A Comprehensive Beginner Landscape Photography Kit for $797: My Specific Gear Recommendations

Earlier this year I dropped and broke my full-frame Sony a7rii camera. Ouch...

While it was in the shop being fixed, I had to go back to using my older, more basic camera setup. And you know? It did a pretty damn good job. Now, that's not to say that I'll be selling all of my prized full-frame gear, but I do think the Sony a6000 is possibly the best value for your money when starting out in landscape and travel photography. 

With that in mind, I decided it might be helpful to put together my specific recommendations for a complete gear list for getting started with landscape and travel photography that won't totally break the bank, but can still result in really high-quality images. If you buy some of this used, you can get it all for about the price of a new smartphone. I buy used equipment all the time and have never had any issues. At the end, I'll make some recommendations for upgrades and optional accessories to consider as well if you have room in the budget, but they're definitely not necessary.

The River

So a couple years back I got a little over-confident in the off-roading capabilities of my aging Honda minivan.

See, I’d just moved to Colorado from New York and, needing a car again, borrowed the old family Odyssey for a bit. Excited to be back out west, I’d ventured off into the mountains by myself for a roughly-planned road trip and photo excursion. Seeing what looked like an interesting detour on my map, and not being in any hurry, I decided to give it a shot. Now, I knew from the turnoff that this was an unpaved road, but even a minivan should be able to handle a little gravel...

A Day in the Streets

I want to be more intentional when it comes to composing photographs. 

Many of my favorite images have less to do with the subject of the photograph and more to do with the light and composition (arrangement of shapes) in the frame. I think this is where photography can become more artistic, beyond simply recording a moment experienced or a scene seen.

Recently, I can't get enough of Sean Tucker's street photography. The way he makes geometry and tonal contrasts the main subject of an image regularly astounds me—it's so different from how I typically approach photography. I often find myself looking at his images with a bit of jealousy, wishing I had the creative "eye" to see how he sees. Perhaps a little bit of it can be learned though?

Top 30 Images of 2017

I dove deep into landscape photography in 2017, ending the year with almost 20,000 images. Narrowing it down is always difficult, but here are my favorite 30 from the year. Of course there are more on Instagram (@brianwlackey) too if you're interested and lots more coming in 2018.