A few days ago, I went to a presentation on travel photography gear, where 6 advanced amateur photographers talked about what photographic kit they did (and didn’t) take with them on their travels. Their kits varied from “moderately spartan” to “everything and the kitchen sink”, but it got me thinking it may be a useful topic to discuss. (Point-n-shoot users, read this and appreciate the lightness of your gear!)
Travel Photography Tip #5 – What’s in my bag?
First of all, it’s important to remember this is very much horses for courses – your gear will need to suit both you and your style, as well as the purpose and subject matter of your trip. That said, here’s what I normally take in my camera bag on a ‘generic’ trip:
- My camera: Currently the Canon 7D
- My all-purpose lens: for me, this is the 24-105 f/4, which lives on the camera probably 60-70% of the time, and gives me a reasonable range of focal lengths to chose from.
- My church-museum-and-low-light lens: a fast prime, currently a 50mm f/1.8 and/or a 35mm f2.0. Very small, very light – combined they take up less space in my bag than any other lens (and they are comparatively cheap as well!), are relatively inconspicuous, and they let me take pictures in light that other lenses struggle with. (The flamenco picture to the right was taken with a fast prime, due to the low light.)
- My fit-everything-in lens: An optional extra, depending on where I am going, but still included more often than not. For me, this is a Sigma 10-20mm. Very useful when you want to show the full breadth of a scene, whether a landscape, architecture, or bustling street scene, but can pose a few compositional challenges until you get used to it.
- My backup camera: a small point-and-shoot, for when I can’t or won’t take the ‘big’ camera, as well as providing some redundancy in case of camera failure.
I also have a cheap, small laptop (the smallest and cheapest I could find) two small hard drives, and an assorted mess of chargers, spare batteries, spare cards, and a card reader. This all fits into a small(ish) camera backpack (overhead-locker safe, even for small planes), along with wallet, phone, books, drinks, etc. It does not, unfortunately, leave much room for shopping – whether that’s a good or bad thing probably depends on your point of view :)
What about you – what’s in your bag when you travel?