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Lesson 4 from: The Landscape Photography Workshop

Taylor Burk

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Lesson Info

4. Gear

Lesson Info


(car tires roll) (car doors open and close) All right, in this episode, I'm gonna take you over everything that I have in my kit, stuff that I have my backpack, stuff that I have in my car, everything that would bring with me onto a shoot. This is my '96 Toyota 4runner, I had it custom built out, specifically for life on the road of photography, by my friends at Vansmith. Here's a quick little show of what it is. Basically the back turns into a sleeping platform. From there I can put down my mat, I can sleep comfortably on the road. I can also take this up and have the back seats in. And The biggest thing that I wanted for life on the road, when I was traveling all the time, taking photos, was locking storage. In here I can make sure I have all my camera gear safe and stowed away, when I'm traveling, especially in cities. places where you might incur break-ins. So now I'm gonna show you, we're gonna head up to Mount Cheam, I'm gonna show you what I'm gonna be packing for this shoot, ...

which you'll see in the coming episodes. As well a little bit, what I keep on me for other shoots as well. All right so, carrying, I have a Pelican Air Case, which I use normally just to keep everything stored, saved away. It's water-tight, it's protected, I don't really have to worry too much about it. That usually lives in here when I'm traveling on the road and at home. And then when I'm about to go on a shoot, it depends on the hikes, but just a quick day hike, something like that, like what we're gonna do today, I'd bring my backpack like this, this is a 35 liter bag. If I'm gonna be doing overnighter, I typically bring a 70 liter bag, this one's from Osprey, the (indistinct), that doesn't really matter too much. But yeah, one to go over what I'm gonna pack for a day trip, we're gonna be going and shooting sunset. So we're gonna be in the Alpine, so that's a few things to consider. So on top of my photography kit, I'm gonna want to bring some safety gear as well. So this is no particular order. Typically though, when I'm putting things in my bag, I want heavier stuff that I'm not gonna be using frequently in the bottom, and then stuff I'm gonna be using quite frequently in the top. So first let's go over camera and lenses. I consider myself a bit of a pack mule. I kind of joke and call it training for Everest because I like to bring everything with me. I don't care about a heavy pack. Might regret it in the future, but right now, especially at a young age, I'm happy packing a lot of things. The reason for that is I'd rather have the ability to be able to shoot with multiple different lenses, to capture a bunch of different, unique angles. So with me today I'm gonna bring almost my full kit. Here I have the Canon 70-200 2.8. Typically a lot of people get the f because it's a way lighter camera. Like this thing is a beast, the f4 is probably like half the weight. But I like having the ability to go f2. so I can get, you know, shooting low light, it's less of an issue and I can get more depth of field. So I'll pack that. I probably won't be using that too much until we get to the top, so I'll keep that at the bottom of the bag because it's a lot heavier. So I'll pack that in there now. I do have camera inserts, this one is a bit too big for this bag, and it can sometimes just be a lot to get in and out of it. So I typically just wrap my lenses in their case, in a shirt or something like that. Something to keep it protected, but easily accessible. I shoot with the Canon 5D mark IV, I'll typically leave the 24-70 on the camera at all times just because it's easy access. It's one of my favorite go-to lenses, it's a workhorse, it can handle basically anything you throw at it. The polarizer I keep on. Typically I'll have it on most of the time. It'll come on and off throughout the day but let's just keep it on for now. I have this Peak Design Capture Clip. It sits like that on your backpack strap. Not gonna lie, it does look a little nerdy sometimes when you have your camera strapped to your chest, but this was a game changer. Before I would keep my camera in the top of my bag when I'm hiking, that way I don't have to worry about carrying it or having around my neck or anything like that. But I found I was missing a lot of shots because you know, I'd be exhausted, I have a heavy pack, I don't want to take it on and off constantly. So when I got this, it changed my game like completely. Instead of having to do that, I had it ready to go at any time, I could just up and shoot. Things are constantly happening, conditions are changing. You just have it available at all times, so my camera will live on there. I'll adjust this when I'm ready to go. The 24 1.4, this is great for stars, for landscapes. That 1.4, you know, you can shoot a lot of low light, you can shoot a lot of depth of field. Might bring this, I'm not sure yet, just because I'm happy with the 2.8. If we're gonna be shooting star stuff, I'm gonna bring this. This is the Rokinon 14mm, it just allows you to get so much more of the night sky. It's F2.8, but it's a cheap lens, it's something that, 300 bucks might have gone down, but it just allows you to get so much of the night sky in. So I probably bring either the 24 or the 14, I'm not quite sure yet. Both of those are great lenses to have for the night sky. Along with the 16-35, this is a Canon 2.8, another great lens for landscape photography, for night photography, anything like that, just because you can get so wide at 16, you also have 35mm so you can compress things a little bit. This will definitely go with me. So in the bag for sure. I'll have the 70-200, 16-35, 24-70, those are usually my go-tos. I also have a 50 mill, Canon 50. I believe this is the one, F1.2. So once again, can shoot low light, get lots of depth of field, another great lens. So those are the primes that I have, the 24, the 50, and the 14. So, for the sake of filming, like if we're gonna do things with this workshop, I might bring this just for stability, 'cause we'll show you what my camera is seeing. So we might have that just to show you different techniques. If I want to do any blending, astrophotography, long exposure, I'm gonna want a tripod. So this is a Stealth, it's an Induro, it's a carbon fiber tripod. It's very light, all things considered, but you know what, it's one of those things that you'll wish you have it if you didn't bring it, so we'll bring it today. I like to keep all my accessories in this little Peak Design pouch, in here I have batteries, I have extra SD cards. I've had SD cards fail, I've had times where they get broken, so having extra SD cards is huge. Another game changer, instead of having multiple batteries, so that way you're not bringing like, five batteries with you, especially if you're going on a multi-day trip, you're gonna want to have a lot of juice. What I found works the best, got this for like $17, is just basically a dual battery charger that has a USB port on it, or a USB plug, that you can now plug into any external battery and charge your batteries on the go. So this is great just for multi-day trips, and if you're shooting a ton, you can just, boom, put that in your bag, charge two batteries at a time as you're hiking, that way you don't have to worry, and you have that peace of mind, and not have to bring a ton of batteries with you. Little tools, Allen keys, things to adjust the tripod, I have different UV filters protect my lenses. I typically don't usually have lens caps always on my camera for various reasons, one, they just tend to get lost and you're constantly shuffling losing them, and it can be distracting sometimes like if the moment's happening, and you have to worry about taking it off, it's just a personal choice. So I do keep them in here. Lens wipes, just any standard wipes work. This is just a Tiffin Lens Cleaning Paper. Filters, my ND filters. Polarizer's on the lens but that can also go in here. I can put these in here if I want. I'm probably not gonna shoot too much long exposure but it's one of those things that if you don't have it, you wish you did. So I'll bring it anyways. That's basically what I bring for the camera gear. Because we're going into the back country, places that you spent more remote, I'm gonna bring extra stuff with me as well, for safety. Here I have just a thermal Bivvy Bag, you know, in case something were to happen, and we were stuck out there, you have something that you can stay warm and survive in. Also have a blanket, same thing, just a thermal emergency blanket. Bars, in case you're getting hangry and you know, you need to fix that you can just have a quick bar, also have meals and food and stuff like that. But these are just good having bars in your bag at all times just constantly re-update them and keep them in there. You never know when you might want something like that. Straps, I usually keep these. You never know, something might break or you need to adjust something, having these little straps can be great. It's just a ski strap, just basic rubber, keep things real tight. In here I also have a little inReach, just any sort of GPS device works. They can be pricey, they're typically on a monthly plan and then you have to buy the device itself. But your life is priceless and you never know when it might come in handy. So, having one of these is always key. I also have a warm layer, a down coat, a rain coat, some gloves, a took, and a buff. This is basically if it does get cold, down here it's nice and warm, there's a bit of a breeze. So keeping that in mind, it's gonna be pretty chilly in the Alpine. I might want as it gets closer to night, I might want to took, and I might want some gloves when shooting. Buff to protect me from the sun or wind or whatever it is. Top of that, yeah, just extra little layers for when it gets cold. And of course the first aid kit, once again, always have something like this in your pack, you never know when you might need it. Ideally you don't, but redundancy is key and just always having any sort of safety thing is super important. So, like I mentioned with the lenses, I'll probably wrap something in here. I'll wrap something in my took. Just keep things up top and easily accessible. But while we're hiking, I'll have that camera clip on, so I can access my camera at any time. So that's kind of what I typically bring with me. Other add-ons depending on the shoot, rubber boots, that's always handy if you're shooting in really muggy wet areas, kind of anywhere near the water, you probably want rubber boots. Poles, sunscreen, things like that. I can give you a detailed list of what I used to pack, and how I stay prepared. But this is typically what I have with me on any sort of shoot. (relaxing music) Another piece of gear that I like to bring with me at all times, is this bag. It's a dry bag that has a camera insert in it with a little bit of storage. Typically I will keep my camera with a lens or two in there, especially if I know it's gonna rain or there's a chance of it. Protects it from getting too bumped around. So I'll probably put some lenses in here as well. (relaxing music) So I should move these lenses in here. Lastly, one of my favorite and least favorite pieces of gear is a drone. I recently got the Air 2S. I've had bad luck with drones in the past so I only try and shoot with it when I feel very sure of myself and the conditions. In Canada, you have to have a license, So, you know, make sure you have all that stuff sorted and know where you're flying. Make sure you're not doing anything illegal 'cause it can be very dangerous. I have three batteries total with the charger. The reason I got the Air 2S is for hiking, It takes really good quality video and photo, and it's super light and small. This is just a case that comes in, I don't usually carry in that when I'm out in the field. I'll once again, wrap it into something and put it in my bag. But definitely always have this with me because you never know when you might want to take some aerial photography. It's heavy. Like I was saying, for a day hike, this thing probably weighs, I don't know, definitely at least 25, 30 pounds, probably more. But I'd rather just have the extra weight and not have to worry about my gear up there and know that I have everything I need. That's just a personal thing, but I'd recommend it, and you'll just get stronger anyways, right? (relaxing music) All right, so we just got to the trail at Mount Cheam. I'm here with my buddy Joel. We're gonna head up there and take some photos. The road coming in here was pretty rough, and just want to talk about my vehicle. I used to have a car. It wasn't the best for what I wanted to do because a lot of the places I wanted to access were up rough forest roads and stuff like that. So having this vehicle, having a four by four, any sort of vehicle like that, can be super helpful for getting to all of these locations. And it is abnormally cold for this time of year, it's pretty chilly. The mountaintops are kind of hiding, so we're taking a gamble. So let's go see what we can get out there.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Astrophotography Checklist
Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

Selby Wilkinson

Incredible course! I learned so much watching this. I loved Taylor's teaching style and found it really helpful to get to see how he works out in the field. Everything about it was so well thought out - I appreciated the little details he included in the course like the PDFs and photo book recommendations. I would definitely recommend!

Jason Webb

This course is awesome! Great insights into landscape photography. Highly recommend.


This course was great--Taylor's approach and delivery of the topics is straightforward and extremely helpful. I am somewhat comfortable with my camera/settings and know some of the basic rules of photography, but his explanations help translate in how to use those tools to create YOUR own images no matter what you are trying to achieve. Can’t recommend this course enough to any aspiring landscape photographer.

Student Work