Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

F-4 Phantom

F-4 Phantom
F-4 Phantom

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Equipped for the Field

Photographing in the field can range anywhere from shooting from your front porch, to driving around in your car, to hiking over hill and dale.  The trick is have with you all the necessary equipment without being loaded down so much it becomes awkward to function.

Too many times I've missed the shot because I wasn't prepared.  What usually happens is when I need a long lens I usually have a wide angle attached...or the other way around...or I forget to reset the high ISO on my camera back to 100 from the last time I used it, but the most frustrating is when I stumble onto a great photo op and my camera is sitting safely at home and I miss the opportunity.

Although I don't get out nearly as much as I used to, I still find time to explore new opportunities from time to time, and when I do, I like to be ready for any opportunity.  So here's a list of equipment I take into the field.

Camera Equipment:
Camera Body
18 - 80 zoom lens
50 - 500 zoom lens
1.5 teleconverter
Cokin graduated neutral density filter
Polarizer for the 18-80 zoom
3 foot remote shutter release
Extra Camera battery
Flash unit with extra batteries

Lens cleaning tissue
Soft cloth/cotton scarf
Plastic grocery bags (2)
A couple of Bandaids
Rubber bands
Soft lens brush/bulb

Hiking Gear:
Tamrac Cyber Pack camera pack
Hiking boots
Floppy hat
Rain gear

Water Bottles
Cell phone
Extra pair of dry boot socks
Dry Sneakers
Pocket knife

(Depends on the season)
When its cold:
    Flannel shirt over one or two layers of cotton t-shirts
    Camo hunting pants over warmer flannel pants
    Hoody Jacket
When its warm:
    Light cotton T or sleeveless-shirt usually a dark color or sometimes a light long sleeve shirt
    Nylon fishing pants - these are great for warm weather hiking as they protect you legs but are cool and dry quickly

And that's about it...I don't always include everything mentioned here unless I plan on hiking into someplace where I will be some distance from my vehicle... and I may take more if I am canoeing into someplace.  

Equipping for the field is really a matter of personal preference.  Over time you develop what works for you through trial and error.  The most important thing is to never be caught unprepared, but at the same time to remain flexible and unencumbered.


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