Before I share my advice with you I want you to know I am an avid outdoor photographer. It is my passion and the reason for me to wake up at 4 AM every Saturday instead of going out with friends.
We all know camera equipment is heavy and expensive, hence taking all this in the outdoors represents a risk and a burden. You have to be extremely careful of what you put into your bag, since there’s no turning back; you will have to carry that equipment until the end. And you really don’t want to carry a $1,000 lens that you ended up using to take four bad photos.
So here’s a list of what I take to the outdoors along with a few examples of what you can do with that equipment.
1. DSLR body with a wide zoom lens
I won’t even mention brand here. You should take whatever you feel comfortable with, within your budget. Although I would suggest having a body that can do bracketing (so you can play with HDR photography). The lens should be wide with a minimum range of 24mm, although you could do some more if you own a full frame camera. I prefer a zoom lens because, although heavier than a prime, it gives you more focal range to play with. So instead of carrying a prime 18mm, prime 55 and prime 100, you can take an 18–135 and save a lot of space in your camera bag.
2. A fast lens
I have a Canon 50mm that I absolutely LOVE, specially for traveling. Here are the reasons I like it:
- It’s the cheapest lens of the Canon lenses (about $130 in Amazon).
- It’s the lightest Canon lens in their lineup so you won’t tire.
- Max aperture f/1.8 makes it optimal for low light situations as well as ideal for more creative photographs where you can play with the depth of field.
3. A Flash kit with IR technology
Even though you’re going outdoors into the sun, I always recommend you carry your flash with you. Here’s why:
- You can take amazing sunset/sunrise shots exposing on the background while artificially lighting the foreground with your external flash.
- Eliminate harsh shadows on people’s faces. When you take photos of people on the sun, the shadows are unforgiving. Using an external flash will help reduce the shadows by filling those spaces with light.
- Shoot in confined spaces. Shoot at night.
4. A tripod
Every serious photographer knows the value of shooting with a tripod. Yes, I understand it’s a bit of a pain to carry it everywhere, however you will get SHARP images in exchange. Do you think sharp images are worth it? I do. It’s the difference between a beautiful photo you can print in A1 size or a beautiful photo you can print on a giant canvas.
Next time you consider bringing a tripod with you, think about all those nice photos you have you will never ever print because you know they’re not sharp enough.
5. A sturdy durable camera bag to carry your equipment
The new generation of DSLR camera bags have way more than just a good padding. They have super easy access to your camera so you won’t miss a shot.
About the Author:
Maro Chow writes for a site specializing in DSLR camera bags. You will find reviews as well as prices for select DSLR camera bags. They have information regarding the sturdiest, protective, easy to access bags for DSLRs.
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