Iceland experiences

Iceland Adventure - Part 4 what kit to take?

When it comes to packing for a holiday it’s tempting to take the minimum of gear. This makes sense if you aren’t planning any ‘real’ photography, but this trip to Iceland was more about the photography than almost anything else!
So, I decided to pack a pretty comprehensive selection of kit -

Nikon D800 - main body
Nikon D600 - back-up and timelapse
17-35mm lens
28-75mm lens
50mm lens
Lee filter holders, ND, ND grad and polariser filters
As many memory cards as I could muster (I think it came to about 200Gb in total!)
Tripod, remote release and spare batteries

We were flying Easyjet - and even though they have relaxed the carry-on weight limits, I still wanted to pack everything into my trusty Lowepro backpack, as I know that it’s well within the carry-on size limits! So, I started off thinking that I wouldn’t pack a telephoto lens. Well, after a little rearrangement, I found room for the 70-200mm f/2.8 (and hoped that they wouldn’t notice that my carry-on bag weighed almost as much as my hold bag with all my clothes for a couple of weeks, along with a couple of tripods!).
But almost as soon as I arrived I was glad that I bit the bullet and took my 70-200mm f/2.8. The Icelandic landscape was so vast and expansive that I found that I was using it almost as much as my 17-35mm, which is my ‘go-to’ lens for most landscapes.
Shooting many scenes I found that using my favourite wide-angle lens and shooting close to the foreground, the mountains in the background became small and almost insignificant. So, for many shots I would fit the telephoto, shoot from a distance, and hey-presto the background became much larger in the frame. It also came into its own for shooting stitched panoramics, as the more distant viewpoint produces a much more natural-looking result once the images were stitched together.
The other item that I’m glad I packed was my little netbook computer. With so many amazing places to shoot, I pretty much filled the 250Gb hard drive on the netbook, along with several cards!
I really didn’t have space for a full-sized laptop, and tablets don’t have enough in-built storage, so I’ve found this small, cheap netbook is still the best option for travelling. I’ve looked into using a hard drive with a tablet, but once you add the two together it’s pretty much the same weight as the netbook! I also took along a 64Gb USB drive, to back-up the really important raw files, just in case the worst happened to the computer. I’ve learned the hard way that you can never have too many back-ups when you are travelling!