A Quick Note
I don't need any of this stuff. Neither do you. Heck, Michael Kenna just published a fine art book of photographs made with a toy camera and they're damn good. That said, I've found a few things that make my life/photography/travel slightly easier/better/more interesting. In any case, I'm the kind of person who'll put hours and hours of research into finding the perfect camera strap, so I figured I'd share a few things I've come across over the years here. This isn't everything I use, just some favorites.
- Sony a7rii - My main camera. I absolutely love this tool and find that I'm now much more confident that I'll be able to get the shot I'm envisioning in my head, even in poor conditions. I don't think twice about shooting at ISO 1600 (and frequently up to 6400) and the high megapixel count allows for some serious cropping ability. Ridiculously expensive, but I picked it up used and saved a bit there. Buy several extra batteries though; this thing eats them for breakfast.
- Sony a6000 - Much cheaper (and smaller/lighter) camera option. This was my main camera for the last couple years. It's probably the best value for your money option out there today. Still one of my favorites.
- iPhone X - The camera on this phone is really good in most situations and the display looks amazing. It's nice to always have a capable camera in my back pocket.
- Peak Design Everyday Backpack (20L) - People either love or hate this backpack. I fall solidly on the love side of the argument. For me, it fits everything I need in a pretty compact form factor that looks much less like a camera bag than other options.
- Sony 24-105 f/4 Lens - This is a recent purchase, but has quickly become my workhorse lens. Incredibly sharp at all focal lengths and covers 90+% of landscape and travel photo situations (not as useful for wildlife).
- Sony Zeiss 55 f/1.8 Lens - One of the sharpest lenses you can buy and this lens can basically see in the dark. I love it for street photography and playing around after sunset. I use it as a portrait lens too, since I don't do enough of that to justify a dedicated 85mm lens.
- Sony 70-200 f/4 Lens - I have a longer lens for wildlife images, but otherwise this is as long as I want to shoot with (and carry). It's a perfect lens. Sharp, great image stabilization, nice colors. No complaints here.
- Peak Design Camera Wrist Strap - I don't really use a neck strap on my camera very often. This wrist strap is almost always on my camera, and detaches quickly when I don't need it.
- 27" iMac Computer - This thing is a beast for processing images. Amazing 5K screen and plenty of computing power. When traveling, I'll take my old 13" MacBook Pro, mostly for daily image backups and a bit of travel research.
- Canon Pixma Pro 100 Photo Printer - I can make up to 13"x19" professional-quality prints for a reasonable price. Ink is quite expensive, but at least the printer itself isn't so bad. Takes up quite a bit of my closet space though.
- Red River Paper - I particularly like their blank greeting cards and sleeves/cases/envelopes. Top quality and all from one place.
- Vallerret Photography Gloves - Tips of thumb and index finger pull back so you can operate your camera without your entire hand freezing.
- Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Canceling Headphones - These make flights about 3 times more enjoyable. Noise canceling technology is magic.
- USB Power Brick - I'm not sure the brand matters, but it's wonderful to be able to charge cameras/iPhone without an electrical outlet on occasion.
- Dry Bag - Inexpensive insurance option. I've used to protect camera gear on a whale watching tour and when kayaking.
- Merino Wool Clothes - Underwear and t-shirts from Icebreaker. Socks and baselayers from Smartwool and/or REI. Each can be worn for 3+ days without washing and they dry quickly. Expensive, but pure magic. This alone makes the biggest difference in having a lighter and smaller travel pack.
- Arc'teryx Atom LT Jacket - Witchcraft I tell you! But actually, this jacket is magic. I don't understand how it can be so comfortable in such a wide range of temperatures. Not windproof at all though, but I've been very comfortable with a base layer, this, and a rain jacket down to a humid 30F with 20mph winds in Newfoundland.
- Prana Brion Pants - I usually pack a pair of jeans too, but out of the many travel/hiking pants I've tried, these are the only ones that can (almost) pass as regular pants. Slim cut, no cargo pockets or zip-offs. Only the slightest bit "swishy" sounding.
- Black Diamond Headlamp - When you need it, it's a lifesaver. I got a really bright, waterproof one, but most of them will work just fine.
- 4-Port USB Charger - One plug, 4 USB ports. I can charge everything from one or two outlets and only need a couple plug adapters.