Trekking Photography – Gear details & Tips

TYPES OF dslr CAMERA LENSES AND THEIR ROLES

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Trekking into the mountains is an addictive passion of mine and it is an attraction that allows me to indulge in the other passion that I have, which is photography. In this post, I will be describing to the readers about the Essential Travel photography gear which I currently carry. Also would share insights into photography gear while on treks.

The location and vistas that one sees while on a trek are enthralling to say the least and very soothing but then to indulge in photography one needs to have the gear for it as well.

Essential Travel Photography Gear

I have been trekking for some years now and have learnt some valuable lessons about the gear to carry. Though I still have not been able to perfect my requirement yet with each trip I am refining my gear to meet my requirements out in the wild.

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Why speak about photography gear on treks?

There was no article which offered clarity to me and hence I had to go through the process of trial-error and experience. This article I hope will be useful for those who suffer from the same dilemma when setting out on a trek.

Photography gear on treks

Okay firstly one will never stop buying gear, ask me and I will tell you how this has been a never-ending cycle. Every time I bought something and came to the conclusion that I have found the solution to photography combined with trekking the field trials and reviews of some other product again made me review what I have and what is missing.

But one thing is important, to invest in good quality equipment, especially in the long run this pays dividends. Don’t skimp on this and purchase cheap gear for they will not last you far.

The essential travel photography gear that I list are my personal choices and I will explain why I use them

Photography gear on treks – Camera body

One of the pillars of essential travel photography gear is the Camera Body that is used. I will not proclaim the superiority of any particular brand out here.

I use two camera bodies instead of one. This offers me the flexibility of having two lenses simultaneously. It protects the camera sensor from getting exposed to the elements of weather (dust, moisture, dirt, excessive cold etc) repeatedly during changing lenses. I am a Canon user hence I use the Canon 5D MK III (a camera which has an impressive dynamic range when out in the field coupled with being full-frame ) and the relatively newer Canon 5D Mk IV.

Photography gear on treks – Kind of lenses to carry ?

This really racks the brain. I remember when I had started trekking, I used to carry so many of them. This was because of the view that I did not want to miss out on one particular shot. Over the years I have cut them down and now these are my three main lenses which accompany me.

Canon 11-24 mm

Canon 11-24 mm is fundamentally a lens for urban architectural photography however I am simply in love with this lens.

This lens is an extraordinary advancement in lens technology because it is the world’s widest ultrawide and its super-sharp at every setting. This is not a fisheye, straight lines stay straight. It is a spectacular piece of technology and excels in performance.

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source : Google images/ Essential Travel Photography gear

Canon 24-70 mm

Extremely popular lens, this is the Go-To lens for all professional photographers. It is faster, sharper and a spectacular mid zoom lens.

For those cut frame landscape frames this is the perfect lens to have. Think of those sunset frames, the mountain stream visuals and campsite visuals. Well, this is the lens for achieving those shots.

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source : Google images/ Essential Travel Photography gear

Canon 70-200 mm

The best telephoto for landscape shots over a wide range of situations, this is an astonishing lens. Canon spared no expense in making this lens and it shows in the visuals which are shot. The lens preferred by all professionals, this is the one single telephoto lens that needs to be carried. Never think twice about selecting it for you will never regret it

For those close-up shots in the wild, with an amazing depth of field, this is the key. I have always carried it no matter how difficult the circumstances it justifies its position in the camera bag.

Note: I have said all the positive aspects above however there are negatives too and the biggest is weight and I will come to that subsequently.

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source : google images/Essential Travel Photography gear

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Photography gear on treks – Do we actually need a tripod?

The requirement of a tripod is something that cannot be sacrificed. One needs a tripod for those dusk shots, night shots and early morning visuals. This is like a necessary evil.

My choice. I use the Gitzo Systematic series GT3542LS( read my review here). Systematic series is the latest from the Gitzo stable and the choice for those who use long lenses and heavy cameras. This is a carbon fibre tripod designed for elevation, lightness, durability and stability. It can take a payload of 25 kg.

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source : Gitzo/ Essential Travel Photography gear

Essential travel photography gear contd.

Photography gear on treks- The importance of filters

Filters, in my opinion, are essential. Over the years I have understood that having just a polariser is not enough. I have graduated through a number of brands and finally settled on the Formatt-Hightech circular filters and thereafter on the LEE filter system.

I am particularly bowled by the LEE filter system especially for the 11-24 mm which I was using without any filter since last so many years owing to its mammoth curvaceous lens profile. But LEE finally has come out with a great solution and thus I shifted on to LEE

Filter systems: LEE SW150 (for 11-24 mm) consisting of polarisers, GND, Reverse GND ( Graduated Neutral Density )

LEE 100 mm (for 24-70 mm & 70-200 mm) consisting of same above.

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source : google images/ Essential Travel Photography gear

Photography gear on treks- Don’t forget to carry an intervalometer.

I am a big fan of making time-lapse sequences and to do this we definitely need an intervalometer. I use a basic Canon NC80 model which is very light and budget-friendly with all the necessary features.

Photography gear on treks – Which photography backpack to carry?

Now that I have mentioned the various essential photography gear which I carry while on treks, the question which pops is which pack to use to carry all the above.

Carrying case: I use the Lowepro Trekker 450 AW( read my review here ). It is a bulky case but once you get used to it I think it is a great option and the gear also remains safe within.

A lot of trekkers carry the camera gear within the main trekking backpack however I don’t that. I have a bit more equipment and keep my trekking accessories and photography backpack separate. Hence I always take the assistance of porters.

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source : google images/ Essential Travel Photography gear

Essential travel photography gear – How to carry the camera while trekking?

As we know while trekking we would come across some beautiful vistas which we wish to frame. Also, the terrain of trekking might require us to concentrate and have the use of fo trekking poles. So in these cases how do we balance the camera, trek at the same time and click a frame without stopping the pace of the trek?

Body harness: I now use the Cotton Carrier twin camera harness system for carrying the cameras while on the trek( Read more here). The camera is safely fixed as well as readily available for immediate use and the best thing is that the camera does not hang or something as well as the hands are free at all times.

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source : google images/ Essential Travel Photography gear

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So this is the setup that I have finalised. I know this won’t be the last for I will keep improvising but it worked well enough for me in my last trek. the weight table is attached below, and this is the biggest drawback of this setup.

Weight Table 

5D MK III (body only)956 gm
5D Mk IV (body only)900 gms
11-24 mm1166 gms
24-70 mm804 gm
70-200 mm1550 gms
Gitzo tripod systematic model with ball head2800 gm
Filters pack300 gm
Additional batteries ( 06 )420 GMS
Lowepro 450 protrekker4100 gm
Misc accessories600 gm
Grand Total 13596 gm ( 13.5 Kg )
Essential Travel Photography gear

So as I one can see, this is the biggest drawback in the whole setup, but considering the equipment used, the weight is the best that can be achieved. So maybe this can be used as a reference point for those who use DSLRs on mountain treks to fine-tune their own kit.

Do let me know what is the setup as well as what comprises that your essential travel photography gear while on treks.

Do follow and connect with me on Instagram, look forward to that !!!!

LINK IN THE SIDEBAR

For visuals ranging from architecture to travel destinations, flora and fauna of India; so do click on the below-mentioned link which houses all my Stock collection in HD format.

https://www.traveldreamsbysumit.com/

Would you be interested in reading a few more articles related to travel and trekking gear , well scroll down

  • Have you ever tried a solar panel while on the trek or road trip? Read Here
  • I recently purchased the Gregory Baltoro backpack. My review is here.
  • I am also a big fan of the front-loading backpack from SeekOutside, Here it is.

34 Replies to “Trekking Photography – Gear details & Tips”

  1. I enjoyed reading it .
    It seemed to be an extremely well researched article and you have undoubtedly documented your experiences extremely well.
    It is informative and a great read for enthusiasts.
    Looking forward to more .

  2. Very useful information and research! Thank you very much for sharing! The solar panel sounds awesome to use!

  3. I suddenly felt inferior as a travel photographer. I own quite a few photography tool. I wish to have all those kits too.

  4. You really captured the whole essence of this experience in this article and with photography, if you’re going into it, you might as well go big with one of the best equipments out there, which you clearly gave a good description of.

  5. I find photography so intimidating! I even took a class in college on it once, but I couldn’t get it like I needed too. I just leave it to the professionals now! haha

  6. I used to love trekking, we go at least once a month. Now that everything changes we need to set aside this activity.

  7. Trekking and taking photos are definitely two of the things that I would love to learn as well. It’s not easy to take beautiful photos especially at night. Thank you for these recommendations!

  8. Thanks for your wonderful tips! My partner wants to be a travel photographer but have no idea where to start. Your guide is super helpful.

  9. I’m a photographer so I found your information to be very good. I appreciate your sharing your knowledge

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