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Walking Photography Camera Gear

Walking Photography Gear: Baggage and clothing

Other than a camera, baggage and clothing is one of the most important accessories for any walking photographer.

Just like baggage of the emotional kind, I’ve managed to acquire a substantial amount of camera bags and walking clothing over the years. But there’s oneaccessory I’m desperate to bring back to the heady heights of its hay day… the bumbag!

It’s always amazed (and saddened) me just how far the bumbag has fallen from grace. I guess practicality and usefulness have never really been influential characteristics in the world of fashion. But then we’ve never cared for fashion in the practical world of photography… Have we?!

Camera Bags

What I consider to be my first real camera bag (which I define as a bag that can carry at least fifty percent of you photography equipment) was a Tamrac. I bought it in 2000 before heading off on a trip to the South of France.

The bag survives to this day, though it’s one of many items under threat of being recycled by parents vainly attempting to clear the nest after several years of absence! I feel confident that I could still be using this bag now, however by 2010, the need to accommodate a 17″ Mac book for corporate and location shoots meant I needed a bag that I could carry my camera and computer gear. I ended up opting for the LowePro FastPack 350.

I never had any real problems with the Lowepro bag but I never loved it either. A couple of years later and I came back to Tamrac and got the Expedition 6X backpack, which I am in love with!

Having downsized to a 13″ macbook this bag was and is perfect for both corporate shoots and photo walks alike. The key selling points for me, is that I can fit a maximum amount of gear in for a bag this size and still take it on a plane as hand luggage.

The only downside of using backpacks I find, is that they can be a bit cumbersome to get your gear out of. That’s where the mighty bumbag can be of great use!

I recently got a Snugpak bumbag that I now use out on my photo walks. It means I don’t have to stop and wrestle with a heavy backpack every time I need something small out of it. On good weather days I might even just go out with a DSLR and the bumbag. It’s great for fitting my Canon bridge camera in along with spare batteries and memory cards. It’s also great for other essentials, like sweets and a hip flask!

Clothing

Clothing is pretty important for any photo walk. Get it wrong and it can really have an impact on your day. Unfortunately these are often lessons that have to be learned by experience. Like the time I walked in Malham wearing black walking trousers and the temperatures exceeded 25 degrees (Celsius)!

Something you need all year round is a good pair of walking shoes or boots. I was lucky enough to win a photography competition earlier on in the year, which resulted in winning a few hundred quids worth of Moutain Warehouse clothing and accessories.

Included in the bundle was a pair of Excalibur Waterproof Walking Boots and I have to say I’ve been pretty pleased with them so far. My previous boots weren’t waterproof and as I’m often moving while looking through a lens (not something I recommend!), I’m continually stepping and slipping into puddles and streams! These boots have already kept my feet dryer that they would be ordinarily.

I’ve always had my head turned by those great looking North Face jackets but have always gulped at the price tags attached to them! I find that even in the winter a lighter jacket works best, as you quickly warm up once you’re moving. A hat and a pair of gloves are essential though on the colder days. My little ears seem to be particularly delicate, so you’ll often see me up on the moor with a knitted woolly bobble hat on. My current fav is a red christmassy looking one which I bought when we were honeymooning in the Lake District (yes, it has been my favourite hat for nearly two years!).
Walking Photographer and Mrs in Lake District Walking Photographer with his dog, a Lurcher called Alfie

Gloves are my nemesis. I never seem to be able to own a pair for more than a month before they go walk about. Although, more often it’s just one glove that dissappears; our house has become a refuge for odd gloves who have lost their partners, so sad!

My latest investment was in a pair of GeoGrip Neoprene Gloves. I was hoping that they might be supple and grippy enough to operate my DSLR whilst still wearing them. Unfortunately whilst they offer good grip, operating the necessary camera functions proved to be a little too labouring with them on. So it’s back to fingerless mittens for now; they do however make great driving gloves, particularly on those cold pre-dawn drives to a location.

So that’s my bag and clothing equipment in a nutshell, but as you probably already know, there’s always more and better accessories to be bought, tried and tested. So watch this space and I’ll keep you posted!

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