Join Keith Kiska for an in-depth discussion in this video Essential gear, part of Landscape Photography: California's Mobius Arch.
So now let's talk about the gear we're going to need when we head into Mobius Arch. First of all, a camera, any camera will do but anything with manual controls always helps. It gives you more options and let's you capture the exact image you want. Here I have a full frame DSLR camera with a 16 to 35 millimeter lens. It usually gets the job done for me. But for you, use anything you want, try to have manual lenses. But have fun out there and don't let technology hold you back. So next, a tripod, preferably lightweight, something that you can carry very easily with you.
But the ability to lock down your camera and not make any more compositional adjustments while you're taking your shot. And just focus on your exposure and settings. Your going to make sure that your shot is just the way you want it, and with all your gear make sure to keep it as light as possible. Your going to be in the desert here in Mobius Arch, so your definitely going to want to make sure everything is as light as it can be. You do not want to get bogged down, heavy gear means an exhausted photographer, and an exhausted photographer means that your not really taking the time on the shots that you want. Now the next element of gear that you'll need is why location scouting is key.
You have to know exactly what the weather is going to do, how it's going to be to know what kind of clothing to wear. So I have really good gloves, a good hat. Is it going to be boiling hot or freezing cold? You have to know that, how the temperatures are going to drop in each location. And here, like most desert locations, the temperature will drop quite dramatically. So the sun's going to be nice and warm during the day. You're going to have a T-shirt on, make sure to bring those gloves and hat and possibly jacket because it's going to drop very quickly right around sunset. Also, don't forget plenty of water and snacks. It's pretty hot out here sometimes, and you never know how late you're going to stay.
So having a couple extra bottles of water on you and a snack. You'll stay there for longer and feel better while you're shooting. One of my favorite things also to have on location, with most shoots, apps. Everyone's got a cell phone, loads your ups with some of your favorite apps to know where the sun's going to be, when it's going to set, where it's going to rise, what the moon's going to do, and what the weather's going to be like, be prepared. Now this location's outside, a lot of bright skies, and a lot of different tones to work with. So make sure to bring a lot of filters so that you have more control over the light in the shot.
Now, if you're lucky enough to have a DSLR camera, most of them nowadays can do bracketing. This allows you to set up your shot, make sure everything's locked down and ready to go, and fire one shot and it will take three. This will enable you to be able to have more flexibility in post in making sure you got just the right exposure. You don't necessarily need to do HDR, but you just have a couple extra shots to know was that sky blown out? Was this foreground too dark? I got an extra shot, let me put that one in there instead and fix it up a little bit.
Are you going to be sticking around for any night photography or possibly even just shooting some twilight photography. Make sure to have the right kind of lights you need on location. Do you need a small portable light just to do a little light painting? Do you want something more fixed to show and light a broader scene? And also a headlamp, you definitely want to not trip all over yourself and fall with an expensive camera in your hands, so make sure to have a headlamp so you know where you're going and you're safe. So now that we have all of our gear what are we going to put it in? I only have two hands so I'm going to need a bag or a backpack to throw all my gear in and give you more of a comfortable experience shooting.
Lighter's the better as always but whatever gear you need make sure to put it in a nice comfortable for you and you're going to have a much better time. So let's put our bags on and get out there and see what we get.