What’s In The Bag? Part 1

I was away, in August, for a week long driving trip. This was fun. I drove 1,650 km into Central India. Driving 1,650 km in India is much like driving 5,000 km in Europe or the USA.

I won’t go into the joys of driving on the highway. Despite the many trials and tribulations we face, there are many joys indeed. There is freedom. There is a renewed connection with nature. There is a renewed connection with your inner self. But, all this is for another time.

So, what was in the bag? You are going to be away for a week, so it is essential to pack wisely and well. The advantage of driving, is that you can pack a fair amount of gear into the bag and it does not hurt. When you are out trekking, or travelling by train, it is essential to me a lot more selective. Cameras, lenses and equipment can all add up to a fair amount of weight, so apart from choosing your bag wisely, it is essential to keep in mind that this can become heavy and at the end of the day, the weight of the equipment should not take away from the joy of photography.

I had the following with me during this week on the road.

Three cameras. I took along a Nikon Coolpix and a Nikon D 200. I kept the D 200 and the Coolpix mostly on the floor of the car, so that I could stop the car on the side of the road and take pictures. We do have this freedom in India.

There was the D810. I had my 28-300 mm lens, which was my ‘go to’ lens. The 14-24 mm lens is what i used for landscape work, as well as the interiors of some parts of the forts.

I did have my 50 mm prime. Also, a 60 mm macro, which I used sparingly. Next time, for such a trip, I would take the 105 mm macro in place of the 60 mm

There were two flashguns – the SB800 and the SB600. I did not use them much this time, but subsequent to this trip, I bought a clamp to attach a flash to a branch, for instance. I intend to buy one more.

There was an ND 4 filter, lots of memory cards, a lens cleaning kit and a chamois leather cloth. Batteries. Always carry spare batteries for the cameras, as well as for the flashes, along with chargers. I cannot emphasise enough, the need for spare batteries, and an adequate number of memory cards.

There was, of course, my Manfrotto tripod and a remote release for the cameras. You can’t do without them. Many people believe that a remote shutter release is a luxury. Indeed, if you are shooting at speeds of 1/250 second, the slight pressure is not always noticeable. However, once you start to shoot at lower speeds, the difference in photograph quality can become quite apparent.

And, this is what I had for company on that week long trip!


Photo Credits: Rajiv Chopra

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