The the first time I did a trip to wildlife I was excited about so many things, what will be photographing, what should be my settings, I would read blogs, I would talk to people ask them what they did, how they took pictures and what are the things I should do and what I should avoid. But the most important question that I had was what equipment I should carry?
Trip after the trip, I refined my bag. Know that, each trip is different, and I carry gears as per what I am going to be capturing.
I made a detailed list of stuff that I always have in my bag when I go to photograph wildlife.
Binoculars: I use the Nikon Monarch HG 10×42.
Camera: I carry three bodies with me, Nikon D5, Nikon 850 and Nikon Z6
Nikon D5 is my go-to camera. It is a beast and can withstand anything, be rain or sandstorm – D5 will survive. The AF tracking is seamless and works very well in any action scene. The High ISO performance is mind-blowing and it gives an edge when the light is low.
Nikon D850 – This is a very versatile camera, it’s a perfect blend of resolution, speed, and weight. For scenarios where I want to crop or photographs that I would want to blow up bigger, this is what I rely on.
Nikon Z6 – This is a camera, I wouldn’t want to go without, it’s a compact lightweight and awesome in conditions where I want to take videos and photographs too. The flexibility to switch from photo to video without losing the settings works perfectly in an action pack scenario.
Lenses: Nikkor 14 -24mm, Nikkor 70-200mm, Nikkor 400mm, Nikkor 600mm and Nikkor 180-400mm
Batteries: I carry 2 extra batteries for each camera.
Memory cards: Since all my cameras work with XQD cards, I carry 4 XQDs with me, 3 pieces of 120GB and 1 piece of 64Gb
Tripod: I use Sirui SR 3204, it’s a three-legged tripod that goes flat down. Paired with my Sirui 40 X ball head or PH gimbal head, it gives the ultimate stabilization. I also added Sirui`s Video head VS – 10 to my bag recently after I started doing videos.
Bean Bag: There are situations where it gets a lot difficult to maneuver a tripod but then handheld can get very shaky, so bean bag comes very handy.
Rain cover: Rain can be an awesome opportunity for unique images, but that’s not possible if you need to put your equipment away. I never leave for a trip without a rain cover.
SSD – A must-have for your back up.
Laptop – After a great day of safari, you would definitely want to come back review your photos and transfer them to the SSD.
Now, that you are packed and ready for the photography tour, always remember the most important thing needed to be a good photographer is for you to have an eye for it.