Hey Everyone! Hope you've had a good week. This week I want to talk about what you have in your camera bag. That's right your camera bag not mine. This will be a guideline on what I think you should have in your camera bag. Of course this is very personal. Everybody's needs are different. I think that you should pack what is needed and not what is not. Being lightweight and nimble is a key to great photography. No matter if your a street photographer landscape wildlife or whatever. It is said in backpacking that you pack your fears. Which means you pack a lot of "what ifs?" What if I get thirsty, More water, what if I get hungry more food. You get the idea. All of these what if's is what makes a pack heavy. The same goes with your camera bag. If you take everything you own you will have a miserable time being a pack mule lugging all of your equipment around. Being economic in what you bring will enhance the photography experience. And we all want that. Part of this is knowing what to take and this comes with experience. I have 40 years of caring around a camera bag and I'm still figuring out what to bring and what to leave home but I have come to a conclusion Less is more! Sometimes One lens and one body is all you really need. ( I do like a one lens challenge.) Especially as I get older I don't want to be a pack mule. So here goes a few rules and some hints on what to bring in no particular order.
1. Plan you trip. Try to learn what you are going to be taking photo's of. If your going to a museum you don't need a 500mm lens and if your going to shoot birds in flight you don't need a super wide lens. Bring what you need and remember the less the better.
2. Bring a bag just large enough to carry what you need. I have found with backpacking the larger bag you bring you must fill that sucker up with things you don't need. So if your going to do street photography you don't need a 50 liter backpack . Your only going to carry a body and a couple of lenses so bring a small shoulder bag or a large purse to carry your extra lenses. You will be happier with the light weight and the mobility that this serves. I pick and choose what bag I use on the outing that I'm going on.
3. Pretty obvious from the statements before take a Camera body and the lenses you will need. If your not going to need it take it out of your bag. If your not going to need that macro or Large Telephoto take it out of your bag. If your not going to do long exposure take out that remote shutter don't tote that tripod if your not going to use it.
4. Tripods? Are you going to need it take it. If not don't. A light weight carbon fiber tripod can be good to have. I have one but I don't tote it all the time only if I think I'm going to need it. I usually use a tripod if I'm shooting sunrise or sunset or waterfalls or maybe even macro but during the middle of the day I don't need it and I don't tote it. If your driving keep it in the car.
5. Flash and lighting equipment. Like the tripod if you need it bring it if not leave it home. If I'm doing street photography or landscape and I won't need a flash I don't bring it. But if I'm shooting a wedding or event where a flash is needed I might bring two. Planning is the key. I used to tote one all of the time and never used it so it has to be a special occasion for me to bring mine. I do carry a small LED light to help with dark spaces and I carry a Headlamp that comes in handy.
6.Non Photography Accessories. These are personal but remember less is more. I have a little first aid kit that I bring it has stuff like bug repellent, sun block, band aide, glass cleaner. These are some of the things I bring but medication could be another. Small amounts you are not going on a week trip only usually only for a couple of hours. I have small one use pouches that I take not full tubes or bottles.
7.Batteries. Well we need batteries but if your like me I have a lot . I only take enough for the day. I also take a 10000 mha external battery pack to charge my phone and camera battery in a pinch. The extra battery pack is on the heavy side but one I like to take with me. I'm sure it's a option that many wont use .
8. Cleaning clothes. Small microfiber cloths are cheap I have them in every divided section of my bag.
As you can see there are many things we can do to save weight and volume in your bag. Remember only bring what you'll need not everything you own. Be lightweight and nimble when you shoot. Get outside and shoot! With a lighter pack.