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The course takes a look at the hardware and software issues behind field shooting: assessing storage and backup needs, evaluating GPS geotagging options, surveying power and charging issues, and more. After discussing each of the components, Ben shows how they fit together in different field setups, ranging from an extravagant laptop-based system to a no-computer setup that backs up photos to a compact digital wallet device. The course also spotlights some workflow strategies to consider when you get home, from transferring photos to merging them with a larger photo library.
- Selecting the right gear, from cameras to bags
- Bringing the right battery and storage equipment
- Packing your camera bag
- Getting to the destination with heavy equipment
- Unpacking and setting up the gear
- Geotagging photos on location
- Downloading manuals for convenient access in the field
- Wrapping up a shoot
- Unpacking and transferring images to an editing workstation
Skill Level Intermediate
All right! First of all, let me say I never actually set up a tent this quickly. I particularly don't set up this tent this quickly. I borrowed this tent from a friend and it turned out to be much more of a tent then I bargained for. It actually says on the side that it's a manor and I believe that I think it's bigger than the room I was staying in back at the resort. So I'm excited about this. I'm living in the lap of luxury here in the middle of nowhere. Something that's actually good about a tent the size is if the weather turns bad, I can get all my gear into it. Of course, I could also put it in the car, but sometimes you don't have that much time with weather changing quickly.
We don't have to worry about that here--the weather is going to fine--but that is something you need to think about when you're out camping obviously, or even just doing long, long day hikes in the city or the country, is inclement weather. Your camera is much more durable than you probably think it is. Just because it's raining outside doesn't mean you shouldn't go out and shoot. But if it's a real downpour, obviously you need a way of keeping your stuff dry. So I'm glad that I could retreat into the manor that I've set up if needed to. So, this is what I brought. I have culled my gear down.
I've packed a bunch of it away at the hotel and I've chosen to bring mostly this. It's still lot of gear, because I've got the great luxury of course of traveling by car. For the most part, I have brought all my lenses. I ditched one of them, and that was my 50 mm f/1.2 lens, for the simple reason that honestly I don't do a lot of shooting at 50 mm. I know Cartier-Bresson used that lens exclusively, but he was a genius. I just usually find that I want something a little wider or a little more telephoto. I love it for its speed.
It's a great portrait lens, it's not something that I typically find myself using out here, and it's heavy, so I left it behind. So what I've got is pretty similar to what I had working around the towns. I've got my walk around lens, my 24-105. Again this gives me a little bit of wide angle, little bit of telephoto, reasonable speed at f/4 all the way across. I have my 16-35 f/2.8. This is probably the lens that I'm going to be using the most around the campsite or here under the trees. It gives me a really nice wide angle that I can use for composing with the kinds of things that you find in the forest.
I have two long telephotos. I've a 75-300 that has--that can go 3. 5 -5. 6 across its range, or I have this 70-200 that is 2.8 all the way across. This is a heavy lens. It's a big lens, and it doesn't quite have the reach of this lens, so why would I choose this over this? It's a faster lens and it's actually just better-quality glass. It's got this extra kick in them contrast that this lens just doesn't quite have. This is a great lens for those times when I want the extra reach and I want shallow depth of field or if I'm needing to get my shutter speed up to stop some motion.
So, I think for some of the hiking that I'm going to be doing, I'm going to be carrying this lens instead of this lens, because there are some birds around here and I think I might like to try a little bit of wildlife shooting. I have my micro lens, which could be fun around here. I haven't had a chance to look too much into macro possibilities around here. And I've got my fisheye that I've been playing with and I'm still really enjoying. I'm not going to carry all of these lenses at once. So even out here, I'm going to be making the same kind of decisions that I was making in town. I'm going to say, you know, today I'm doing birds. I'm going to really practice my wildlife photography.
I'm going to pack this lens and my walk-around lens. I might even pack both of these because this one has a little bit longer reach, but I know I really want to kind of get better at that and practice that. It's not my usual thing. If it is your usual thing, then you're certainly going to want to spend at least a day just doing that. On another day, I might again decide to commit to some macro stuff, maybe not all day, but maybe I want to spend a morning doing that. In either situation, I'm going to take my walk-around lens. It always goes with me. I'm also going to head out and just do some hiking. Now, some of these lens decisions depend simply on weight.
What am I going to carry? I want to carry quite a few lenses, but I also need to carry water for the hike. I need to maybe carry some snacks, maybe a rain jacket or something with sleeves in case it gets colder. So, I need a bag that's big enough to carry all that, but more importantly, I need something that's going to distribute the weight on both shoulders. I don't like carrying two or three or four lenses, four heavy lenses on a shoulder bag. It makes my neck hurt. So I've got this backpack that I'm going to be using. Now, I've got a couple of other accessories that I like to have with me. I am going to be hiking with my tripod again, because this is just day hiking and I'm down here under the trees.
There is some running water down there. I think I may want the opportunity to set up and trying to do some blurry water shots, so I also have a neutral-density filter. This is a variable neutral-density filter, so rather than having to carry a lot of filters that I stack up, this is kind of like a polarizer. I can dial it to get different amounts of ND effect. So this is a nice lightweight way of dealing with a lot of filter situations. I've still got my infrared, because I've been playing with that, got extra media, I've a remote control, a wireless remote control, because I was thinking, it might be fun to do some self-portraits or something around here.
I have, for power, my car. I know that my batteries are really good here. I've got, on this Canon camera, my batteries will last for days. Now it's a tricky thing is I've got a lot of batteries and some are newer than others. And so I've marked them according to their age, and I'm very careful about what battery I put in here. I have maybe five batteries. I don't want to bring them all with me on this trip, so I left a lot of them behind at the hotel room. I brought only the really good ones. I can charge those in the car.
This looks like a pretty normal battery charger. I slip the battery in here and it can plug in to the wall, but it can also plug into a cigarette lighter adapter. This is not a Canon battery charger. This is an--I don't know what battery charger. It's just a generic charger that I found on Amazon. This with the card charger was only $15. Normally Canon sells just the charger for 35 or more, so these are really great bargains for getting a good variety of charging options. So, I've got a battery in here now that I think is going to last a couple of days.
That might be all that I need. If I need to charge, I can charge it up in the car, and very often on a trip like this, you might be driving other places. There is another trailhead up the road that I want to go to, so that's a chance to get my battery some juice. Or if you're not in a camping situation, again, if you're in a backpacking-across-Europe kind of situation, if you rented a car, you can charge it there. Otherwise, you can charge in whatever hotel rooms you're staying in when you get there in the evening. So I'm good for power. For storage, I've got a fair amount of media cards, but in the evening I'm going to be offloading them to my--in this case it's a HyperDrive. So this is simply a hard drive with a media slot, so I'll be dumping my cards in here.
I am then going to not erase the cards until I need them again and so in that way I'll have a little bit of redundancy. We'll look at that again later. I did not bring a computer. I brought an iPad. So in the evening if I want, I might be transferring images to the iPad, not for storage, but because I may want to see if I got good results from what I was trying to do. I may want to go ahead and start some editing and I may want to prepare some images for sending off somewhere else. I have no connectivity here, but that doesn't mean I couldn't find some nearby. So, that's my setup here. Of course, I've also just got the normal things that I need for hiking. I got good hiking shoes on.
Again, I've got a pack. This pack in addition to carrying camera gear can also carry a CamelBak hydration pack, so this is how I can carry water on the trail, got some snacks, that kind of thing. The light starting to turn good. I want to get out there on the trail, so I'm going to start packing my bag and head out to start shooting.