WINTER CAMERA EQUIPMENT
As winter shooting is upon us I thought I’d make this post public as a guide to equipment I suggest for some of my different photo tours and lessons. Here is a brief list of winter camera gear and clothing suggestions and other items you should consider bringing on any of the colder climate tours or workshops.
PLEASE keep in mind that this is a generic gear list which pertains to a few different photography tours including Yellowstone and Iceland. Not all equipment on the list might be necessary or helpful for all tours.
Must Have…should have
- DSLR or SLR camera (1 back-up body is highly recommended)
- Mininum 2 spare batteries and wall charger (correct electrical adapter for the country)
- Your essential 1st lens: Zoom lens, for example wide angle 16-35 mm. On aurora workshops I suggest a fast wide angle lenses, such as 24mm f2.8
- 2nd lens for example zoom lens 24-105 mm, or 70-200 mm
- 3rd lens, especially for trips with wildlife. A telephoto with at least a 400mm range. Yellowstone tour a 400, 600 or even 800mm will be great.
- (TIP) If you are going to rent a long lens and it has a foot on it to mount to your tripod be sure you have a mounting plate for it as well to be able to attach it to your ballhead.
- Shutter release cable (or remote) If remote get one that uses radio waves to trigger.
- Sturdy tripod and ball head. Really Right Stuff makes great gear. Consider the BH40 or BH55 ballheads.
- Polarizing filter
- Microfiber lens cloth. I actually cut up small pieces of old cotton flannel shirts to clean my lens of water drops or fog.
- Mininum of three 32 GB of memory cards or larger.
- Medium/large size camera bag which holds all your camera gear during the tour.
Nice to have:
- Laptop to download images for review and/or processing during down time
- 1 external hard-drive, I carry 2
- USB flash drive (Thumb drive) Nice to have if you want to quickly share photos with someone else in the tour.
- External back-up power source for phone.
- Back up camera body
- Filter holder with adapter rings which fits your lens (82mm and 77mm very common)
- 2, 3 or 6 stop ND filters, for example the Lee small stopper.
- Filters 0.6 and 0.9 Graduated Neutral Density filters soft edge (nice to have hard edge as well)
- Panoramic tripod head (don’t go out and buy one unless you’ll really need it in the future.
- Hoodman Loupe (Primarily for winter tours and or night photography)
- Blower bulb to clear snow of camera and or lens. A small paint brush is great too for clearing snow off.
- Quick-dry towel like those used for backpacking.
- Rain cover for camera & lens. Keep it simple and grab a heavy weight trash bag.
- User manual for your camera. Download a .pdf of it and put it on your laptop/tablet/phone.
GENERAL TRIP GEAR
Think layers! and avoid cotton.
- Wool base layer, top and bottom (merino wool does not smell unlike synthetic fibers after several days’ use).
- Polar fleece jacket
- Heavy down coat depending on the tour and how quickly you get cold.
- Water-resistant shell jacket/parka…with a hood is best
- Waterproof shell pants, like gore-tex
- Waterproof trail shoes or hiking shoes. Taller snow boots for sure on Yellowstone tour.
- Headlight or flashlight. A headlamp with an optional red light is recommended to help with nighttime vision. Make SURE they are easy to operate with gloves on!
- Winter boots
- Hiking boots
- Wool socks & reg socks
- Warm pair of gloves or mittens
- Thin, tight weave, glove liners. I try to purchase most outer clothing that is made with wind resistant materials. I use these.
- Warm hat, wind and water resistant perhaps with ear flaps (Dog optional)
- Hand and toe warmers.
- !!!Trip insurance!!!
Your happy mood and passion for photography!