Landscape and commercial photographer Ryan Ditch (@RyanDitchPhoto) is known for his stunning images, of both urban and nature photography. For his commercial photography, he works with brands such as Xbox, Adobe, DJI and Velotriv. And though he pursues landscape photography as more of a hobby, his imagery is absolutely stunning. Ryan became a Sony shooter in 2020 and since then, we’ve been blown away by his work on Instagram. We also loved his focus on community and collaboration and lifting up other creators. We sat down with Ryan to learn about his photographic journey, how he switched to Sony, and the importance of community and collaboration to make us all better.
Photo by Ryan Ditch. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 10-sec., f/10, ISO 400
The Need For Gear That Could Keep Up
When Ryan first got into photography, a friend of his recommended Canon, so that’s what he went with. Ryan started with the Canon 6D and eventually upgraded to the Canon 5D IV, and while he said both of these were solid cameras, he was facing some challenges. Firstly, the weight was taking its toll on him. He was experiencing pain in his wrists and his neck.
The turning point for Ryan happened when he was in Montana with some friends, they were out in nature and they had an incredible moment with a mountain goat, but it was a pretty low light situation. Ryan had to crank up his ISO to even get an image, and then it turned out super grainy. The friends he was with were shooting with the Sony Alpha 7 III and when he saw their shots, he knew it was time to make the switch. “I had already had issues with the weight factor and now I’m missing the quality of shots in scenarios you can’t control. When nature shows you these gems and you miss it because you don’t have the right, or the best, equipment.”
Photo by Ryan Ditch. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 5-sec., f/4, ISO 100
So Ryan began doing his research. Canon was coming out with the R5 and R6, but Ryan was concerned with their lack of a track record in the mirrorless world. “I thought to myself, Sony’s been doing this for a while, at a super high level. That factored in with the fact that most of my friends use Sony, which is just helpful when you shoot together, sharing batteries, all of those kinds of things.”
“The "X factor" was the Sony community, as a brand. Their engagement on Instagram, the Sony Alpha Universe articles. The presence in the community that Sony has over Canon. Sony is the leader in community, they have their foot completely in with their community on the ground level.”
Building His Kit
Once Ryan decided on switching to Sony, he went all in. He sold off his Canon gear and made the complete switch right away. He purchased the Sony Alpha 7R IV, the Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master, the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master and the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master.
Photo by Ryan Ditch. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/80-sec., f/8, ISO 200
That was in 2020, and since then, the only addition he’s made to his kit was the Sony Alpha 7R V, which he bought the day it came out. “It had everything the Alpha 7R IV was missing,” Ryan says. He goes on to describe that the articulating screen was the first major factor that drew him in. “When I do commercial shoots, I don’t use rigging or tethering or whatever, and before I’d have to use a ladder. And now I can just flip the screen, which is unreal.”
In addition to the screen, Ryan loves the ergonomics of the Sony Alpha 7R V. “I have big enough hands that I can’t have a camera that is too small. The ergonomics, the deeper grip, and the change from the Sony Alpha 7R IV was another factor that went into me buying the Alpha 7R V.” Ryan details more of his gear and why he selected each piece HERE.
Photo by Ryan Ditch. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/60-sec., f/10, ISO 320
Once Ryan switched, he had to totally change his editing workflow, readjusting to Sony’s colors. He also explains his experience bumping up to 60.2 megapixels when switching to Sony. “It exposed me as a photographer, and made me a better photographer. It made me learn how to tighten everything down in camera, and in the field, because there are just so many pixels." He continues, "It was a long learning curve but the images and resolution, and what I was able to capture, was not even in the same universe.”
Community Is Everything
Moving forward, Ryan is continuing his commercial and landscape work, moving into higher productions and partnering with larger brands. But he also has another aspect of his work that's growing in importance: community.
“My career is kind of going in the direction of community. I am a huge community person, I don’t believe any of us get anywhere without friends, family and colleagues. And I understand that the creative community can be slightly introverted, and it can be hard to meet people in the field so I love bringing people together.” He runs a hub called “Cali Shooters,” who put on bi-monthly events for photographers to shoot, get to know each other, and try out different gear and techniques. These events are free to participants, to make it accessible to anyone who’d like to join.
Photo by Ryan Ditch. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/50-sec., f/8, ISO 100
“My business is going well and I know what subjects I like to shoot for my hobby. I feel like now it’s time for me to give back, in a sense to a community, that saved my life, in some ways.”
Ryan shares that when he was younger, he got pigeonholed into sports and athletics because he’s a physically fit person. “Coming back to the creative community in my 30’s really re-energized my entire life. And I want to bring that to people now, and give them opportunities and friendship.”
Photo by Ryan Ditch. Sony Alpha 7R IV. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/8, ISO 200
Since Ryan has switched to Sony, he’s been thrilled to be welcomed in the community of Sony shooters. “I feel like there is a community within the larger community of photographers, that is Sony. And I feel that is most prevalent with the Sony brand.”
Dive into the Sony community by engaging in our Community Forums. And be sure to connect with Ryan on Instagram (@RyanDitchPhoto).