As an adventure travel photographer I’m always looking to balance the need for enough camera kit to shoot creatively with the practicalities of transporting that gear and having easy access to it.
Travelling as light as possible is often the best approach but for a recent 18-day trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon I had the luxury of a raft to carry my equipment and so I was free to pack pretty much anything I wanted!
Reliable cameras and lenses are important but so is redundancy when photographing in a remote environment so two camera bodies are essential.
(From Top Left) Aquatech Housing, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L IS, Canon 135mm f2 L, Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L, Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS, Video Mic, LCD Viewfinder, Wireless Shutter Release, Canon 7D MKII, Canon 15mm f2.8, Canon 1.4x Tele-converter, Lens Paper, Blower Brush, Mini Tripod, Lithium AA Batteries, Canon 5D MKIII, 600ex Flash, Lens Filters, Spare Batteries, Sandisk Extreme SDHC, Pocket Wizard Wireless Flash Triggers
For this trip these are the items I took that I couldn’t have gone without:
I like using the Clik Elite range of camera bags but for my Colorado River trip I relied on a Pelicase to keep my stuff safe on the raft through the big volume rapids. Missing from the photo of my kit is the Gitzo tripod that I use for landscape photography.
Canon 5D MKIII, 73mm - 1/1250s, f/4.5
As a second camera body this is the perfect model for me. The smaller sensor means I get a longer focal length at the far range of the zoom lenses I use and the excellent autofocus system makes shooting action in the river a breeze. I also really love that switching between it and my 5D MarkIII is almost seamless because they functionally they are so similar to use.
Canon 7D MKII, 28mm - 1/320s, f/6.3
This is my ‘go to’ travel lens, the zoom range is very useful and the image stabilizer function allows me to handhold in low light and reduce the need to bump up the ISO which admittedly is less of an issue with the amazing capabilities of modern sensors in low light. I knew I could jump off the raft and head out for a hike with just this one lens that would be all I needed to capture some great images.
Canon 5D MKIII, 35mm - 1/400s, f/7.1
Purely and simply I love the creative possibilities that shooting from the water allows. Swimming through a few rapids made for hit and miss frames for sure but in the end I grabbed some fun and interesting images.
Canon 5D MKIII, 31mm - 1/1000s, f/8
I enjoy shooting time-lapse video and to do so with a Canon 5D MarkIII I use one of these gadgets. In the Canyon I could set up the camera on a tripod, use the remote to dial in the settings I wanted and then walk away for a few hours, free to shoot with my other camera if necessary.
Canon 7D MKII, 105mm - 1/8s, f/14
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