Getting Ready for a Photo Trip

With a mid-winter photo trip to Yellowstone scheduled, I’ve been trying to get new gear ready, trying to figure out how to carry it, and making sure everything works along with backups…redundancy without getting silly. I’ve lived in the good warm south all my life, and this will be my first Winter shoot.  It’s probably not something I’ll do frequently, but I’m really looking forward to the experience, in spite of my warm blooded hate of cold weather. 

Most of my photography is landscape, or city/architectural. I do very little wildlife. You can’t go to Yellowstone in winter and not do wildlife.  Since my longest lens is a 70-200mm I bought a 2x teleconverter. I didn’t want to spring for another expensive lens that I may never use again.  I also didn’t really want a huge telephoto zoom that would be impractical for my landscape hiking. The teleconverter is small and light and fits in nicely in the backpack.  If I use that 70-200 lens with the teleconverter on a crop lens camera I figure I can get as much as 600mm (equivalent). 

Here’s a shot taken with that set up, using a monopod…essentially handheld  

My plan is to fit all this gear into my backpack, and carry a tripod separately. 

  • Nikon D810 
  • Nikon D7000 (backup)
  • Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 16-35mm f/4
  • Sigma 28-300 (my “do everything” lens), used primarily with the D7000
  • Nikon 2x teleconverter
  • two circular polorizers 
  • two 4 stop ND filters
  • a Yongnuo speed light 
  • iPad Pro – used for backup and field editing
  • WD wireless pro hard drive – backup drive
  • Two Remote shutter releases – one for each camera
  • two battery chargers, and four batteries. I’ll need to recharge several batteries each night in the cold weather. 

My wife is taking her own camera, as Sony A6000 with two lenses. Small but powerful (my wife)

Clothing is another whole story. Living in Houston I’m not used to even thinking of anything like -35f, which is what it was today.  Maybe by the time I go, it’ll be warmer..we can hope.  Well there is still time before the trip to think about this a little more. I’ve “test packed” and was able to get it all in one small roller board suitcase. Very full, but do-able.