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With spring right around the corner, it's time to break out the shorts and hiking boots and embrace the outdoors. After a long winter of bare trees and dead leaves, it's nice to get out and snap some photos of blooming flowers and green landscapes. So in preparation for a fun hike and some good photos, here's a list a camera gear you don't want to forget:
When they say safety first, I'm almost certain they're talking about cameras as well as people. If you're going on a long hike, chances are you're not going to have your camera out the whole time, so it's good to invest in a backpack that's comfortable for both you and your camera. Camera backpacks differ from normal backpacks in that they have a lot more padding and are usually easier to access. These bags vary in size from giant packs allowing you to carry a 70-200mm lens to small packs with only a few spaces for lenses. So choose whatever size works best for you and your equipment while remembering that you're going to have to carry all of this gear throughout the entire hike.
This is a tricky one. A tripod can be heavy and bulky to carry around while hiking. Some may comfortably strap to your backpack, some may not. If you're going on a hike specifically to take photos, then you will probably want a tripod as you'll be doing a lot of scouting and stopping for picturesque scenes. But if you're main goal is to complete a long hike and maybe snap a few photos along the way, then it might be best to leave the tripod at home.
An alternative would be to bring a mini tripod. Some are even flexible and can grip onto things like small trees and poles. Also think about bringing a shutter remote so you can take photos of yourself and your friends, or the landscape without any camera shake.
If you're hiking in a dirty, muddy, wet, or windy area, you might want to seriously consider bringing some sort of protective filter. Most DSLR bodies can withstand a lot of dirt and grime, but lenses cannot. One good blob of mud or gust of dirt can scratch or smudge your beautiful glass and ruin it.
A polarizing filter is another piece of gear you'll want to bring, especially if you're going to be around water. Polarizes cut down on glare and reflections. This allows you to see to the bottom of a flowing stream and get that nice clean, clear look. It also minimizes reflections on wet objects such as rocks and leaves, allowing you to get a more saturated look in your nature shots.
I don't think this one needs much explaining. Rain + Your Camera = Regret. Always bring rain gear (whether you have your camera or not). Some backpacks even come with built-in rain gear that you can pull over your bag.
Extra Batteries, Film, Memory
Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours of planning and packing for a hike through a majestic mountain range and then having your camera battery die. Always bring extra batteries. Extra memory cards are important too because that's when your lucky SD card will fail, right when you need it most. Of course, if you're shooting film, bring lots of it too. None of these things weigh very much so feel free to stock up on them because running out of any of them means no photos and a sad photographer.
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Image credit: andreasschalber / 123RF Stock Photo
Written by Spencer Seastrom