What camera gear should I bring on a photography tour?

This camera gear guide will help you get prepared for your tour.  I highly recommend that you pack all your camera gear into a backpack that is suitable for carrying onto the plane.  This will minimise any risks with storing camera gear inside the hold luggage. Also sometimes cases don’t turn up, and the last thing you want to happen is to be missing some of your camera gear.

PRO TIP: If your airline allows it, book priority boarding this makes sure you’re first on the plane and it will minimise the chance they weigh or measure your bag and it ensures you get on the flight with the bag.

Cleaning Kit

Your camera gear will get wet and dirty, it’s highly recommended to bring along a cleaning kit.

Air Blower – blow away any rain, sand dust that has gotten onto your camera or lens.

Lens Pen – used for cleaning those more stubborn marks on your lens and getting right into the corners.

Lens Wipes – They’re fantastic for removing any residue on your lens.

Microfiber Cloths – there is 2 types of microfiber clothes.  There is the suede type one which is used for polishing the glass.  Then there is the furry type one. Get both. The furry type one is fantastic for drying your equipment.

Camera Equipment

DSLR / Mirrorless – It is recommend you bring along a digital camera or mirrorless camera.  Whether or not this is full frame is completely up to you. Ideally your camera should be able to operate at high ISO’s and produce low noise.  If you can only shoot at a maximum ISO of around 1600, it’s probably worth investing in something more modern.

Memory Cards – bring lots of these!

Batteries – bring a few batteries with you as there is nothing worse than being out in the field and your battery dying and not having another.

Charger – you’ll need a way to recharge your batteries in the evening.

Tripod – It is recommended that you have a decent tripod.  When I mean decent tripod, I mean something that isn’t going to blow over in a gust of wind and make sure please that it isn’t an eBay or Amazon special.  Something that is sturdy, solid and well built. If you have any doubts about your current tripod then it goes without saying you probably need something better.  I can advise you on a tripod to buy, just drop me a message along with a budget.

Tripod Head – A ball head is much better when working working on uneven surfaces, they’re much easier and quicker to operate then the conventional handle type ones. Just make the tripod head you bring is something you’re used to using.

Lenses

Wide Angle – I recommend that you bring a fast wide angle lens, anything from 10mm – 20mm would be considered wide angle.  When I say fast lens, ideally the lens will be 2.8 or faster. This can then double up as the lens you’ll use to shoot the night sky and hopefully the Northern Lights.

Zoom – A zoom lens is usually something like a 24-70.  The 24-70 is the lens that is on my camera probably 90% of the time.  You can use this lens for shooting the likes of Icelandic Horses, waterfalls, and any other details you notice in the landscape.

Telephoto – This lens will be used for capturing those smaller details in the landscape. The likes of snow capped mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls away in the distance.

This isn’t a final list of lenses to bring, just what I shoot with. I’ve had people who bring macro lenses with them as they love finding textures and patterns to shoot!

Filters

Filters are by no means a necessity for landscape photography, but they allow you to get creative.  Long exposures of waterfalls during the day. Fast moving clouds then let’s do some long exposures for streaky clouds.

My filter system of choice is the Firecrest filters by Formatt Hitech. The Formatt Hitech filters are well built and the price of them is reasonable, and they cast no color over the images when doing longer exposures.

Also, I use the square filters over the screw on type as I can buy what’s called step up and down rings to allow my filter holder to adapt to different thread sizes and lenses.

PLEASE NOTE: If buying a filter system, make sure you can use it on your wide-angle lens and zoom lens.

I recommend the following types of filters.

CPL (Circular Polariser) – If you’re only going to buy one filter, then it has to be a polariser.  They will boost the colors of grass, water, any objects by removing the glare. They also boost the color of a blue sky and clouds.

ND Filter (Neutral Density) – A 6 stop or 10 stop ND filter are used for long exposures.  They are the filters used for creating those streaky clouds and silky smooth water coming from waterfalls or used for seascapes.

GND Filter (Graduated Neutral Density) – I’d recommend a 3 stop GND. They are graduated filters where the top of the filter is dark, where it gradually fades out to be clear glass.  This allow you to retain detail in the sky, but also allowing your foreground to still be bright. Make sure it’s the soft edge GND and not the hard edge GND.

Miscellaneous

Cable Release or Intervalometer – We’re going to be doing longer exposures so we need a way of taking a picture without touching the camera.  The intervalometer can also be used to shoot timelapse.

Shower Caps (for rain) – These are used for covering your camera and lens to stop them getting covered in spray from waterfalls, the sea or from rain.

Laptop – We’re going to be shooting lots of photos, so it’s good practice that at the end of each day that we can backup our images.

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Tyler Collins

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