It took quite a bit of planning to figure out which photography gear would be perfect for our trip to Beausoleil Island. I know lots of people default to “bring everything” but that wasn’t really an option for us since:
- we were travelling to an island by small boat
- wouldn’t have our car with us to cart around our gear
- would spend a lot of time carrying all our photography equipment with us while either hiking or biking
So we packed what we thought were the basics we’d need plus backups of everything because that’s the way we roll. We managed to fit everything in just over two bags plus the tripod – dastardly thing, must they always be so big and awkward?
Here’s what we brought:
Our Main Camera Bag
This is our main camera bag for all our shoots. It’s nice and small and only holds the stuff that I use repeatedly, anything else that I think I might use goes into a secondary bag that waits in the corner of the studio or in the car if we’re on location.
The bag is the Lowepro Orion AW, I’ve had it for well over ten years now and I still love it. Of all my bags it’s the one that gets used the most. I bought it because it could be a traditional camera bag or I could add the backpack part and wear it on my back, which was quite useful biking back and forth across Beausoleil Island in the dark. Aside from this recent trip I don’t wear it on my back too often anymore but I do like having a small back pack to take on landscape shoots. It’s good to toss in a couple of flashlights, snacks, water, and dry clothes.
So what did we fill our main gear bag with? Here you go, clockwise from the top left:
- Sekonic L-328 Light Meter
- Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105 F/4.0L IS Lens
- Filters (borrowed to test out – Thanks Sylvia!): Singh-Ray 2-Stop Soft ND Graduated Filter and Singh-Ray 2-Stop Reverse ND Graduated Filter for the Cokin P Filter Holder, and a Nikon Circular Polarizing Filter
- 76 GB of memory cards, with special thanks to Yvonne, Christina, and Jason for sharing some of theirs
- Canon G9 (not shown)
- Quick Change Plate
- Camera Level
- Fox 40 Classic Whistle
- Compass that belonged to my Dad
- 3 Cable Releases
- Stop Watch
- Plus there’s a bunch of bits and bobs in the other pockets of the bag: spare batteries, lens pen, lens tissue, notebook and pencil, garbage bag, manuals, etc
Our Secondary Camera Bag
This bag is filled with things we rarely used but couldn’t live without and, most importantly, our backup gear. Clockwise from top left:
- Canon 20D with Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II Lens
- Canon Speedlite 580EX
- iPad charger
- Battery Chargers: LC-E6 for 5D Mark II, CB-2LW for G9, and CG-580 for 20D
- Lensbaby 3G Canon EF Lens
- iPad Camera Connection Kit (not shown)
- USB camera cables (not shown)
Additional Photography Gear
- Manfrotto 055C Tripod with 029 Head
- iPad 2
Backing Up Our Files
Backing up our files was a big concern and a topic of much debate before we left for Beausoleil. I just don’t feel comfortable travelling with only one copy of my images. So in an effort to remain as light and portable as possible we chose to backup all our files from all our cameras twice daily to the iPad 2 using their camera connection kit. The 5D Mark II was plugged into the kit’s USB port and files from the G9 were backed up using the kit’s SD card reader. The cable was cumbersome and for some reason it wouldn’t skip files that were already imported from the 5D Mark II but all in all everything worked out fine. Though next time I’d really like to get a compact flash card reader for the iPad.
We used the photo app that came with the iPad and it worked well. If this is something that seems to come up often we might get an app that doesn’t import already imported files, allows us to tag and sort photographs, and create different albums for our images.
Whew! I think I’ve covered everything! If there’s something you’d like to know about that I didn’t touch on here just let us know in the comments section. What are your challenges when photographing on location? What are some pieces of photography equipment that you can’t live without? How do you backup your files when you’re away from your studio?