Battling the elements and playing with unpredictable lighting means you need a whole different set of gear for outdoor photography. Here are the must-haves!
You could be shooting a beautiful picnic outdoors in natural light for a company’s marketing materials, or perhaps you’re a wildlife photographer. Whatever your area, taking photos outside is a different ball game to shooting in a studio. In nature, things literally have lives and minds of their own. Also, you have the weather to contend with (and if you live in the UK, that is one unpredictable beast).
Capturing landscapes, wildlife and natural phenomena can require a fair amount of equipment. You’ll often need a selection of lenses, including pretty hefty zoom lenses, for photographing distant subjects. Dave Paul, from TheCameraStoreTV, has given a helpful run down of the gear he uses for outdoor photography.
Not only has Dave gone for an ergonomic SLR camera with all the specs he needs in the Nikon Z5, he’s also made sure it’s weather resistant. When handling expensive gear, the last thing you want to do is risk killing it when you’re caught out in a downpour.
Telephoto lenses for extreme close-ups, as well as ultra-wide angle lenses for sweeping skies, feature on the list.
Something you may not consider when it comes to outdoor photography gear is the stuff that you’re going to be wearing. Having great camera gear is important, but the photographer needs to be able to shoot it! If you’re shooting in colder climates, it’s hard going on the hands. Getting hold of some decent heat liner gloves with touch screen friendly fingers is a must.
Camera straps shouldn’t be overlooked either. Investing in a reliable, well-made camera strap helps to take some strain off of you. Carrying a heavy camera around all day, alongside observing and shooting, can contribute to quicker fatigue.
Tripods, of course, appear on Dave Paul’s list of essentials. An important point to consider when picking a tripod is the material it’s made from. This impacts on the weight and durability of the piece. Trekking about in the wilderness, you want equipment that is lightweight but will survive any knocks or extensive travelling.
Carbon fibre is a sturdy choice, which also absorbs more vibration than aluminium. This means any nearby traffic or activity won’t disturb your perfect shot.
This is starting to sound like a lot of gear, right? You can’t carry everything around by hand when photographing outdoors. You need a decent backpack.
Dave uses the Shimoda Explorer 40, which has a handy modular section. This means you can store your gear neatly, and in a way that works for you. It also has a handy place to keep your tripod, and is comfortable to wear.
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