In My Photography Bag: Joel Peck

What is inside photographer's bag is usually a well-kept secret. Some photographers are happy to share it, some keep it to themselves, but on average we almost all use the same tools and the final result depends more on the creativity of the photographer, technical knowledge, eye for composition & small details, luck and of course post-processing.


'In My Photography Bag' series of articles we aim to collect and look at the work of established & upcoming skateboard photographers of past and present, as well as riders turned photographers and show what can be achieved with both simple & sophisticated tools available on the market.

We continue the series with Joel Peck - Berlin based freelance photographer, film enthusiast & Grey skate mag regular contributor.

To keep things simple and reliable Joel uses a minimal digital setup of Canon 5D Mark III body plus 15mm f/2.8 EF, 40mm f/2.8 EF STM, 70-200mm f/2.8 L EF lenses for his professional work. He also has a set of compact film cameras that he carries on all the time like Minolta CLE & Yashica T4.

Joel was kind enough and provided us with a diverse selection of his recent work shot with the equipment and accompanied it with the technical insights.

Check the rest of his great film and digital photography work on his website here.

Canon 5D MK II / MK III

Korahn Gayle – Ollie in Barcelona, 2016. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Canon 5D MK IICanon 70-200mm f/2.8 EF lens at 135mm f/2.8. 1600 ISO at 1/1250th sec.

'There are countless options out there when it comes to DSLRs, all with minute differences and certain USPs but for me simplicity and compactness are a priority. A second-hand 5D MK II served me well for a few years until the shutter eventually died (as they are programmed to do). I’m now using MK III.

The 5D is nice and small (unless you put a battery grip on it) & has a decent, full-frame sensor. I’m not too fussed about anything else – the simpler the better.'

Sylvain Tognelli - Crooked Grind in Berlin, 2015. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Canon 5D MK IICanon 70-200mm f/2.8 L EF lens at 200mm f/5.0. 400 ISO at 1/1250th sec.

'As I already said, I like to keep my gear light and simple. Whilst the 70-200 is by no means small, nor light, it’s certainly simpler than lugging around 3 or 4 prime lenses. At its shortest focal length, this lens (mine at least) can be a bit funky but once you pass the 85mm mark it’s absolutely buttery. Whilst I did shoot this handheld at 200mm, it’s always nice to have the reliability of a tripod for telephoto lenses to keep your frame straight and accurate.'


Tom Day – Slappy Fs Crooked Grind in Barcelona, 2015. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Canon 5D MK IICanon 70-200mm  f/2.8 L EF lens at 200mm f/3.2. 320 ISO at 1/1250th sec.


Fogo – Wallride in Berlin, 2016. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Canon 5D MK IIICanon 40mm f/2.8 EF STM lens at f/2.8. 2500 ISO at 1/800th sec.

'This lens on the 5D is such a compact combination. The lens itself, a pancake lens, could be mistaken for a lens cap it’s that small. Some days I go out skating with nothing but the 5D and 40mm in a tiny hip bag and come home really happy with what I’ve shot. Limiting yourself in such a way can help in forcing you to think more about making an image rather than mindlessly and habitually setting up flashes and sticking a gimmicky distortion lens on your camera to make things ‘look bigger’… but, of course, sometimes a 40mm just isn’t the right lens for the situation. Either way, this thing is brilliant. Oh, and it’s also one of, if not the cheapest EOS lens out there (and in my opinion outshines a lot of more expensive lenses).'


Lukas Garbaciauskas – Wallride in Berlin, 2016. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Canon 5D MK IICanon 40mm f/2.8 EF STM lens at f/2.8. 3200 ISO at 1/1000th sec.


Giles Brown – Bs 50-50 in Northampton, England, 2011. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Canon 1D MK IICanon 15mm f/2.8 EF lens at f/7.1. 1000 ISO at 1/800th sec.

'Speaking of gimmicky distortion lenses…

We’d tried to shoot this before but I couldn’t find a way to show every aspect of the spot, in particular that huge drop. When we eventually got round to going back there the ledge was mossy and wet and I was pretty scared even just watching Giles roll along it. However, we’d come specifically to shoot this with a stepladder and all - so he skated it anyway.

As this was shot on a cropped sensor the 15mm acted as more of a super wide angle rather than a true fisheye – nonetheless it allowed me to fit everything in the frame. Since Canon have brought out the new 8-15mm f/4L fisheye I’m assuming that these OG 15mm’s are being sold off pretty cheap.'

‘Incidental’ / compact cameras

Jim Craven & Joe O'Donnell in Barcelona, 2015. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Contax G1Carl Zeiss Planar 45mm f/2.0 lens at f/8. Kodak Portra 400 ISO film at 1/250th sec.
Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 8200i.

'Being out skating, no matter where you are, very often opens the door to some interesting, photogenic moments. It’s not surprising then, that so many of us like to carry some sort of camera on our person wherever we go to allow us the chance of capturing these moments photographically.

Whilst my main kit stays pretty consistent, it’s actually in these ‘incidental’ cameras that a lot of my time and money goes, or has gone I should say, as I’m very content with my current set up (Minolta CLE & Yashica T4). This is also where I contradict myself, as having two compacts at the same time is not exactly keeping things simple.'

Lyon, France, 2015. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Contax G1Carl Zeiss Planar 35mm f/2.0 lens at f/16. Kodak Portra 400 ISO film at 1/500th sec.
Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 8200i.

'My ‘go to’ camera for a while - the best thing about the G1 & G2 is the range of Zeiss lenses. My main problem with this camera, though, is that because of all the automation going on inside it, it’s quite slow. It’s not instantaneous with the shutter – there’s a lag – and sometimes it just decides it doesn’t want to shoot at all.'

Dylan Vaughan, Justus Kotze & Sam Clark in Simon's Town, South Africa, 2016. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Minolta CLELeitz Summicron-C 40mm f/2.0 lens in Aperture Priority Mode at f/11. Kodak Portra 400 ISO film.
Lab Scan.

'This little rangefinder is super discreet, compact and just does what it’s told. It’s so nice, especially after battling with the Contax G1 for so long, to have a camera that doesn’t hesitate when you press the shutter release. It takes Leica M mount lenses and is intended for 28mm, 40mm & 90mm lenses. It also has a decent meter for aperture priority mode, which is great if you don’t trust your own judgement and don’t want to worry about using a handheld meter.'

Yann Horowitz, Ryder Nel, Andy Morgan & Shaun Witherup in Lyon, 2015. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Contax T2 in Aperture Priority Mode at f/8.0Kodak Portra 400 ISO film.
Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 8200i.

'The Contax T & G series and the Yashica T’s are all made by Kyocera and share one thing in common: amazing Carl Zeiss lenses. The Contax & Yashica T’s are essentially the same camera but with slightly different quirks and a different logo on the front. They fit in your pocket, have built in TTL flash and decent internal meters.

The Yashica T’s are basically simplified versions of the Contax T’s. They are literally point and shoot cameras: auto focus, auto exposure etc. The Contax T2, (& TVS, T3 etc) does all of this but also has the option of manual (distance scale) focusing and aperture priority mode. My Contax T2 was stolen off of my back (literally) when I was drunk and had to be replaced by the simpler, cheaper Yashica T4. Although still a great camera – I miss the control I had with the Contax.'

Denis Lynn in Lacanau, France, 2016. Photographer Joel Peck.
Shot with Yashica T4 in Forced Flash ModeKodak Portra 400 ISO film.
Scanned with Plustek OpticFilm 8200i.