Travelling With My Gear

I get asked all the time about what I take when I travel. It's kind of a difficult question because each situation is truly different. I actually consider the scenarios that I see myself in and specifically pack for them. And, truthfully, I am not really a 'gearhound'...by that I mean that I don't see the benefits of carrying a lot of gear and tend towards being someone who works more with what she has on her--the old 'the best camera is the one you have on you' theory. All of that said, this is what I basically take with me--limited by the size of my bag. hahahaha. Speaking of bags--I have been using two: one rollie suitcase thing that is a million years old and one Kelly Moore purse type camera bag so that I could carry both on a plane with me. Both bags are finished and I am shopping for a new one. Preferably one that can carry everything--including my housing which is huge and clunky and takes up way too much room. Suggestions?

So, I always carry with me two bodies. One is a Canon 5d Mark III and the second is the Canon 5d Mark II. My underwater housing is specific to the Mark II, so I'll be using that camera for a couple more years for sure since I don't want to have to invest in another housing just yet. My housing is by AquaTech Imaging solutions and I love it so very much. It has been around the world with me and allowed me to feel unrestricted in the documenting of my children. I carry an arsenal of lenses depending on the situations I will find myself in. For underwater, I use the 35mm, a 15mm Fisheye(not in this picture as I use it so rarely now), and a 16-35mm f2.8. I always carry the 24-70mm f2.8. It is my go to lens and I have the latest version from Canon which is sharp and lovely. I occasionally bring the 50mm f1.2 as I love me a little bit of bokeh from time to time, but it is an easy one not to include if I am feeling like there is a lack of space. The last two things I consider bringing are the 70-200mm and my tripod. The 70-200mm is a great lens, but it is super heavy and sometimes I feel like I only use it at weddings and when I am being lazy, so it's easy for me to leave it out. Especially thanks to the space it saves. I will bring the tripod if I think there will be an opportunity for night sky images. It is the one thing I will risk putting in my suitcase as I feel like if it isn't in my suitcase when I get to my destination, I'll survive. A note about checking your gear--I have heard so very many stories of people losing gear after checking their bag...meaning, airport staff steal it. Truly. Some airports are known to be bad for this(LAX I'm looking at you). So, I never check my gear for that reason PLUS the risk of it being completely broken on the other end. I check the suitcase with my clothes and carry on a suitcase for my gear and a purse that carries another body. 

Two little accessories that I always bring along are my favourite card holder which was a gift when I participated in a Momenta Workshop in India and my camera's rain poncho--also from AquaTech. If they are reading this and feel like sending me free stuff, I am their biggest fan--hahahahaha. 

I typically bring a laptop and multiple portable hard drives. Even though I carry many cards, I like to have multiple backups, so I typically recharge my batteries and back up my images while I sleep. 

Carrying this much gear is not fun. Whenever I fly, I always have to check my luggage and carry on my gear. We are planning a 3 week backpacking excursion to Thailand as a family this summer. The biggest discussion we are having is exactly how much gear I will be bringing. The housing is incredibly clunky and I am torn about carrying it for 3 weeks. I am considering getting a flat port instead of a domed port, so I could carry a much smaller bag(the domed port is a beautiful thing but it takes up so much room). I think I could actually pare things down to one body/one or two lenses if I would be willing to forgo the housing while we are on the beach. Decisions, decisions...what do you travel with?

Any other photography related questions? I'd love to answer them for you in another blog post.

~ Dana