Only carry what you need! I mean, what you REALLY need!
Packing the camera bag is like packing for holidays with kids. You never know what you need or MIGHT need… Sun creme? Check! But what if it rains? Rainclothes? Check! Long trousers, shorts, shirts, pullovers and so on? Check! I think you get the point.
This can be very similar with your camera equipment for shooting in the field. Do I need the primes? What’s with the macro? Oh, then I perhaps want some fill flash. Ok, take the remote triggers along and the whole bunch of filters… I learned, that carrying to much equipment around can actually hinder you more than just having to use what you have plus your creativity to get the shot!
About 2 years ago in the winter I was out in the field with my goddaughter. I carried my sturdy heavy tripod, my huge camera backpack with the 17-40L, 70-200L, 2 or 3 primes (don’t remember), filters, spare batteries and two speedlights. Oh and of course the camera with the battery grip. Oh, don’t forget the cable release and the teleconverter, you never know! I was dressed appropriate for the weather, meaning my long underwear, shirt, pullover, fleece, water proof hiking jacket, a warm pair of trousers. She wore her snowsuit and a jacket and only had her Canon compact camera with her.
Let’s just get up that slope for a clear shot! (famous last words)
We were hiking along a trail near one of our many lakes and the sun decided to come through and lit the clouds and the mountain behind the lake. In order to get a clean shot of it, I pointed out to get off the path and go up that small slope to a snowy field next to us. Very very bad idea, at least for me.
While my goddaughter happily trotted up that slope like a young bunny, I sank in after 2 meter and got stuck in knee deep snow. I helped myself out to just sink in on my next steps again. I was just too heavy to move more carefully, the backpack hindered me and had the tripod in one hand didn’t help either. I felt like a tortoise stuck in chewing gum! While I kept fighting my way through the snow, she had already reached the top of the small hill, had her camera out and was happily snapping away. When I finally arrived at the top where I could walk normally again, she was making snow angels and was having fun in the snow!
And guess what? The sun had once again disappeared behind the clouds! No light, just a boring dull landscape in front of me! I never got the kind of shot I wanted that day! So this time, the hare won against the tortoise…
Sometimes, carrying less is more. We don’t need ALL our equipment all the time!
Here is the final image my goddaughter took and her mother hung up proudly in the dinette.