When it comes to braving the great outdoors, photographers and videographers defy some pretty incredible odds. The odds of a frozen shutter, condensation creeping into a lens, and challenging setups are great. Not to mention, you’ve got to lug all of that pricy, fragile gear to the top of a snowy mountain, mouth of an overflowing river, or remote desert location. In conditions like these, it’s no wonder that packing the right gear is essential.
We sat down with outdoor photographer and adventure enthusiast, Drew Stoecklein, to take a look inside his camera bag and understand what it takes to get the kinds of shots displayed below.
This is the kit that I use for taking video and still photographs. While it may appear like a lot of gear, these items represent the basic equipment needed to accomplish a wide range of photography and video projects. When purchasing gear, I always buy local if possible. These products may be more expensive, but the downtown camera store like pictureline will get you out of a bind in the drop of a hat. I also recommend buying the latest and greatest gear on the market. You will never be unhappy with the top-of-the line products.
Cameras: Two Canon 5D Mark III with Eight Batteries
I love these Canon cameras because they are lightweight and the image quality is incredible. I like to work with two of the exact same camera for a seamless transition between the two. You never know when you might need a backup. I bring along four batteries for each camera so I can shoot for multiple days without worrying about finding power to recharge, which isn’t always readily available as an outdoor photographer.
CF Cards: 10 32GB CF 120 MB/s Memory Cards
I prefer to use the 32GB CF cards. It allows me to shoot throughout the day without missing a shot because I had to switch out a card. I also avoid using one XXL card (like a 64GB memory card), as I feel more confident splitting up on my job on a few separate ones. Furthermore, I make sure to have enough cards to shoot the entire job without having to reformat them. In this way, I can back up my files up on two hard drives and have a third, safety backup on the cards. With backups in multiple locations, nothing can go wrong.
Lenses: Canon 16-35mm / 24-105mm / 70-200mm / 300mm
This lens kit covers a wide range of distances and allows me to capture the entire scene; however, if I were to take only one lens on a trip it would be the Canon 24-105mm. Yet, the majority of my favorite shots have been captured with the Canon 300mm. The compression and clarity of this lens makes all of the difference. Hence, my reasoning for packing multiple focal lengths.
Photography Accessories for an Outdoor Photographer
These photography accessories enable me to take my photographs to the next level. Without the help of these tools, a lot of shots are impossible.
- Underwater Housing: Aqua-tech with port for 16-35
- Graduated Filters: Singh-Ray 3-Stop Soft Step & 3-Stop Reverse
- Polarizer: Singh-Ray LB polarizer
- Tripod: Gitzo 6x
- Intervalometer: Canon
- PocketWizards with remote triggering cable
- Fotodio 5-in-1 Reflector
Video Accessories for an Outdoor Photographer
These video accessories are the essential tools I use to achieve quality video.
- Kessler Crane
- Kessler Slider with Electra Drive
- Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic
- Sennheiser Shotgun Mic
- Zoom H4n Digital Recorder
- ND Filter: Singh-Ray 3-Stop
- Sirui Tripod with Manfrotto 504 head
- GoPro HERO3
- 3 Lowel Hot lights
- 2 Manfrotto Light stands
- 1 Lowel Blend LED Light