How to Pack for a Photo Trip

I’m getting ready to visit Nantucket again, so it’s time to start the planning the pack.Sure, the trip is all planned, so I know what time I’ll leave and arrive, and where I’ll be staying.

I’m referring to the logistics of getting the photographs I want. Sometimes it’s fun to just go, and take the opportunities as they come, but there are many aspects of this trip that require pre-planning if I’m to have any chance of getting what I want.

Here are the parameters I’ll need to work around:

This trip is not planned as a photo expedition. I’ll be going on a Boy Scout trip with my son, and we’ll be camping on Nantucket Island. This is not your typical scout trip, as families are invited, and we are free to plan our own schedule. My son will be spending the majority of the time with other scouts, so I have flexibility to plan my own excursions around the island. Our only means of transportation around the island will be bicycles. There is a great system of bicycle paths on the island, so getting around is easy, but it takes longer and everything must be carried. Efficiency and weight become primary concerns. That being said, I can pick and choose equipment for each excursion, and leave anything else behind at the base camp.

I’ll be shooting a variety of locations and events on the island, so lets consider the needs of each situation. Landscapes around the island will certainly be a big part of the trip. There will also be group gatherings for meals, as well as activities on the beach. These events will be more for the scout troop, whereas the landscape and general island shots are what I’m looking for. I'll also shot vistas and details on the ferry to and from the island.

Nantucket KitThe Basic Kit for this Trip

My equipment list to bring to the island will consist of 1 camera body, my 15mm fisheye, 10-20mm zoom, 24-70mm zoom, and a 70-200 zoom. I’ll also have my carbon fiber tripod, which is easy to strap to the bike. I’ll have a circular polarizing filter, and an extra camera battery. 1 extra is plenty as we have power available at the camp clubhouse, so I can recharge overnight if necessary. Due to the fact that everything will be transported to the base camp for me, I can bring a few extra items that otherwise might fall into the “nice to have, but not this time” category. I thought about bringing a speed light flash for the evening group gatherings, but decided against it for this trip. I also have my main backpack, which is a Mountainsmith Parallax, but I’ll also have a standard school type backpack that I can carry the camera and a lens or 2.

The only additional items are the necessary accessories. These include memory cards and quick plates for the tripod (which generally stay connected to the camera and lens where possible). I also have some small bungie cords to attach the tripod to the bike.

This should do it. In the next post I’ll hopefully have some great images from the trip, and a followup to how the logistics and equipment worked out. Let me know if there’s anything else you would take on the trip.