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Here’s photographer Robin Quigley’s take on what to take in your camera bag when heading on a landscape photography shoot…
I always wince when I’m on a landscape hike and get stuck behind a photographer going out with a carry-on for a flight. I get eyed up as I stroll past with my little backpack, ready for the great outdoors. Sorry folks, but I’m on a few hours’ adventure, not a weekend city break to Birmingham.
I’m sure you’re the same, you scroll through Facebook looking at the newest update from a photography page you follow; “top five gear essentials” or “your camera bag necessities”. Bring that 100-400 lens incase you spy a Kingfisher resting in the perfect spot on golden hour. Or bringing two cameras incase you are struck by lighting and the first one corrupts. This isn’t one of those guides. This is the thought process I make in my head when I pack my bag and hopefully it makes you think about the process you take when you’re packing yours.
Here’s my go-to list before putting gear in my bag:
What am I looking to shoot? Is it a landscape-only day or will I be looking to capture wildlife?
What’s the weather like? Is it going to be wet!?
How far am I planning on walking? Is it a pop out the car or one of those remote places that I can only walk to?
Less is more. I’m human and I get tired carrying a heavy bag quicker.
*Is everything waterproof* I feel like this is a Northern Ireland consideration mostly.
My favourite bag set-up changes constantly according to season and weather. But there are some essentials that are always present:
A camera (obviously)
A short focal length lens (I use a 24-70mm)
A cleaning cloth
And that’s it! I focus on long exposure landscape photography, and that maybe isn’t your cup of tea. But this is all about the thought process of how you pack your bag (your very waterproof backpack).
Say you’re going to the Giant’s Causeway, a popular spot for landscape photography. It’s a long walk depending on the trail and weight is a limiting factor. Apart from my essentials, what gets added to the bag? What are you planning on shooting?
Normally, simply a hat and gloves are the only additions if I’m honest. It’s “baltic” most of the time and nearly always windy. Everything fits in a small backpack apart from the tripod which I carry.
This article is not to convince you of “your camera bag necessities”, buying gear because someone mentioned it in an article once and carrying 10+ items “just in case”. But rather, I encourage you to think logically about what gear you’re bringing and why. Your back will thank me!