Images copyright Jordan Chapell. All rights reserved.
A little about me…
If I told you I inherited my outdoor photographer genes, I don’t mean that I come from a line of professional photographers. I grew up watching my dad take a photo…then retake it…and retake it again. You just never knew if the third or sixth click might capture a slightly better vantage or emotion. His commitment to capture our world is now captured in bookcases of photo albums (those physical things that hold actual photos). My mom is a professional musician, so these silly creative pursuits weren’t quite so silly in my house…
We didn’t live in the mountains, but my parents knew it was important to take time away from our suburban life to explore Creation through forests, fish, hike, and take annual trips to the mountains. We even lived in the woods in a cabin for a year - my brother and I had STOCKED grade-school survival kits!
Somewhere in the middle of my career in finance I began to seriously explore photography as my wife and I jumped deeper into mountain adventures, and the two passions have been joined at the hip all along. We orchestrated a move from the Midwest to the West and now live in Colorado, where you will hopefully find me chasing light and landscapes, or shooting hikers, climbers, runners, or anyone enjoying the outdoors.
I feel fortunate to have the health, companions, and access to experience and capture some incredible things in person, and I love trying to present them within the two dimensional economy of a screen, print, or video.
Today, my wife and I have two joyful kids that we take out with us as often as we can. I hope that the scenes you see here do justice to the incredible world and adventures out there!
While my first real camera was a Kodak, and first DSLR was a Canon, I'm deep in the Sony system. As a serial second-hand upgrader via Craigslist/Ebay, I worked through virtually the entire NEX system (Nex3, Nex5, Nex5n, Nex5r, Nex6), and then the incredible Alpha A6000. The A6000 has been the perfect crop sensor camera if you are starting in mirrorless, and I've taken thousands of shots on that trusty camera. Even after the advent of the A6300/A6400/A6500, I still think the a6000 is a sweet spot of price and image quality to start out on. I'm now shooting with the full frame Sony Alpha series. I started with the original A7, then the A7II and A7Rii, and now the A7Riii, with an a6400 as a backup.
Throughout these camera bodies, I've shot with a wide assortment of native E and FE lenses, as well as adapted Minolta, Zeiss, Voigtlander, Sigma, Canon, and Rokinon lenses from the 1950's - modern times. Some of our favorite images were made with <$25 (or free!) manual lenses that are paired with today's top digital sensors. While top dollar lenses make images easier to create or better on the margin, they haven’t helped me conjure up a good sunset or compose a strong story. Having said that, I’ve tried out most of the native Sony and Tamron lineup, and would have a hard time missing out on some of the high quality lenses that are available. I’ve only ever bought a couple lenses new (out of 50+ lenses), so I’m a big believer in searching out scratch n’ dent deals wherever possible. While this is expensive, technical gear, I hope if you saw me and the dings and dents on my gear you would know that I bought it to capture adventures, not to be babied or look good on the camera.
Currently, the main lenses I’m using include:
Autofocus Prime Lenses:
Sony 24mm F1.4 GM
Sony Zeiss 55mm F1.8
Sony 85mm F1.8
Manual Focus Prime Lenses:
Venus Optics Laowa 15mm F2
Minolta MC 50mm F1.4
Minolta MD 50mm F2
Contax Zeiss 90mm F2.8
Canon 135mm F2L
Tamron 17-28mm F2.8
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8
Sony 70-300mm F4.5-5.6
For the last few years we have also kept a second-hand Sony RX100 (or one of the following generations) on hand for adventures that require something more compact. I am blown away by the images that can be made by this pocketable camera's 1" sensor. If I could only have one camera/lens, this would be it…probably—Gear decisions are hard!
Questions? Suggestions? Have a project to work together on? Drop me a line!
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