Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Landscape Photography Tools - What's in my bag

When I head out into the field and I know I'll be doing landscape photography, there's some specific things that usually find their way into my bag.

  1. Camera - I guess this one goes without saying...
  2. Cokin P Series holder - Holds a few of my filters and keeps me from having to screw the filters on and off.
  3. Graduated neutral density filter -  This is probably my most useful tool for landscape photography. Often the sky will be much brighter then the land, and this filter helps balance that out. This goes with the Cokin P Series Holder. Grads are so much more useful on a holder as you can easily change the horizon area. 
  4. 10 stop neutral density filter - I love this filter - especially if I'm photographing the sky. This will let you  blur the water even in the middle of a bright sunshiny day.
  5. Tripod - This is necessary if your using a 10 stop filter, and also useful for most other landscape opportunities.
  6. Remote shutter release - also necessary when using the 10 stop filter. Sometimes your exposure might be longer then the 30 second maximum shutter speed on my camera. Which means I have to switch to bulb mode, and you don't want to have to hold down the shutter button on you camera for 30+ seconds - it will introduce all sorts of camera shake and possibly give you a cramp in your hand. Just use a shutter release cable with a lock, and time it with your watch.
  7. 18-70mm wide angle lens - I use this for 50% or more of my landscape work - it's not a "fast" lens but since I'm usually using F8 or so for landscapes - I don't need a fast lens.
  8. 90mm Perspective Control lens - This is a new lens for me, and I need more time with it, but I love it and it's a must have in my bag now.
  9. 80-200mm 2.8 lens - While this might not seem like a landscape lens - I love using it for intimate landscapes, and anything at a distance. With the compression of the lens I'm more likely to use a lower F-stop so the 2.8 comes in handy.
  10. Spares of anything important - Maybe this goes without saying too... but I'll say it anyway, always have extra memory, extra batteries, and more then one lens.  If I'm going to be a long ways from home, I'll definitely have a spare camera too.
So there's my list. Do you photograph landscapes? Do you have any "must have" items that I didn't list? I'd love to hear about them.

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