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essential gear: what to bring on a landscape photography trip

Having the right gear with you when you head out on a photography trip can make all the difference to capturing amazing shots. Here we explore what's essential gear to bring with you on a landscape photography trip.

gaer to take on landscape photography trip


Must-Have Items for Landscape Photography Trips

  1. Camera & Lenses: It seems obvious to say but at the center of our planning is our camera kit. For creative control we want a DSLR or mirrorless camera body. The choice of lenses can significantly influence the outcome of your photographs. A wide-angle lens is the go-to choice for those expansive landscapes. A solid telephoto is at the other end of the range and allows you to zoom in on specific detail of a large landscape. A standard lens (often 35mm to 70mm) is versatile in capturing natural or straight perspectives close to that of the human eye. Prime lenses are fixed focal lengths and offer exceptional sharpness and low-light capabilities.

  2. Memory Cards: We always want to allow for capturing as many images as necessary of a scene and allowing for taking plenty of images in changing light conditions (sunrise / sunset). Invest in high-quality memory cards with sufficient capacity to accommodate your shooting needs. It's advisable to carry multiple cards to avoid running out of storage during extended shooting sessions, especially when traveling to remote locations with limited access to backup options.

  3. Batteries and Chargers: It is worthwhile investing in spare batteries to ensure that you have a complete set of replacements available to you on location. Depending on your shooting intensity and the availability of power sources, plan accordingly to ensure uninterrupted shooting throughout your travels.

  4. Tripod: A sturdy tripod is essential for landscape photography. It is worth investing in a good carbon fiber tripod for the strength and weight saving. A ball head allows fast and accurate rotation of the camera and is extremely versatile for getting the angle right. An L-Bracket is a very effective way of changing from horizontal to vertical while maintaining balance and alignment. It also allows for far more stability with heavier lenses.

  5. Filters: Certain filters are able to enhance your in-field options and creativity. Really useful filters for landscape photography are a polarizing filter which helps reduce glare and enhance contrast in outdoor scenes, neutral density (ND) filters for controlling exposure in bright conditions and achieving long-exposure effects and graduated neutral density filters which help reduce the intensity of the sky in a scene.

  6. Lens Cleaning Kit: Dust, smudges, and fingerprints are inevitable when shooting in the outdoors. It is a good idea to carry a microfiber cloth and lens blower with you to ensure your lenses and filters are clean while out in the field.

  7. Head-lamp: To be at the best locations for the best light you will almost certainly be doing some walking in darkness, either on your way to or way back from a shoot. A head-lamp will become one of the most valuable items in your kit.

  8. Camera Bag: Invest in a durable and ergonomic camera bag that accommodates all your gear while providing comfort during extended periods of carrying. Look for features such as padded compartments, adjustable dividers, and weather-resistant materials to safeguard your equipment from the rigors of travel.

  9. Apps: There are some fantastic apps available to help with all aspects of your photography from planning, file-syncing, mountain identification etc. An awesome app for all round planning of photography trips, with plenty of features is Photo Pills. Photo Pills gives you invaluable information on sun, moon and Milky-Way positions which you can plan for well in advance of your trip, to help you be in the right place at the right time. It can also assist you in exposure and depth of field calculations, plus much more. Photo Pills is a fantastic tool and highly recommended.

  10. Remote Timer: A remote timer allows you to release the shutter without touching the camera itself. By not touching the camera you avoid creating camera shake allowing you to capture sharp images. Also very useful for long exposures in BULB mode.

And finally: Always be prepared for the environment you are entering. Good shoes for longer hikes, warm clothes (beanies, gloves, jackets etc) for if the conditions change and rain jackets or sun hats and water bottle as appropriate. Landscape photography is always far more fun when we are prepared so it is about being sensible and taking a little time to plan for the conditions we are entering into.

Hooker Tarn Aoraki Mt Cook National Park



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