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Inside My Camera Bag

Rather than introducing myself with the typical “Hi, I’m a freelance photographer from Melbourne, Australia who is interested in landscapes and portraiture” blog post, I thought I would start off by setting the scene for the future of my blog by giving you a guided tour of my camera bag…

At the core of every photographer’s camera bag is, of course, the camera itself. In my case, it’s a Canon EOS 450D (it was previously an EOS 350D, and before that it was a film-based EOS 50). It has enough megapixels to generate fairly large prints in fine detail, and I don’t know how I ever lived without the LiveView functionality!

A camera is pretty useless without lenses, so I’ll cover them next. I’m carrying around two Canon kit lenses at the moment: a Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS lens is my prime, while a Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS lens is my zoom. I have been finding lately that I very rarely use the latter (even for portraiture), as I have been focusing on “getting up close and personal” with my subjects. Maybe I would use the zoom lens more often if I had some extension tubes to go with it.

The Cokin P-series filter system has proven to be one of my best investments in photography to date! With only three filters (the soft-edged P121 gradual neutral density filters providing 1-stop, 2-stops and 3-stops of light adjustment), my landscape photography has reached a whole new level of professionalism. In fact, when I look back at the landscapes I shot before purchasing these filters, I realise just how amateur I was back then!

I also carry around a Canon SpeedLite 430EX flash unit, but it generally just takes up space in my camera bag because I prefer to capture natural, ambient light wherever possible. That said, there are certain subjects that often can’t be captured nicely using the available light (animals and children are two subjects that come to mind), and this easy-to-use flash unit is a lifesaver when such opportunities come along.

There’s also a Canon RS60-E3 wired remote shutter release floating around somewhere. Extremely useful piece of equipment, and I have been frustrated to have to shoot without it since it decided to go for a swim recently. Not to worry… it’s time to upgrade to a wireless remote shutter release, which would be far more useful than its wired equivalent.

The rest of my camera bag is filled up with the usual array of cleaning equipment and other random bits and pieces, so I’ll finish up with one more essential item that is too large to fit in there with the rest: my tripod! Thanks to my brother’s generosity last Christmas, I now carry around a Manfrotto 190XB tripod with an 804RC2 ball head. Compared with the tripods that I used to own, the Manfrotto has offered me an amazing reduction in camera shake and, like the Cokin filters, has given me the opportunity to get “the perfect picture” more often.

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