Images copyright Jordan Chapell. All rights reserved.
If I tell you I inherited my outdoor photographer genes, I don’t mean that I come from a line of professional photographers. Instead, I grew up in a family that prioritized time away from our suburban life with regular time exploring forests, fishing, hiking, and taking annual trips to the mountains. 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 time 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). I began to seriously explore photography as my wife and I began to more seriously get into mountain adventures, and the two passions have been joined at the hip all along. Today, my wife and I have two joyful kids that we take along with us as often as we can, and I have a “day job” that I try and balance with everything else. I hope that the moments, scenes, and events that you see here do justice to the incredible world, adventures, and adventurers that I’ve been fortunate to witness.
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. I think the A6000 is probably the perfect crop sensor camera if you are into mirrorless, and I've taken thousands of shots on that trusty camera. Even after the advent of the A6300 and A6500, I still think the a6000 is a sweet spot of price and image quality. 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.
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 margins, they haven’t helped me conjure up a good sunset or compose a strong story. Having said that, I’ve shot most of the native Sony lineup, and would have a hard time missing out on some of the high quality, compact 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 a)I purchased most of it for ~half price, and b)I bought it to capture adventures, not to be babied in a studio.
Currently, the lenses I’m using include:
Autofocus Prime Lenses:
Manual Focus Prime Lenses:
Minolta MD 50mm F2
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!