Landscape and travel photographer Tomáš Havel has the incredible opportunity to explore fascinating countries on different continents around the world – and get paid doing it. Working with clients from around the globe, including Osprey, Canon, Huawei, Reebok, and New Balance, Tomáš has been able to fulfill a dream he’s had since childhood.
His passion for photography began with a trip to northern Norway, but his love of the outdoors has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. The Czech photographer grew up in what he describes as a “beautiful forest region,” which gave him the freedom to explore and enjoy nature any chance he got – something he continues to seek out to this day.
“Nothing makes me happier than hiking a mountain and seeing the world from a different angle,” he says. “I have constantly sought out adventure and unique views.”
Since his early childhood, Tomáš says he was fascinated by the possibilities offered by photography. Now that he creates spectacular images for a living, he’s discovered some of the constraints, including how to pack the right equipment for a shoot. Today, he shares with us the gear he carries with him around the world.
How do you go about deciding which gear is essential to your work?
As a travel photographer, I try to keep it as simple as possible. I am primarily looking for something fairly compact and lighter.
There are a lot of interesting cameras on the market. The best way to choose the perfect camera and lens for you is to try them. If it’s possible, I borrow them for a longer time. After this long process, I can, with certainty, say which product is the best for me.
Sony Alpha a7R II
5-axis in-body image stabilization optimized for 42.4MP full-frame, 4K movie recording
Sony Alpha a7R II: I love it, and not just for the resolution. The a7R II is a really powerful mirrorless camera with incredible dynamic range, super details, and great abilities in darker conditions. I often use an L-plate with it. This camera is compact and ideal for my travels.
Canon EF 16-35mm
Aperture Range: f/4 to f/22, Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System, Weather-Sealed Construction
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM: Sony camera and Canon lens? Now you probably think I’m weird. For a long time, I’ve been using this lens and I literally fell in love with its features; this lens makes such an amazing sun star effect. Focusing is not the fastest, but I always have plenty of time for my landscapes. One of the best choices for landscape photography – brilliant sharpening and lightweight.
I shoot landscapes outdoors, so my lighting is natural.
Peak Design Travel Backpack Sage: Practical and well-designed customizable bag. Amazing quality, resistance and organization system. I know that my gear is totally protected in these bags.
For longer and more difficult treks, I use an Osprey Aether AG 70 with great metal frame and anti-gravity suspension system.
Based out of the Czech Republic, Tomáš works full time as a professional outdoor commercial photographer – travelling the world and documenting his ongoing journey on his website and Instagram. His work has also been published in a wide variety of magazines and commissioned by many well-known brands.
Jessi Gowan is an award-winning writer and photographer who specializes in rural landscapes and fine art abstracts, with a focus on form and composition. Her photography has been included in a variety of publications, as well as in exhibitions in Canada and the United States.