Many beginning photographers often wonder, what is a better system for hauling my gear when I am so far away from my car? You have read the articles in the photo magazines and forums and bought all the cool gear. Gear is why we are here, right? Here is the best way that I found to lug that new gear.
As the term “landscape photographer” implies, the photographer must go to where the best landscape is found. That may be in some fairly isolated locations. In order to record the scenery, the photographer should have a camera and assorted accessories that make the creation easier. Getting to where the landscape is may require hauling your gear into some remote areas.
Don’t get me wrong, it is great to get into the natural environment and create art with your camera. But carrying the necessary gear can be heavy and bulky. Many advocate a minimalist approach. But what I have found is just when you thought that you have the basic gear needed, the opportunity for a shot requiring the lens left at home is key.
Believe me I have tried an array of backpacks and bags.
Backpacks provide an easy way to carry your equipment. Many packs are equipped with a belt strap to transfer some of the weight off your shoulders and onto the waist. The problem with the backpacks is whenever you want to change the camera’s lens or add a filter, it becomes necessary to remove the pack. This requires you to locate a level surface to place the backpack. Finding a spot requires time and often, time is of the essence. Light changes, clouds move, or any number of conditions alter, changing the scene. The moment is lost. Your opportunity is squandered in the search for a piece of equipment.
Shoulder bags, when filled with all the necessary equipment, are heavy and one shoulder bears the burden of the load. I found that I had to continually move the bags from shoulder to shoulder to relieve the stress. Though it is easier to access the equipment, it is difficult to shoot with a heavy bag on your shoulder. It becomes necessary to search for a clean spot to set the bag.
After years of searching, the best solution I have found is manufactured by Lowe Pro. Lowe Pro’s S&F Technical Vest is designed with SlipLock™ System. It has a harness system created for outdoor photographers. This system consists of a belt and shoulder system with loops to attach varying sized pouches for lenses and miscellaneous gear. The support system transfers the weight evenly along the shoulders and waist, making it easier to carry the load.
Your gear is easily accessible, when you need it. Having the equipment within arm’s reach, makes changing lens and filters a quick process. Minutes count when you are in the field and the light is changing.