Gear every nature photographer Needs
Nature photographers inherently work in the elements. They also have to capture subjects in their natural habitat, sometimes going at high speeds. It’s the most unpredictable type of photography, which means professional nature photographers have to be ready for anything.
A rugged DSLR is just the start of what a nature photographer needs to get great shots. Pack a few more pieces of equipment so you’re prepared for anything Mother Nature throws your way.
Drones have really changed the game for photographers. Drones with camera equipment onboard can capture shots that once weren’t possible without renting an airplane or helicopter. Paired with live streaming, you’ll get a new perspective of the great outdoors and stay connected to the drone.
The other advantage of a drone is its stealthiness. You can use a drone to get closer to animals in their natural habitats and into areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.
As far as action photography goes, whether it happens on a field or out in the wilderness, few cameras can match the performance of the GoPro. Founder Nick Woodman created the GoPro to give photographers of all skill levels the ability to catch high speed in high definition.
Many people are familiar with the GoPro’s high-resolution video capabilities, but far fewer photographers are aware of the amazing action and outdoor sports photos that can be taken with a GoPro. And if you have a drone without a built-in camera, you can strap a GoPro to it instead.
You never know what the weather could have in store. A weatherproof case keeps all of your sensitive equipment safe from the elements. You may want to consider a backpack-style case. That way you don’t have to sit the case on a moist ground and can move around easily. If you’re following an animal that starts to move quickly, you may have to make the choice between following it to get the shot and picking up your stuff.
A poncho is one of the most versatile and useful pieces of gear a nature photographer can own. Out on a rainy shoot, an umbrella can be just as much of a hindrance as a help. A poncho allows you to stay dry without tying up your hands. A poncho can also be laid out on the ground to create a dry surface, or it can be used to block light.
Extra SD cards
Out in the field on location, you never want to run out of storage space. The second your last SD card is full that means the photography session is over whether you want it to be or not. Extra SD cards don’t take up a lot of space in your case, and they provide reassurance that you can get all the shots you came for.
It’s hard to concentrate on the shot and keep steady focus when mosquitoes are biting away at any exposed flesh. No matter where you are or what time of year it is, be prepared with a bottle of bug spray. If you don’t have a lot of extra space in your case, pack a full travel-size bottle for the excursion.
Photographers that are traveling to Zika virus zones or areas impacted by other mosquito-borne diseases should pack plenty of bug repellent in their checked luggage. DEET formulas may be harder to find outside the U.S.
It will inevitably happen to every nature photographer. You’re so enthralled with the landscape and capturing every last detail that you let the sun drop a little too far below the horizon. In those situations, a headlamp is the best piece of gear you own. Without it, you could be scrambling to pack everything up in the dark, which increases the chance something will be left behind. Trying to make your way back to civilization will also be a lot safer.
Out of the millions of pieces of gear you can get, the items above are the absolute essentials for nature photographers. Each item helps you prepare for the unpredictability so your shots are consistently great.