawn to remote Nordic territories where the landscapes are wild and the Northern Lights sparkle overhead" (Image credit: Matty Graham)

Based in Lincolnshire, but originally from Northumberland, Matty Graham is a professional photographer, film-maker and content creator, which he combines with working as an educator; running workshops and photo walks. He’s a content creator for Pixel-Click (opens in new tab) and has worked in the magazine industry for over 15 years. Matty explains that his favorite landscape locations are in his home country of Northumberland.

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We sat down with Matty, who regularly shoots for professional clients and also works as a videographer for Jonny Smith's The Late Brake Show (opens in new tab), to find out how he shoots and the equipment that makes his job possible. You can find more about Matty's work on his official website (opens in new tab).

"I used to be the editor of a photography magazine, but was made redundant back in 2016 when it was merged with another magazine. Losing your job can be soul-crushing, but luckily for me it was actually a blessing in disguise as it gave me the freedom to go freelance. Today video and still images are my currency.

Matty Graham (Image credit: Matty Graham)

"My Canon journey goes back 20 years to the EOS 3000 film DSLR and stretches right up to the 5D Mark IV (opens in new tab), taking in no less than 12 models in between, such as the 10D, 40D, 7D and 6D to name but a few.

"On assignment, no two days are the same. The jobs vary wildly from shooting music videos with grime artists, to working with charities to produce videos that will help improve the quality of life for children who struggle to communicate.

"Embracing video has enabled me to tell stories in a more dynamic medium, but the principles of producing movies were learned with photography and are totally transferable. Along with the videos, I’m a professional landscape photographer and have worked with tourism boards in Norway and the Faroe Islands to showcase the beauty of their country. 

"I’m drawn to remote Nordic territories where the landscapes are wild and the Northern Lights sparkle overhead. Switching from video production to stills photography often means my equipment has to be versatile and portable, along with reliable and ergonomic."

01. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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"My go to camera is the 5D Mark IV, which at the time represented a major step forward for video in the 5D line, and the combination of 4K video as well as the touch-sensitive screen makes it easy to capture great video on the move. What’s more, the slow-motion mode helps increase production values and vary pace with the footage. Of course it performs amazingly well for stills too, with a good level of dynamic range captured in its Raw files."

02. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens

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"Sigma’s ‘nifty’ 50mm is one the sharpest lenses I’ve ever used and its standard focal length is useful for both stills and video. I love shooting video at the maximum f/1.4 aperture as the shallow depth of field adds a more cinematic feel. It’s an incredibly tough lens and can certainly handle what I throw at it daily whatever the location, making it a good choice for professionals."

03. SmallRig 5D Mk IV cage

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"This cage is a must for video shooters, because it not only adds an additional level of protection around the camera, should the worst happen, but it also enables you to add extra kit, such as external microphones, monitors and even LED lights to its various mounting points. It’s lightweight at just 230g, but durable and this model is custom built specifically for the 5D Mark IV. I love any gear that makes my professional shoots easier, and this rig does exactly that!"
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04. Peli iM2500 Storm case

(Image credit: Matty Graham)
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"I own a simply ridiculous amount of camera bags but my main storage space, is this Peli hard case. This is because it offers the ultimate in protection and as I make my living from my kit, I need to look after it and usually carry as much kit as I can to a location just in case I need a specific lens. I bought the case as a shell and purchased some customizable foam, so I could set up the lay out to my liking and fit the kit in tightly."
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05. NiSi V7 filter system

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"I like to shoot a lot of long exposure landscapes and my last filter system, which I won’t mention, fell apart on a shoot! So I decided I needed a more reliable one and settled on NiSi gear. I’ve been using NiSi kit for about three years; the build quality is superb and the colors are very natural with the 10-stop filter. All of my filters sit in the NiSi protective carry case and the filter holder includes a built-in circular polarizer filter, which can be practically fine-tuned via a wheel on the filter ring."

06. Canon TC-80N3 remote release cable

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"This cable release is pretty old now, but is still a fantastic design that enables me to not only trigger the camera remotely, but also has interval, long exposure, and an exposure count mode. The LCD screen includes a light so it can be used at night and the battery lasts for years. I’ve owned this cable for over ten years now and it’s showing its age, but has lasted me terribly well."
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Matty Graham

Matty has worked for a number of photographic magazines including Professional Photo, Digital Photo and Digital SLR magazine. He is an accomplished car and lanadscape photographer, who runs his own video production and content creation business in Lincolnshire.