Gear doesn't make the photo. But gear can be fun…
UK-based architectural and fine art photographer Quintin Lake previously gave us his six camera bag tips for travel photographers. He has also put together four short case studies from his travels to show how he managed to still travel light, even in the wildest of conditions.
In each case, Quintin tells us where he traveled to, for how long, the weight of his gear, and what bag(s) he used to carry it all. He manages to remain true to his “less is more” philosophy, even when trekking across the Arctic for a month. Learn more about his experiences, and check out the amazing photos he took along the way.
Case study 1: Arctic landscape photography
Duration: 1 month
Travel style: Self-sufficient expedition. Tent, food, fuel, mountaineering equipment, food and medical equipment for the time in the field.
Weight of camera gear: 2.5 kg/5.5 lbs.
Weight of supplementary gear: 78 kg/172 lbs.
Camera bags: CCS pouches and holster with canoe bag
As I was pulling a pulk (sledge) and climbing mountains, I used a holster and pouches around my waist to carry my camera and stored these in an Ortleib canoe bag when not in use.
Case study 2: Street photography in Iran
Duration: 3 weeks
Travel Style: independent travel, hostels, hotels
Weight of camera gear: 3.5 kg/7.7 lbs.
Weight of supplementary gear: 4 kg/8.8 lbs.
Camera bags: Billingham Hadley Small Black Canvas
This journey lent itself to the more traditional approach of using a shoulder bag. The black Hadley is very fast to work from and doesn’t draw any attention.
Case Study 3: Walking the length of the Thames
Duration: 10 days
Travel style: Backpacking, sleeping in tent, buying food en-route
Weight of camera gear: 0.5 kg/1.1 lbs.
Weight of supplementary gear: 7 kg/15.4 lbs.
This is my most recent project, and shows the ever-declining weight of my gear and bags. I used ultra light backpacking equipment made with Cuben fiber. For this particular project, I was walking a total of 170 miles (20 miles per day). I wanted to be alert enough to see a picture at the end of a long day, and I need the camera accessible at all times. I used a Canon G1X held in a shoulder strap designed to be a water bottle holder. I transferred all my gear to a waterproof bag when in rained hard.
Case Study 4: Architectural photography in Denmark
Duration: 2 weeks
Travel style: Commercial assignment, hotels
Weight of camera gear: 14 kg/30.8 lbs.
Weight of supplementary gear: 3 kg/6.6 lbs.
I needed a lot of gear for this architectural photography assignment, so it was easiest to work out of a wheeled bag. The tricky part was getting all the fragile gear into 8KG carry-on, which I achieved using a runners backpack and padded pouches.
Read more about Quintin Lake’s travels, photography, and gear at blog.quintinlake.com.