Much has been written about photographic equipment and all I want to do here is give a few thoughts based on my own experience.

It is worth bearing the following points in mind:-

  • Photographs are taken by people.
  • Nowadays there are few if any "bad" cameras.
  • The best camera is the one you have with you.

Before purchasing any equipment you need to be clear what kind of photography interests you. This may determine the choices available to you.

 

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY

Tripod - a good steady tripod is possibly the best investment you can make. Personally I favour one without a centre column. A centre column adds weight and reduces stability. Having no centre column allows me to get close to the ground, and some of my favourite images are taken only inches from the ground. The tripod and head combination should be sufficient to hold steady your choice of camera and lens.

Head - When using a tripod you need to also use a "head". This screws onto the top of the tripod and you then fit the camera onto the head. A decent tripod and head should allow you to easily position the camera and keep it steady. Currently I favour the Arca Swiss P0 head. It is lightweight and holds things rock solid. It has stops at both ends to prevent the camera sliding off. It can be levelled even if the tripod is not level and it can be used for basic panoramas.

Cable Release - there are numerous types on the market. The important thing is to use one to avoid camera movement.

Camera Bags - Mostly I don't use these. They are good at holding camera and equipment but the majority are useless for also holding your personal clothing and equipment needed if walking in the mountains. I prefer to take a mountaineering rucksack with separate small bags for camera and lenses which I will carry inside my rucksack.

 

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

Often a bean bag is sufficient, but where a tripod is used you may find a gimbal type head gives most free movement.

Again I prefer to use a mountaineering rucksack. If carrying a long lens I protect it with pieces of closed cell sleeping mat cut to size, including a circular shaped piece at the bottom of the rucksack.