My adventure photography kit is scalable, depending on both the scope of the assignment and the size of the adventure. When I venture farther into the backcountry, I tend to be more selective. I just don’t want to carry extra weight for no reason.
This is what I carry for commissioned assignments and day trips:
My Adventure Photography Kit
1. Nikon D800 dSLR – What can I say about this camera? It’s got unrivaled dynamic range, captures 36.3 MP still images, and shoots full HD video. It’s Nikon’s best for anything that doesn’t require the speed of a Nikon D4 and it doesn’t have the bulky pro-sized body.
1. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4 G – I barely use this lens, yet I cannot bring myself to sell it because it makes such beautiful environmental portraits and isolates details perfectly with it’s wide aperture.
2. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8G ED – I told myself I didn’t need this lens and I worked without if for the past five years. I finally bought it in December and it’s been my most-used lens ever since. It is a ture do-it-all piece of glass.
3. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm 1:4 G ED VR – I fall in and out of love with this lens. It’s tact sharp and far lighter than the alternative, Nikon’s beautiful 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, however, that extra stop of light would be a dream for start photography. It is still beautiful for landscapes.
4. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II – The beast of burden in my pack, this lens rarely makes it out of the bag. Yet, it is irreplaceable. How else would I get up close with Grizzly Bears?
5. Nikon Speedlight SB-800 – This is old, from my original adventure photography kit that included discontinued cameras like the Nikon D300 and cheap (yet sharp) lenses like the Nikon 50mm f/1.8. It’s technically two generations old, too, as Nikon has released both the SB-900 and SB-910 to replace it. Because I rarely use my flash, I haven’t bothered to replace it and I have my doubts the new speedlights are anywhere near as durable. I’ve completely submerged this flash in lakes from Patagonia to Saskatchewan and it still works like new.
6. Flashwave Pro wireless flash sync – These were the cheapest wireless flash devices I could find. They do not have the range of a Pocket Wizard, yet they’ve never let me down.
7. Hurricane Blower – Keep that sensor clean!
8. B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer Slim MRC Filter – This is an expensive polarizer and I highly recommend not skimping on one. Think of it logically, do you want to put a $40 piece of glass in front of your $2000 lens? Probably not.