Wednesday, July 24, 2013

So What's in Your Camera Bag?

Whether new or established in photography, one thing is for sure.  What's in your camera bag is important.  No, we're not talking about Nikon vs. Canon, lenses, or other camera gear.  This is a bit more fundamental.  Outdoor photographers do not go out for a few minutes to take a few images and head back into the house.  We easily can spend one half hour on one tiny bird, bee or flower.
Wonderful warbler nest building discovery during 4 hour photo walk

This is about being able to stay in the field energized with the long term ability to focus on your subject and make snap (pardon the pun) decisions on f/stops, shutter speeds, ISO, aperture, etc.

This is about snacks.  Seriously?  Absolutely.

You wouldn't go out for a long hike without water and food.  With nature photography, hiking is a almost a given. Our equipment can be heavy - multiple cameras, lenses, tripods.  We exert a lot of energy before capturing our first image.

With many food products out on the market for endurance athletes, there are many snacks that are suited for endurance photographers too. They are tasty, fast to eat and help extend your energy without needing to drink caffeine multiple times per day.  Additionally, being easy to pack and not easily torn as to get ooey-gooey food on any of your gear is another important factor.  So here are some recommendations of products you can find just about anywhere.

Small compact snacks:
Sport beans are fun and you only need a few, Shot bloks - while chewy are also good. 1 or 2 will help provide sustained energy - both of these should be consumed with water to be effective.  Luna bars also work great and are a bit more fillling if you have that 'I need something substantial' feeling.  A new product ERG is a recent find, my current go-to bar  and one of my all-time favorites from a Michigan-based company - gluten free, natural ingredients, no preservatives and terrific flavors.

Female bluebird busy with her spring home
Pack your own snacks:
If you have a Trader Joe's or something similar -  there are buy in bulk fruit/nut snacks of all combinations that allow you to load your choices in a zip lock bag - reuse these whenever possible!  Dry cereal - frosted mini-wheats, your favorites - can work in a pinch.  Costco offers rice crackers that are gluten free and have a low glycemic index (which means our energy lasts longer check out Low Glycemic Information, Nutrition Data).

A snack that could defy Dr's Orders:
Beef Jerky while loaded with sodium is protein packed, comes in resealable packages and is just plain good.  Be careful, you could attract a bear or two.

And for those of us who convince our partners to join our journey for the day - a nice touch is to pack an ice-cooler of a light lunch and beverages for a surprise picnic to reward them for their patience with us.

Happy shooting!