Mark Rivera Recommended Gear


My go-to cameras in the field are the Nikon D810,  Nikon D750, and the Nikon D810. Around the early 2000’s digital photography began to surpass film in terms of popularity, quality, and proficiency. Although film has seen a new era recently as some still compare the differences in film and digital to the comparisons between disco and digital music, I find the ability and flexibility to shoot continuously with no added cost and with instant gratification of having a built in monitor to review captures to be invaluable over shooting film. I find being able to evaluate the zoom for focus, the histogram, for exposure, and being able to review captures on the built in monitor are the main reasons I use these powerful DSLR cameras.


Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 and Nikon 20mm 1/.8 are my prime workhorse lenses and are with me at all times during my travels.


With longer lenses, camera shake will become more likely to become inevitable. A study tripod can reduce this exponentially and is a must to have. A quality ball head like the Kirk BH-1  I use, and a cable release for your camera will also contribute to ensuring maximum stability. I use a Nikon shutter release cable. I pack the majority of my gear in my Tilopa with an extra large ICU for ease while backpacking.


I do all of my editing on a powerful MacBook Pro. The Retina Display technology displays unmatched high quality images with unparalleled depth wherever I am in the world. You’ll also need a powerful software program for that such as the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan which gives you access to the best, unmatched, most indispensable tools in your arsenal – Lightroom and Photoshop. I use photoshop and camera raw as my main workhorse workflow. For massive storage I use G-Technology portable SSD drives and G-DRIVE PRO with Thunderbolt that will easily transfer today’s large file sizes quickly and efficiently. For videography, I use Final Cut Pro as its high speeds can process editing, audio, and motion graphics is an immersive and responsive way.  


''Q'' Why do you choose to have so few lenses?

I need to carry as little weight as possible for ease while backpacking.

''Q'' How did you get started with photography?

After receiving my first camera at the age of twelve-years old, I began taking photographs of the grand landscapes in the Everglades National Park - “ my backyard” - and later moved on to other locations throughout the country.

''Q'' Where would you like to travel to next?

Although I don't plan things too far ahead, I wish someday to travel to Norway, Africa, and Japan as I always wanted to visit these places.

''Q'' What is the most difficult thing about finding new locations?

The judgment whether you have found something good or not. I usually explore during daytime when the sun is at is harshest. You then have to imagine how the same scene will look with different light eg. dawn or twilight. Shooting a panorama is even harder.

''Q'' I want to know where you took a particular photograph, could you give me the exact location/coordinates?

I invest quite a lot of time trying to find something special, unique, and inspiring (planning, extensive research, coming back to a location several times) and I want to keep them a secret for those photographers that come across them.

''Q'' What is your favorite subject to photograph and why?

Mountains and Wolves. Since I was little, I always had a deep passion for landscape photography; in particular mountains. The complete vast remoteness and incredible unpredictability of these wild and pristine landscapes is what calls to me. Standing near the edge “on top of the world” and letting your spirit run free is why I love mountain photography. I also love wolves. Although misunderstood and feared they almost never attack humans, however, they are widely considered one of the animal world's most fearsome natural villains. The head wolf is powerful and strong, but the pack is equally as important. “For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack” is a quote by Rudyard Kipling which sums this up perfectly.