I thought it was about time to show you how I roll. This is the setup I take on all shoots and has been refined over a period of time. These aren’t quite the bare essentials but the whole lot isn’t overly heavy for short trips. I tend to cut it down if I’ll be walking any distance.
1. Lowepro – Mini Trekker
This bag has served me well, very well in fact it saved all my camera equipment when it along myself got dunked in the sea at 1am whilst photographing on my own, full moon, and king tide. I bought this bag after trying several others that didn’t quite do the job. I like being able open it right up and have access to everything all at once. I can swap and change the layout as desired with the handy Velcro compartments. The only down side is that you have to put the bag down or precariously balance it on one leg to access your kit. I usually set up the camera somewhere dry before walking with the tripod and camera slung over my shoulder.
2. Canon 5D with 17-40 F4 L Series Lens
A great landscape photography combo, 17mm on a full frame camera. I use this lens for most of my shots so it just stays on the camera in the bag. I’ve also got a Really Right Stuff L bracket which allows me to change from portrait to landscape and back easily without recomposing or shifting the centre of gravity over the tripod.
3. Canon 70mm-200mm L Series F2.8, great for those long shots and portraiture as it’s a fast sharp lens with constant F2.8 over the entire focal range. It is heavier because of this but saves me buying another lens.
4. Canon TC-80N3 remote release, great for long exposures, time lapse, and other funky things, this remote release does it all.
5. Lens hood for Canon 17-40mm, not that I ever use it but may come in useful one day if I have a strong cross light…and I’m not using my filters.
6. Lee wide angle adapter ring and filter holder. I’ve test the Cokin P & Z Series filter holders and this one is by far the best. I found the Z series intrudes on the frame with the full sensor, wide angle lens at wider apertures.
7. Business cards, there is usually someone interested in what I’m shooting, might as well point them to my website. I get my cards through Moo, great way to show off your work.
8. Lens cloths x 3, if one gets wet use another one.
9. Filters carried in a Lee filter carry case. I’ve gone from Cokin P Series to HiTech (Formatt) to Lee filters which by far surpass the rest. I currently have both the 0.6 and 0.9 soft edge Lee ND grads along with various HiTech filters both ND grad (soft and hard edge) and solid ND’s all of which don’t tend to get used (not so neutral in colour as the Lee’s).
10. Camera strap, only really gets used this when I’m hand holding shots and carrying the camera round my neck. The strap tends to flap about if not being used which can cause camera shake on long exposures so if the camera is on the tripod I take it off.
11. Manfrotto Tripod 190XB – I really don’t take care of my gear, this has had everything thrown at it and has lasted several years.
12. Really Right Stuff panning clamp, this along with the Precision Plus Package (#13) is my panoramic setup. This panning clamp is great as I can get the tripod level and then pan with the panning head rather than move the tripod head potentially making it unlevel.
13. Really Right Stuff Precision Plus Package, this makes up the rest of my pano setup. Removes parallax distortion and allows for flawless stitching of panoramas.
14. LED Maglite, this has also done me well. It’s still in perfect condition even after being dunked along with me when I was hit by a rogue wave. The LED light is pretty much white so I use it to light paint long exposures in the dark. It’s also handy for setting focus in the dark.
15. Head torch, great for keeping your hands free whilst climbing or walking in the dark.
16. Spare memory cards, always keep a couple in case something goes wrong.
17. Compass, not that I ever use it but one day it may save my life. Good for remote locations and figuring out where the sunset/sunrises are going to occur.
18. B+W 10 stop (3.0) ND filter ND-110 a new bit of kit for me, great for long exposures during the day but can result in some very IR contaminated images, use with care! Read my tips on how to best use it here
19. Cokin Z164 Circular Polarising filter not something I use too often as I mostly shoot wide angles. OK when uneven polarisation is acceptable such as on water otherwise only good at semi telephoto lengths.