Summer is wrapping up and if you find yourself longing for one last summer getaway and are wondering what photography gear to pack, look no further! Our photography pro Elizabeth Wilson is all about capturing the beauty that nature has to offer and she has the best tips for what gear to pack for some killer travel and nature photography. Read on to find out what lenses and filters you can find in Elizabeth's travel bag that will help you capture the perfect moments and get ready for an adventure!
Decisions, decisions… What camera gear do I take on a trip across the country to an epic location (in this case, Southern Utah and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon!) that will require a significant amount of hiking? And hauling it through airports - because, let's face it, there is NO WAY I'm checking my camera! I aimed for versatility, creativity, and the ability to capture the moments to cherish memories.
Thankfully, I was loaned an amazing camera backpack that could safely carry four lenses plus the one on my camera body (Canon 5D Mark III). So what did I choose?
This lens is remarkably versatile: a "workhorse," if you will. It's the widest of the lenses I own. I knew I would appreciate its ability to capture the landscapes while also providing options to document the moments on the move with the automatic focus. One drawback: It's HEAVY. Carrying it around my neck while hiking is a bit cumbersome.
Canon 24-70 | ISO | 125 | 1/160 | Canon 5D Mark III
Got it? Try to do it on a moving subject! It would be best if you keep your subject at the same place on your viewfinder. That means you need to move at the same pace… Not easy.
Canon 24-70 | ISO | 320 | 1/160 | Canon 5D Mark III
One of my newest lenses. I had just completed a "7 days with Lensbaby" challenge with this lens, so I understood the range of possibilities. I found myself pulling it out mostly for macro images (with the filters) and creative focus. The quick change from macro to 45mm and its compact shape made it a great choice on the go.
Lensbaby Sol 45 With Macro Filters | ISO | 320 | 1/3200 | Canon 5D Mark III
Oh, the Velvet. When asked, this is my favorite lens. (Yes, I am not shy in expressing my partiality :) When used with the aperture open, it creates a dreamy, painterly feel which majestically captured the canyons. And it turns right around and gives a creamy look to the macro images. On this trip which happened to be of the flowers in the desert.
I ordered this lens a week before I departed. And oh, goodness, I'm glad that I did! It remained on my camera the majority of the trip. Not only is it wide enough to grasp the slice of focus in the landscapes, but it also enabled me to focus on my children in action while blurring the surroundings, which added to the storytelling of the moment.
Lensbaby Edge 35 | ISO | 320 | 1/4000 | Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50mm 1.8
I packed this lightweight lens with the visions of freelensing. However, the conditions were so dry, hot, and dusty that it stayed in my bag the entire trip.
Lensbaby OMNI wands: rainbow film, seahorse crystal, melon wedge crystal, stretch glass
Using the OMNI creative filters and crystals requires a bit of time, but I also knew the endless creative possibilities. I pulled these out during times when we were taking a break or gawking at a vista. Of the millions of photographs taken at these popular vacations, the OMNI ensures uniqueness.
Lensbaby Edge 35 + OMNI Stretch Glass | ISO | 125 | 1/1600 | Canon 5D Mark III
"When used with the aperture open, it creates a dreamy, painterly feel which majestically captured the canyons."
Lensbaby Edge35, OMNI melon wedge crystal | ISO | 640 | 1/8000 | Canon 5D Mark III
"The best camera is the one that's with you." - Chase Jarvis
About a week into my trip, there was a day where I didn't take out my "big" camera at all. We took short scenic hikes where I wanted to enjoy my surroundings and family time. The iPhone (or a host of other phones!) is back-pocket portable and creates high-quality images quickly on the go. Many phones also add options to create depth of field (try "portrait" mode) and quick videos that add perspective.
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro
Before traveling, check out your inventory of gear and consider…
● What "feel" do I desire from my images?
● Will I experience landscapes that will require wide angles?
● What type of storytelling images may arise?
● What kind of terrain/weather might I encounter?
● What's the weight of my lens on my camera (and my back!)?
● How often will I have the opportunity to change lenses?
With these questions in mind, pack your gear and head off with the assurance that you will experience immeasurable beauty in big and small ways and will be rewarded with cherished memories through your art and your mind.
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Be bold and shoot extraordinary! Make sure to tag your photos on IG with #Lensbaby, #ShootExtraordinary, and let us know what gear you’re using. 📸
Liz finds joy in capturing the light and life surrounding her. Her inspiration comes from the beauty of the everyday moments, the blessings of God's unique creation. She lives in her hometown in South-Central Pennsylvania with her family, practicing occupational therapy in early intervention, running trails in the nearby Appalachian Mountains, creating art and vision through the lens.Website Instagram Facebook