What gear for Landscape Photography?

When I head out in the field for photography I bring the same equipment and gear, whether making images of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, Aspen groves, Anasazi Ruins, Winter landscapes, as long as I’m within walking distance of my car, I take along:

  1. Tripod (Manfrotto carbon fiber) and the correct quick release plates pre-mounted on my camera bodies
  2. D5100 and D300 camera bodies
  3. Nikon 12-24mm lens
  4. Nikon 16-85mm lens
  5. Nikon 55-300mm lens
  6. Cable release for each camera body
  7. SD and Compact flash cards (usually about 48 GB)
  8. 2 stop (.06) Graduated Neutral density filter
  9. Cokin P holder for above
  10. All in a sweet backpack type camera bag (my current bag is a Lowe Expedition 5)

When I am hiking the weight is important to me so some things in the camera bag are left in the studio or in a case in the car: For hiking more than 5 miles or multiday backpacking I take the following gear.

  1. Tripod, lightweight carbon fiber ( I love Manfrotto gear)
  2. Nikon D5100 and Nikon L120
  3. Nikon 16-85 lens
  4. Cable release for D5100
  5. SD cards (usually about 48GB)
  6. 2 stop (.06) Graduated Neutral Density filter
  7. Cokin P holder for above
  8. I carry the DSLR in a waterproof camera bag that I sling over my shoulder and the rest of the gear is either in my backpack or daypack.
  9. Extra batteries for each camera
  10. I don’t “chimp” photos on a multiday trip as the batteries will not last without recharging.  I am shopping for a lightweight, solar battery charger, but so far, buying and keeping additional batteries charged is proving cheaper and lighter weight.  While camping on cold nights in the mountains I sleep with my water bottle and batteries in the sleeping bag with me.
  11. I sometimes take my ipad with me to use the GPS tracking and to upload/backup files.

I suggest participants judge their minimum needs for hiking, however, if the car is nearby, then feel free to bring all your most important gear along.

Essential gear in the mountains of Colorado:

  1. Raingear
  2. Warm layers
  3. Hat
  4. Bug repellent
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Waterbottle
  7. Snack

Waterfall Photography report, June 2012

We’ve been out in the field enjoying the snowmelt here in the Durango area.  I spent this past week teaching waterfall photography workshops and the bonus of digital cameras is that they can supply instant feedback on the LCD; great for waterfalls. The technique of doing a few handheld “sketches” to finalize the shutter speed needed to blur the water is a great way to see exactly where you should set up for your final photographs. After a few shots, I suggest photographers set up your composition on a tripod, allow a brief review of your composition and then use the self timer and mirror lockup for the final image.  Because waterfalls “paint” the water while you are exposing, go ahead and make a handful of images, you may enjoy the lines created by the flow of water in some exposures more than others.

Outside of Silverton, along Mineral Creek is a fabulous location for image making and digital photography. Waterfalls are the perfect subject for “chimping” your photos, as long as your batteries are fully charged.  Frequent use of the LCD is a battery hog.

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2 thoughts on “What gear for Landscape Photography?

  1. Hi Kit,

    Your blog is a great idea. It is like being in your class without having to climb those stairs at Smiley!

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