I’m starting to prepare and order stuffs for my next trip to Kenya next week and I wanna show you how I organized my photographic backpack.
So, when I need to prepare the gear for a trip where I’m supposed to take a large amount of photos, sometimes in a not-so-friendly environment, the first thing I ask to myself is:
1. where are you planning to take the main part of the photos?
Ok, normally I don’t have an answer because I’m used to move a lot and some good moment can appear at any time (yes, normally when you don’t have your still camera with you and the smartphone is down of battery..).
Now, for Kenya I will visit different environments and I will shot from several points such as: in the dust of the savannah trying to point the camera with a big and heavy lense out of the car that is constantly jumping into potholes, around some park where can be sunny and suddenly rain takes over, into the slam where maybe walking around with a big reflex and a big white lense is not properly reccomended, on the seashore, from a tuktuk (small three-wheeled vehicle) or a pikipiki (a motorcycle where is normal to carry on 3 pax..) etc..
So maybe, if I wanna be light taking with me just a backpack and not a national geographic set, I will opt to take my “old friend” main camera (and not the brand new one), a backup camera (a mirror less or a compact one, with the high quality models that came out in the last years, are more then sufficient) and the evergreen GoPro
2. which kind of subjects are you planning to photograph the most?
Yet another good ask, with I normally don’t have a proper answer for. I’m not actually going on assignments for some magazine for whom I have a concrete target subject and I like to shoot photos to whatever is able to let me think “wooah!”. I mean, I always plan my shots but an unexpected situation can always be ready to happen.
So, for the “light backpack law”, I would bring just a pair of lenses that permit me to cover the entire range from wide angle to tele, without getting crazy with macro or fixed lenses, portable flashes, and whetever camera accessories you not gonna used if not for a concrete reason with a large amount of time to prepare the “backstage”.
3. so, which camera and lenses are you going to take with you?
I’ll take with me my loved and trusted Canon 7d mark I as the main camera. Its tropicalized body in magnesium, the fast shutter and the processor able to shoot 8 photos per second and the fact that already has some years makes it perfect for my purposes.
As a backup camera, and actually as the main one for the visit to the Kibera slum, the new Sony RX100 mark V that I just bought after a long research on the web. Superlight (just 299gr.), small (102x58x41mm, actually a pack of cigaret a little bit more thick), super fast (24 fps burst!), very good native sensitivity (125-12.800 ISO), tilt screen, 20.10 megapixels….in short, a really amazing point and shoot camera!
Only big problem I met? the impossibility to open its raw files (.arw) with Adobe Lightroom that freaked me out but that I solved in a couple of days of research and that I will explain tighter with why I had to opt for a compact camera and why I chose the Sony RX100V, in one of the next articles.
As an allround and extreme camera, the evergreen GoPro 4 which I can take wherever shooting photos, videos and whatever I need.
As a “special guest”, this round I will take with me my recently bought Mavic Pro drone to get some different shot in the bush or on the sea shore without risking to get jailed for flying it in the city or in some no-fly zone. With a 4k camera able to shoot at 12mpx, it’s just matter of imagination..
Well, and my iPhone X that can shoot amazing pics and selfies to be shared on the web in a couple of slides, maybe after some fast photo improvements with the amazing Snapseed app (Android – iOS)
I need to cover the mayority of the situations with less equipment so I will take with me again my two great Canon L series lenses: the Canon 24-105 f4 and the machine gun Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6, the first one as a main one and the second one just for the safari. Two great lenses that always made me happy about the amount of money I spent to buy it.
The sony has a shorter 24-70 f1.8-2.8 that is pretty ok for urban photography and some fast point and shot.
4. Are you gonna take with you some accessories?
– my trusted Macbook Pro
– my trusted Garmin Fenix 3, that doesn’t probably match with photography but it helped me out a lot when I went deep into the bush to search for hippos bathing into the Sabaki river, and suddenly lost the way back..
– two extra battery for the Canon 7d, two for the Sony RX100 and one for the Mavic pro
– cables to download photos on my macbook, chargers and a multiple usb 2.4v charger
– a nice rain cover for dslr camera I bought on amazon that actually work good even in heavy dust environments
– an economic 3-axis stabilizer Zhiyun Smooth-Q, that works pretty well and is compact enough
– 3 packs of quick-release folding propellers for the Mavic Pro in case of hitting some branches
– a small tripod such as the Gorillapod
– a standard lense cleaning kit
Ok, it seems a lot of things and actually it doesn’t sounds like “light backpack” but everything fits in a standard dslr backpack. Here the pre and post pack of all my camera stuff into my bag.
So here we are, ready to get some great shoot that I’m looking forward to share with you soon!