Whenever Rochelle and I hit the road on a photography-based trip (which is nearly every time we step out of the house) we try to figure out what photo gear we might need to bring along with us. Unfortunately, the answer is the same, every single time — Bring Everything! I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I left a lens at home and found out I really needed it. Or that spare camera body. Or maybe a special filter. The thing is, you just don’t know what you’re going to find when you’re searching for photographs. You may think you’re going to get a great sunset at the beach, but you end up wanting to shoot the pelicans as they fly over your head. Photography is a lot of things, but one thing it isn’t is predictable. So, here’s a list of what Rochelle and I bring along on the road. How we stuff it all in the van and still have room for food and clothes is another story.
For the two of us, we bring:
- Three camera bodies (one for each of us, and a spare if one breaks).
- Three batteries for each camera (batteries drain quicker when it’s cold, so for winter shooting three batteries is the minimum.
- SD cards. To figure out how much storage you need, multiply the number of pictures you expect to take by the megapixel rating of your camera. And then add at least 50%.
- Every lens you own. Seriously. If you bought a lens, you bought if for a reason. And chances are, that reason will show up on your trip.
- Filters. Polarizer filters are a must, and I never go anywhere without my 10-stop neutral density filter.
- Tripods. Big, heavy, bulky, expensive tripods. There’s no getting around it. Not if you want to take great pictures.
- A large flash that can be used on- and off-camera. Flashes aren’t just for portraits.
- Cleaning supplies. The road is a dirty place. You’ll want to clean your lenses a lot. You may even want to clean your sensor.
- Remote control. For your slow exposure photography, and selfies.
- Bags. We prefer backpack style bags with enough room to hold hats and sweaters too.
- An HDMI cable, so we can view our photos on the Van’s TV.
- An iPod or a Notebook computer. It’s fun to edit your photos at night, and it’s a great way to backup your photos too.
No doubt about it. It’s a big list of goodies. You can skip most of the above and just bring a compact camera. Heck, a lot of folks are just using their phone. But to get the most out of your photography, you can’t beat the quality of a nice DSLR.
So, did I forget anything? Leave a comment and let me know what’s in your camera bag.