When planning a vacation of a lifetime the first thing people think of after what they’re going to eat (or maybe that is just my family) is photo taking. Yes we all want to memorialize the shit out of our trips, play 1000’s of photos on an endless loop on one of those electronic picture frames and inundate our Instagram followers with every damn thing we ate!
When I plan a trip to a location I know is a photographer’s dream come true (like my recent trip to Fundy National Park here), I prepare weeks in advance to ensure I have everything I need. I think about what I’m going to photograph and then I make a list of all the gear I’d need on hand to get the best possible pictures. So what’s in my camera bag when travelling through nature’s best? I thought you’d never ask.
My Gear For Landscape/Nature Photography
- 2 camera bodies; a Nikon d750 and Nikon d300. Both cameras rock my world and never fail me.
- 2-3 lenses. Since I take mainly landscape, cityscape and seascape photographs I almost always have my Nikkor 17-35mm wide-angle zoom lens on a body. The other lens I almost always have not only with me but on the other body is my Nikkor 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens. Nothing pisses me off more than when I’m sitting in nature and an animal comes into view and I don’t have a telephoto with me. The 200mm isn’t real close but this lens is so sharp that cropping afterwards still produces a crisp photo. If I bring a third, it is a Nikkor 50mm prime lens. This little lens is sharp, fast and negligible in weight – especially compared to the other two. If I’m wandering around town this lens is much lighter to carry and also less obtrusive when shooting around people.
- two batteries per body and a charger for both types of batteries
- memory cards; filters; cable releases
- iPhone 6; apps for photography (which ones? you’ll have to wait for that post) and for subtle picture taking while in restaurants etc.
- GoPro for when I want to send Q looking over a waterfall’s edge and other unique shots
- lens and filter cleaning pens and cloths
- tripod for those low light or long exposure shots;
- camera booklet; there are functions I may not use often on my cameras or that are performed differently on each and honestly I don’t always remember. So in case I don’t have service where I am to google it, the camera booklets tell me what I need to know.
- rain guards, rain poncho and a black garbage bag; I know you’re perplexed with what I’m doing with the garbage bag right? Well I hate kneeling on the wet dirty ground so the garbage bag protects my clothing. I know I’m so practical and ridiculous at the same time.
- last but not least are my iPad and iPad connectors. Sometimes viewing a shot on my iPad allows me to see focus issues etc. that I may not notice on the small LCD on the back of the camera. Or I get ideas while travelling for the blog and take notes for reference later.
There you go – my landscape travelling bag. And although some gear is nice to have and others essential, the best tool cannot be packed in a bag and that tool is LOCATION! Good photos require time and effort. Great photos need a great subject.
Oh and one more thing. Sometimes we’re so concerned about getting that great shot, we forget to live in the moment. Make sure to put the camera down and breath the memory you are capturing. No sense getting home to look at photos of a place you don’t recall. Now get out there and take some photos already!
~ True North Nomad
What equipment do you take when travelling far and wide? What can you not leave home without in your photo bag?
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