Before you read this post, let me preface it by saying that I'm in no way a nutritionist, medical professional or health and fitness expert. I'm just a bloke that takes photo's so there's no nutritional or health related information here. Ok, disclaimer out of the way, let's carry on shall we?
This blog post is all about what I carry but it's not about my camera gear. I'm a landscape photographer so it's a given that I carry my camera, tripod, filters, remote shutter release etc but if you'd like a breakdown of my actual camera gear let me know and I'll write a post about it.
This is about the little miscellaneous things that I pack for every trip that help me to keep shooting and maintain my creativity out in the field.
On my head I wear a baseball cap. This is actually a really helpful multifunctional piece of equipment! As well as shielding my eyes from the sunlight and reducing eye-strain (and keeping my head dry when it rains), it's really handy for blocking glare if I’m shooting directly into the sun. Also, if your camera is prone to light leaks whilst taking long-exposure photographs, it can easily be perched on top of your camera to block the eye piece. Trust me, if you've got a light leak on your photo and you only notice it when you get home you'll wish you'd taken my advice here.
I also carry a drink of some kind and a snack. Water, juice, coffee, tea – anything really. When you're out taking photo's and you start to get thirsty your energy levels will start to drop, you'll start to think more about how thirsty you're getting and that will soon become your priority. I'm not talking about hiking deep into the woods or up a mountain here. You could be taking architectural shots in the middle of a city with shops all around you, but do you really want to have to stop what your doing, pack up and go to a shop to get a drink instead of just having a glug of juice from the bottle in your camera bag? It takes up weight granted, but I'd rather have a slightly heavier bag than miss a great shot because I was thirsty. Also in the winter, that little flask of coffee tastes like nectar when you're freezing cold!
Snacks are another important thing pretty for much the same reasons as above. I generally take a few “breakfast” bars or a little bag of nuts with me even if I'd had something to eat before I left (which is rare when I'm trudging out the door at 4am…). If you're anything like me, your camera bag is heavy. Combine that with traipsing around to find a great composition, you soon need a snack. I like the breakfast/nut bar type snacks because I generally get a energy boost from them and a sugar hit at the same time. Like I said at the beginning, I'm not a nutritionist and I'm sure a few health conscious types are now rolling their eyes at this but it's what gets me through a shoot.
Now this next one is really contentious but it's a fact of life so I'm not going to gloss over it. Again I'm neither condoning or promoting here, please bear that in mind. If you're a smoker, make sure you have everything you need but maybe this link would be worth a read… http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree
All this might seem like fairly obvious advice, and I agree it is, but you'll be surprised by how much your creativity will fade into the back ground if you get hungry and thirsty.
As well as a cap,food and drink I always bring a little roll of electrical tape (it has a million uses) and a small swiss army knife.
The last thing I bring actually doesn’t add any weight to your bag at all. I have a android smart phone (no product placement here folks!) and I have audio-books loaded on it. Whilst there's lots to be said about enjoying the surrounding scenery and really immersing yourself in what you're taking photographs of, sometimes when I'm doing long exposures I have my shutter open for maybe 15 minutes or longer .It can get boring if you've nothing else to do. It sounds counter intuitive maybe to remove yourself from the creative process but boredom can kill a shoot very quickly.
So there's my few tips for helping you to shoot for longer in the field. Every time you open your shutter you learn something new, so shoot as much as possible.