The Travel Photographers Kit Bag


Hasselblad 503C camera and Hasselblad 180mm f4 Sonnar lens with Kodak Portra 160VC film Hasselblad 503C camera and Hasselblad 180mm Sonnar f4 lens with Kodak Portra 160VC film

One of the great compromises we face, as photographers, is what gear to bring and, therefore, what to leave at home when we pack our bags. The experienced traveller understands the necessity to conserve space and reduce weight. Some decant their shampoo into a smaller container, dispose of excess packaging surrounding medicines (while including important documentation such as original prescriptions, product identification and dosage instructions) and choose lighter weight, new technology (e.g. fleece) clothing that efficiently manages a range of varied climatic conditions. A beanie, scarf or neck gaiter and gloves are great items to include for colder weather, while a sarong can become a pretty universal item (clothing, towel, wrap, etc) for the girls.

The camera bag allows us to include all our photographic gear into the one place. But remember, you have to carry it. Those taking a lot of gear may prefer the backpack version rather than the traditional carry strap shoulder style. Backpacks also provide fairly solid protection for your camera and lenses and enable you to take some of the weight off the shoulders and spread it more evenly over your back and hips. Try walking for hours with a more conventional camera bag slung over one shoulder and you’ll appreciate the advantage offered by the backpack.

However, while backpacks that sit snugly onto your back do allow you to balance the load quite evenly, the lack of air circulation around your back will tend to trap any sweat between your back and shirt. This is a real problem in high humidity climates.

Glenn Guy