Travel and human interest portrait photographer Dewi Natalia is on a mission to travel all over Asia and take pictures of the beautiful and unique people she encounters along the way. In her work, the Indonesian photographer strives to capture the beauty in the world and inspire us to change the way we see each other. Her images are raw, emotional and tell powerful stories.
It’s clear Dewi connects with the people she’s photographing on a deeper, personal level to capture these moments. But, when it comes to the technical, gear-related side of things, just what is she using to get such compelling shots? Today, Dewi lets us take a look inside her camera bag and explains why her gear is so important to her work.
Can you tell us how you go about deciding which gear is essential to your work?
I was inspired to buy the same camera as my Malaysian photographer friend, who was using the small mirrorless Sony alpha camera. I bought it before reading any reviews because I check his work more often than I read reviews! I’m loving the result because it’s good for low light and it’s so sharp.
Sometimes I decide to buy equipment because my other photographer friends recommend something or because I see their work and it inspires me. Maybe I try their lens and like it, so then I buy the same lens. Most of the time I buy my gear in Shanghai. There is big camera mall in Luban Lu and a great camera dealer in Kuala Lumpur.
Compact and lightweight, Ultrafast autofocus, 24MP APS-C sensor
Sony a6000. I love this camera because it is so small and it takes legit, authentic photos. Before I decided to use this camera, I was using the smaller Sony DSC-RX100. I developed a phobia after my camera got stolen in China, so I’d rather have a smaller camera that I can carry on me everywhere I go. Also, when I see a decisive moment during my travels or on a walk, I can just shoot, quickly and easily.
Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f/1.4
Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16, Multi-Coating, Manual Focus Design
I like the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.4 Nokton Classic because it is pancake size and the manual focus is sharp. The result is amazing for portraits because I focus so much on people’s faces.
The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN is the only autofocus lens I have. Most of the time, I use it for action shots and shooting landscapes.
I love the Nikon Nikkor Ai 35mm f2 because it is super wide, and is really good for close-up portraits and street life.
I don’t use any lighting equipment.
Mark Reacher bag. I like it because the material is canvas, it’s water resistant, it’s a pretty good design and the price is pretty good. It was the only bag I could find in the big camera mall in Shanghai that I like and that can fit my coffee equipment too haha!
Memory cards, external drives, laptop, card reader, extra batteries, smartphone, camera adapter, foto zine, hat, and manual coffee brewing stuff.
Visit Dewi’s website, ForAsiaCheers, to see more of her stunning portraits from all around Asia and keep up with her travels. You can also read more about the photographer in our interview, where she talks about the locations she’s enjoyed shooting the most, her favorite photo, and what inspires her as an artist.
Jen is the Editor-in-Chief of PHLEARN Magazine, where she helps shape inspiring stories and handy tips for aspiring and seasoned photographers. She has worked as a photography writer for many years, contributing to numerous industry-leading publications. Proudly Canadian, sometimes globetrotter, self-taught photographer, Jen is temporarily settled in Spain.