Equipment - What's in the bag?

The list below is what I take with me on a trip dedicated to trying to capture the best images possible.  It takes a fair amount of gear and it is heavy!  Always try and leave behind whatever you possibly can . . . your back will thank you later! With that in mind, the first thing you need is a great backpack.  


Tenba Shootout Backpack Medium - this pack will hold everything below and is as large of a pack as you can probably successfully use as a carry-on with most airlines.  It holds approximately 2 bodies, 6 lenses, accessories and up to a 15.4 inch laptop in a special padded compartment.  Fully loaded weight is about 40 to 45 pounds . . . heavy! 

Laptop - a bigger laptop is heavier, but provides the screen room to work in Photoshop on the road.  You might as well take advantage of that travel time and get your images organized and processed.  I highly recommend as much RAM as you can afford especially if you are using the latest version of Photoshop (4 GB is probably the minimum these days). 

Tripod & Head - buy the best tripod and head you can afford and do not cut corners.  Everyone I know who has bought an inexpensive tripod and head has ultimately gotten frustrated and eventually bought the right equipment.  Ultimately, they spent more.  A good tripod and head is likely in the $1,000 range.

My recommendations:

 - Tripod Gitzo 2530 tripod with leveling center column

  - Really Right Stuff BH-40 or BH-55 ballhead


Canon 50D - main body

Canon 40D - backup body

I highly recommend using the Really Right Stuff L-plates on your camera bodies.


Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5

Canon 24-70mm f2.8L

Canon 70-200mm f2.8L

Canon 400mm f5.6L

Canon 180mm f3.5L macro

Canon 1.4x II tele-converter

The color and sharpness of the Canon L-series lenses are worth the extra money if you can afford it. I was stunned by the improvement in my images after I took the plunge! I equip all lenses with the Really Right Stuff quick release plates if they come with tripod collars.


UV/haze - for protection near the ocean, mountains, windy days, etc.

Moose's Filter - combination polarizer/warming filter

Neutral Density (10 stop) - use for slowing water movement and achieving slow shutters in daylight

In the digital world, those are the only filters I feel you need.  The impact or effect from these filters cannot be achieved in the digital darkroom and are necessary at time of shooting.


Canon Speedlite 430EX

Laptop accessories - plug adapters, cables, etc.

Giottos Rocket blower

Cleaning kit

Cable release

Memory cards