"What's In My Bag" by Vanguard Professional Josh Bender
As I travel around the world I often get asked what kind of camera gear I use. My kit has evolved since we started nomadic travel in May 2012. I simply started with a small compact camera to take family photos. When I occasionally look back at those dark, blurry photos I have to quietly cringe.
As our travel blog became a higher priority for us I upgraded to a Sony NEX-F3 mirrorless camera. In late 2013 that camera was stolen whilst on the Underground in London and that presented the catalyst to (finally) upgrade to a digital SLR. Something I wish I had done years before.
Now I use a Canon EOS 70D and my passion for photography has continued to grow. I’ve added a few extra lenses and accessories since that point, but due to our nomadic travel, I have strict self-imposed limits on how much equipment I can carry everywhere we go. I don’t want to create a rod for my back, literally.
Since I also travel with our 2 young children, I need to keep both hands free most of the time. If I had a 3rd hand that would be even easier! Out of necessity to carry other family-related gear on day trips, I only carry the absolute essential photography equipment each day. While this seems to present limitations to creativity, I feel it paradoxically ads a purity and transparency to my photography. I am able to solely focus on the actual moment than on the gear.
So without further adieu, here’s a breakdown of all the photography equipment I currently travel the world with:
- Canon EOS 70D
- Canon EFS 18-55mm zoom lens
- Canon EFS 10-22mm wide angle
- Tamron SP 70-200mm telephoto zoom
- Canon EF 50mm prime
- Kodak Pixpro SP360 (with various attachments)
- GoPro Hero 3 Black
- Filters: NDX400, ND8, Circular, UV
- Extra battery
- Extra memory cards
- Cleaning cloth & dust blower
- Vanguard Alta Pro 254CT tripod + BBH-200 head
- Vanguard Skyborne 49
- Vanguard BIIN 59 Orange Backpack
The BIIN 59 Orange backpack is used for most day trips and my primary camera storage. The larger Vanguard Skyborne 49 backpack comes in very useful for storing and transporting my array of other computer gear including hard drives, cables plus other less frequently used camera accessories. Everything has its place, which means finding the right piece of equipment is fast and simple. The construction is rugged and provides the protection I need for my electronics and camera gear. And importantly, it’s the perfect size to fit into overhead cabins on airplanes – never check-in your camera equipment when you fly.
Now after 1000 consecutive days of travel, visiting over 45+ countries, I’d say I’ve got the process of packing (and unpacking) my gear down to a fine art. And just like everything with photography, the more you practice, the better you get.
Visit Josh Bender’s blog – Travel with Bender – and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.