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Best Camera Bags for your Next Adventure

While planning for a road trip from Melbourne to Perth last November, one big part of the planning was making sure I had the right equipment with me for the trip. One thing that I wanted to get right was the style of bag I took on the trip. As I was flying back to Melbourne once we reached Perth, I needed something that would be able to carry all my gear but at the same time, I wanted something lightweight for days where I knew we would walking a decent distance to get to a location and didn’t want to lug all my gear (including laptop) to the spot.

So what did I end up doing for my roadtrip from Melbourne to Perth? Like any photographer, I procrastinated madly over camera bags for a month leading up to the trip and wanted to share based on my research, what the best backpack, sling, shoulder and roller bags are available on the market.

Let’s be honest, as photographers we’re a nit picky bunch and we all have our own requirements when it comes to look and feel to the sizing, style and material. This means there isn’t one bag on the market which is the best camera bag for everyone as not one bag will suit everyones requirements but there sure are a lot of different options on the market.

What to Consider When Buying a Photography Bag

When I was researching what camera bag I wanted for my trip, there were a few things that I took into account when looking at bags. Some of these are obvious but hopefully help you with your own research:

Style of bag: Camera bags like a lot of other gadget bags come in varying styles from full hard-on cases, sling bags, waist bags to backpacks. The style of the bag ultimately comes down to how you are going to use the bag and where you are going to with the bag, for example, lugging a roller bag through outback Australia would be impractical but does a sling bag provide enough room for all your gear?

Size of bag: The size of the bag also like the style is dependent on choice, size of gear and where you plan on heading to with the bag. There are smaller camera bags like the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00J8V1INU’ text=’Lowepro Passport Sling III Bag’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 830c9934-185f-11e7-8800-2fa24aa2a298′] which work perfect for those trips down to the beach where you know you only need your camera, one lens and some filters but what about bigger trips where you need a longer zoom and another lens or two where bags like the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00173FOQY’ text=’Think Tank Airport Security V2.0′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 94deabd6-185f-11e7-8de4-1fff5154f21f’] comes to mind.

Comfort: Buying a camera bag that’s comfortable should be a priority especially if you’ll be having it with you for long hours either on a bush walk (or hiking for my American friends) or if you’re shooting with it attached to your body.

Budget: Not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on camera bags especially when they’re starting out and have just shelled out a fair bit of coin on getting a camera and lens setup. There are very decent camera bags which won’t cost you an arm and/or a leg but serve you well. Amazon owned camera bags – [amazon_textlink asin=’B002VPE1WK’ text=’Amazon Basics’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 3672a754-1860-11e7-91bf-49520dc3cf9e’] come to mind. But then for those that do have the budget, there are some great bags in the mid to higher end like the [amazon_textlink asin=’B008OQUX22′ text=’Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 516a7e9d-1860-11e7-93af-b70b20a42e4c’] which come with additional features and quality over the cheaper bags.

Protection/Material of bag: Another important thing to look out for when buying camera bags is what type of material is used to make the bag? This is important because of weather elements and locations where you’ll be having the bag(s) accompany you to. Obviously a hard shell case like the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00NV6JTBG’ text=’Lowepro Hardside 300′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 7349262e-1860-11e7-aa03-ad11cfe0c128′] is great when you’re travelling on a plane to fully protect your gear if it’s thrown around but this is quite large and cumbersome to lug around when you’re not travelling on a plane. This is where larger bags such as the [amazon_textlink asin=’B002DW99H8′ text=’Case Logic SLRC-206′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 9dc66014-1860-11e7-8de0-c98569614713′] which generally have some form of waterproof material is ideal for those shorter trips where the key concern is protecting your gear from water.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go down to what camera bags are worth mentioning across the four main categories of camera bags on the market: backpack, sling bags, shoulder bags and rolling cases. Obviously there’s other styles of bags that are missing here like a waist bag or camera holster but these weren’t a style I was interested in for my trip which isn’t to say they aren’t good, they simply just didn’t fit into my criteria of what I was after for my trip. You’ll also notice that there’s quite the emphasis on backpacks and slingbags as these were more what I was looking for.

What did I buy?

I ended up settling on the [amazon_textlink asin=’B008OQUX22′ text=’Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 516a7e9d-1860-11e7-93af-b70b20a42e4c’] as it was able to fit all the gear I was taking (Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40, Canon 24-70, filters and a Macbook). All in all, it’s a great bag and met my requirements of something able to carry all my gear comfortably as I was stumbling around remote parts of Australia. If I was to nitpick with the bag, my only criticism would be the big ‘Lowepro’ branding on the bag which is a bit of a dead giveaway you’re carrying a camera bag.  But other than that minor criticism, it’s a fantastic bag and will serve the majority of readers well for their next adventure. 

Backpacks

 NameSize (L x W x H)WeightStorageLaptopTripod SupportWaterproofRatingPrice

AmazonBasics Backpack11.5 x 7.2 x 15.6860 grams (1.9 pound)Body, 2-3 lenses and accessoriesYNN[amazon_link asins='B002VPE1WK' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 60740bd2-175b-11e7-bbc3-d5a89c9f62c5']
AmazonBasics DSLR and Laptop Backpack13.4 x 8.8 x 17.71.4 kg (3.2 pounds)1-2 bodies, 3-4 lenses and accessoriesYYN[amazon_link asins='B00CF5OGP8' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 79505567-175b-11e7-8800-2fa24aa2a298']

Neewer Pro Camera Case16.6 x 13.2 x 5.7700 grams (1.6 pounds)Body, 2-3 mid sized lenses and accessoriesNYY*
Material only (no cover)
[amazon_link asins='B01M5FQXFU' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 84ddae6a-175c-11e7-a0a7-4d2ec1ecaef9']
Case Logic SLRC-2069.7 x 13.6 x 18.11.29 kg (2.8 pounds)Body, 2 lenses and accessoriesYYY*
Material only (no cover)
[amazon_link asins='B002DW99H8' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 98492542-175c-11e7-b34d-518bbe897ce8']

Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L19.88 x 9.25 x 11.41 kg (2.2 pounds)Body, 2-3 lenses and accessoriesYNY
Comes with cover
[amazon_link asins='B008OQUX22' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' a5fd2431-175c-11e7-9c91-2f0e3c6054c8']

Manfrotto MB NX-BP-VGY12.2 x 6.7 x 18.1950 grams (2.1 pounds)Body, 1-2 lenses and accessoriesYYY*
Material only (no cover)
[amazon_link asins='B015RA4L52' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' c9cb3fd1-175c-11e7-8aa0b-a9b63e356873']

Abonnyc Large DSLR Bag18.4 x 11.8 x 5.71.6 kg (3.6 pounds)Body, 3-4 lenses and accessoriesYYN[amazon_link asins='B015RA4L52' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' c9cb3fd1-175c-11e7-8aa0b-a9b63e356873']

Evecase Camera Backpack18 x 13 x 6.31.5 kg (3.4 pounds)Body, 3-4 lenses and accessoriesYYN[amazon_link asins='B00NAQANTO' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' d493de5a-175c-11e7-adb8-17c1993a9caf']

Vivitar Camera Backpack16 x 11 x 6450 grams (1 pound)Body, 2-3 lenses and accessoriesNYN[amazon_link asins='B01G62CSP0' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' e00e1a3a-175c-11e7-b617-a132691d2126']

Burton F-Stop Backpack25.5 x 12 x 7.52.3 kg (5.1 pounds)Body, 3-4 lenses and accessoriesNYN[amazon_link asins='B00AZHAKSK' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' b9593ccb-175d-11e7-bf0e-c94a0e5582bd']

Chrome Niko Pack8 x 11 x 17.51.3 kg (3 pounds)1-2 bodies, 3-4 lenses and accessoriesYYY*
Material only (no cover)
[amazon_link asins='B00AZHCCHC' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' c3aa3b2e-175d-11e7-946f-67135e8404c8']

Incase Pro Pack20 x 12 x 91.2 kg (2.7 pounds)Body, 3-4 lenses and accessoriesYNN[amazon_link asins='B008HFIWGO' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' cd69f4a2-175d-11e7-8fc1-a56966f77072']

Langly Alpha Pro18 x 14.5 x 82.1 kg (4.8 pounds)Body, 3-4 lenses and accessoriesYYY*
Material only (no cover)
$249

AmazonBasics Backpack

Quick Look

  • Very budget friendly coming in at [amazon_link asins=’B002VPE1WK’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 645947c5-1ccf-11e7-b6a0-b5fc56a40f8b’]
  • Roomy setup capable of holding a DSLR with 2-3 lenses
  • Made by Amazon
  • Measurements include 11.5 x 7.2 x 15.6 inches.
  • Weighs just about 1.3kg or 2.9 pounds

One of the best backpacks I came across in my research was this very budget friendly SLR/DSLR camera backpack produced by Amazon. I know what you’re thinking… A bag by Amazon?! Branding aside for a moment, it comes with some serious bang for buck and at the price point of [amazon_link asins=’B002VPE1WK’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 8f8a8f9c-1ccf-11e7-9d18-df6ea7f4ef0b’] makes it worth considering. 

The backpack is compact and has a very impressive looking main compartment which has adjustable sub-chambers allowing you to adjust the compartments to store 1-2 bodies (impressive) and 2-3 lenses. How much you can fit will ultimately come down to the size of your setup (i.e. a larger zoom like the 70-200mm takes twice the space as a 17-40mm ultra wide angle lens).

Dimensions of the backpack measures 11.5 x 7.2 x 15.6 inches with a weight of 1.3kg (2.9 pounds), and the entire backpack is made of durable black polyester (nylon).

If you have a good number of photography accessories you’d like to have with you on a trip, there are several pouches to accommodate them. Zippered pockets and compartments are strategically placed both on the inside and outside of the backpack. I find these little pouches really handy for longer trips where you need to stash away some food to nibble on or carrying 

The bag comes with normal features that you’d expect with a backpack including secure straps around the shoulder region, waist, chest area and several handles for an easy and convenient carry.

The backpack is very adjustable with straps able to hang loosely or made to cling tightly. This is particularly useful if you are carrying a lightweight travel tripod as it allows you to strap the tripod to the bag (provided it’s small enough). The AmazonBasics backpack is also heavily padded for a comfortable wear and also serves a strong shield incase of accidental drop, so your equipment is safe from a fall.

Design wise, I won’t lie, the AmazonBasics backpack isn’t going to win any awards for its design. The design is simple and quite dull. Its simple look however doesn’t affect its functionality as a lot of positive feedback from satisfied users of this budget backpack speaks volumes of its strength and usability, making it great bang for buck.

[amazon box=”B002VPE1WK” description_items=”0″]

AmazonBasics Large Backpack

Quick look

  • Roomy backpack with several compartments capable of holding a DSLR camera’s, 2-3 lenses and a few small accessories
  • Budget friendly and cost efficient
  • Weighs 860 grams or 1.9 pounds
  • Has a tablet compartment
  • Measurements include; 5 x7.9 x11.8 inches

Another camera bag worth mentioning and checking out is the large AmazonBasics DSLR photography bag. Just like the previously mentioned backpack, this is also a made by Amazon. 

The bag is roomy and can hold just about everything you need from your DSLR camera to lenses, tablets and laptops. Once again, the design of this bag comes with a modular interior with removable areas which allows you to adjust the bag to suit your equipment which ensures a secure and snug fit.

Compartments are a thing to consider in photography/camera bags. Where this bag excels over the previous bag is with the additional compartments it comes with including a tablet compartment that’s padded for added safety. I personally like this comes with padding for the tablet as it reduces the need to store the tablet in its own carry case (which only adds more bulk).

The bag is lightweight and comes in around the 860 grams (1.9 pounds) range which makes it easy to carry. Talking about the carriage, there is a shoulder strap which is very heavily padded and also adjustable so you don’t feel discomfort while wearing the bag even with all your photography equipment loaded in the bag.

So far, there are several thousands of satisfied users on retailing giant Amazon, with a good many praising the bag. I would like to think that as an Amazon branded bag, Amazon listens to the reviews and have adjusted it over time to be the bag it is today. For the price, I don’t think you can go wrong. Some serious bang for buck.

[amazon box=”B00CF5OGP8″ description_items=”0″]

Neewer Pro Camera Case

Quick Look

  • Good, cheap price coming in at [amazon_link asins=’B01M5FQXFU’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 1788c02b-1cd1-11e7-9b8e-6ffe7463af50′]
  • Waterproof and shockproof
  • Comes with a tripod holder
  • Capable of holding a DSLR camera with 2-3 lenses
  • Measures 12.2 x 5.5 x 14.6 inches
  • Weighs 700 grams or 1.6 pounds

Okay let’s move away from Amazon’s offerings, the Neewer Pro camera case is made of a durable waterproof polyester/nylon material. Has a comfortably wide interior storage space and has dimensions measuring 12.2 x 5.5 x 14.6 inches and weighs 700grams. It’s also very well padded to ensure a comfortable carry and also serve as protection in terms of accidental dropping of the case.

Like the other reviewed camera bags, this Neewer Pro camera case can hold quite a bit of gear including a DSLR camera, 2-3 mid sized lenses and accessories. The inside of the Neewer Pro camera case has a bright red color making it easy to quickly find what you’re looking for.

There are dividers added to the camera case which are padded and removable allowing you to adjust the bag to suit your needs. Total portions you can separate using the divider(s) is 6 which can come in handy when you want to customise the bag to suit your requirements. 

Outside the backpack, there is a tripod/monopod foot holder with straps and buckles to hold your camera stands and tripods/monopods without taking up internal space. Whilst also coming with waterproof material gives this another tick for me.

Weighing less than 750 grams (1.6 pounds) and can priced very reasonably under 50 bucks, you’re not only purchase a convenient carry-on bag but also one that’s resistant against the elements and gives the more expensive variants a run for their money.

[amazon box=”B01M5FQXFU” description_items=”0″]

Case Logic SLRC-206 Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack

Quick Look

  • Has 25 years warranty
  • Made of sturdy nylon material
  • Weighs 1.2kg or 2.7 pounds
  • Measuring in at 9.7 x 13.6 x 18.1 inches
  • Has a waterproof EVA base that withstands weather elements and lets it stand upright
  • Capable of carrying a DSLR, 2-3 lenses and accessories and a laptop up to 17″.
  • Strap to carry tripod

The Case logic SLRC-206 camera backpack is one which is more than capable for those off the beaten track adventures. One of the selling attributes of this bag is its dimensions (18.1 x 13.6 x 9.7 inches) which make it one heck of a large bag to accommodate most photography setups and even large screen laptops of up to 17 inches. I’m not sure who is rocking laptops this big in 2017 with retina displays and the like but each to their own!

You can’t talk about a heavy duty backpack without mentioning the material it’s made of. This case logic SLRC-206 camera bag exterior is made of sturdy heavy-gauge nylon while the base is made of a molded EVA material that’s water-resistant. It’s worth noting that it does lack a waterproof rain cover which means it’s not 100% waterproof but the material itself does provide some safe guard against water.

Another selling point for this bag was the side straps to carry your tripod. I find this really useful for those longer walks where you may need to scale down a hill and need both hands (rather than one holding the tripod). 

Straps securely placed in the shoulder region employ an innovative strap management system which sees that excess and hanging straps are kept out of the way. The straps are also very adjustable to any fit or comfort level.

As regards to the compartment/housing areas, there’s a lot of space in this backpack which you would come to expect with a bag of this size but one thing in particular that I liked about the bag were the storage areas which securely holds your camera. The camera compartment has a neoprene hammock suspension system which lifts the camera just above the case’s bottom thus keeping it safe in case of impact.

As like most bag that can hold a camera and laptop setup, the backpack has a camera compartment as well as a laptop compartment. Both are well protected with foam to prevent damage to your expensive equipment.

Like many other camera bags, this Case logic SLRC-206 camera backpack has a main compartment that’s fully customizable with padded, dividers which are felt covered. The dividers are attached to the backpack walls using hook and loop strips so you can make a custom housing area for any and every of your photography equipment from lenses to filters. All in all, this leaves you with enough space to carry a DSLR, 2-3 lenses, accessories and a laptop. Once again it really comes down to the size of your lenses to how many you’ll be able to store. If you’re carrying a 70-200mm zoom lens then this is obviously going to take a fair chunk of space. 

All in all, this is a great bag for the price and would suit someone looking for a bag which will them to cover everything from their camera equipment to laptop for those weekends or longer away.

[amazon box=”B002DW99H8″ description_items=”0″]

Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW Bag

Quick Look

  • Lowepro is an industry leader when it comes to photography bags
  • Holds a DSLR with 2-3 lenses and accessories
  • Comes with a top loading compartment
  • Ready for the rain with an all weather cover
  • Measures in at 19.88 x 9.25 x 11.4 inches
  • Weighs 1 kg (2.2 pounds)

Lowepro is a highly respected and trusted manufacturer in the industry, having been an innovative leader for years. In fact, my first camera bag was a Lowepro! This is a cheaper option but is still made from top quality material.

One thing I really liked about the Lowepro was the direction they took with the design. The bag is much more of a casual, informal design and is lightweight and comfortable to wear.  With the design direction Lowepro have taken with this bag, you’re bound to be comfortable in harsh conditions.  Speaking of harsh conditions, the Lowepro Photo Hatchback comes with an all weather cover which you can pull out and cover over your bag if the weather decides to turn nasty. I’ve used these for previous Lowepro bags in the wet and they’ve been a godsend!

The raincoat left this bag being my favourite!

With multi-functional compartments, you can store plenty of camera equipment, as well as your tablet and any other essentials.  With a body-side opening, you can access your gear quickly and easily.  This is perfect for those moments when you spot a great photo opportunity and want to quickly access your camera.

The great thing about this backpack, is that you can remove the camera box to turn it into a fully functional daypack.  This is quick and simple to do, with the convenient grab handles attached.  Your camera will remain protected inside the padded camera box and you are free to place other items in the backpack.

For me, this is a great bag for people who carry lightweight setups but need something that is both comfortable and capable of holding its own in harsh conditions. I don’t think you can go wrong with the Lowepro Photo Hatchback. My only criticism with this bag is the Lowepro branding on the bag which gives away the fact you’re carrying a camera bag but it’s not a deal breaker. 

[amazon box=”B008OQUX22″ description_items=”0″]

Manfrotto MB NX-BP-VGY Backpack

Quick Look

  • Holds a DSLR with 2-3 lenses and accessories
  • Interior sleeve is able to hold a laptop of up to 15”
  • Casual design without looking too much like a camera bag
  • Side tripod attachment makes those long walks more comfortable
  • Measures in at 12.2 x 6.7 x 18.1 inches
  • Weighs 950 grams (2.1 pounds)

This is a very simple, classic design from Manfrotto, a brand renowned for its tripods who also knows how to make a good camera bag it seems.  Like all bags, it features a removable padded compartment for your camera equipment, which is located in the lower part of the backpack.  Equipped with the Manfrotto’s ‘Monforte Protection System’ (sounds a bit exotic no?), you can ensure your DSLR camera will remain safe at all times, along with your additional lenses and other small camera accessories.  The idea behind the Monforte Protection System is to ensure your equipment remains in place even if your bag is tossed around or suddenly dropped

The 15.6” laptop compartment is a great addition and the zippered pockets allow you to keep smaller personal items, such as your wallet and keys, organised and safe.  One of the best features of this bag, is the dedicated net pocket for a tripod or alternatively, you can use the external hanging solution. I prefer the net pocket for more compact size tripods but the hanging solution works well for your regularly sized tripods which are a bit too big for the net.

This lightweight storage bag is also waterproof which means it is perfect for landscape photographers who aren’t afraid to get out and take a chance with stormy clouds in the hope of a cracking sunset.  All in all while this bag isn’t about to win any awards for its design, its use of good quality materials and smart features about it which left me rating it quite highly.

[amazon box=”B015RA4L52″ description_items=”0″]

Abonnyc Large DSLR Camera Backpack

Quick Look

  • Durable construction which comes with anti shock technology to protect your gear
  • Water resistant
  • Capable of carrying a DSLR, 3-4 lenses, accessories and a laptop)
  • Comes with side tripod strap
  • Separate compartment to carry your laptop
  • Measures in at 18.4 x 11.8 x 5.7 inches
  • Weighs 1.6 kg (3.6 pounds)

The Abonnyc Large DSLR Camera bag was a bit of a surprise pack for me being a relative unknown name in the camera bag industry. The bag comes more than capable of holding a lot of camera gear (you’re easily looking at a camera body, 3-4 lenses, accessories, tripod and a laptop).  Based on its ability to carry a lot of gear, the Abonnyc Large DSLR Camera bag is best for the people who love photography and like to carry their entire kit with them all the time.

Like most camera bags, the bag comes with interchangeable velcro compartments which makes adjusting the bag to suit your camera setup easy. Additionally, Abonnyc employs anti-shock technology to protect the contents of your bag against any falls or drops. This is great especially when you’re lugging around a heavy bag full of all your photography kit.

For me at the price ([amazon_link asins=’B00YS1OP2G’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ a31fb53e-1cd7-11e7-8e85-4fe645f9d77f’]) and the ability to hold a lot of gear makes this a bag worth considering. It is worth noting though that for a bag that comes this cheap, you do have to make some compromises in material (reviews note that the material feels a bit less sturdier than your more expensive bags) and the bag does not come with a waterproof cover like the Lowepro bags. If you are carrying a lot of camera equipment ($$) then what’s a few extra hundred?  Spend the bit extra and get something that has a waterproof cover and better quality materials.

[amazon box=”B00YS1OP2G” description_items=”0″]

Evecase Camera Backpack

Quick Look

  • Different design isn’t going to appeal to everyone but I love it
  • Capable of holding DSLR, 3-4 lenses and accessories
  • Zipper Laptop compartment in the bag
  • Interior is easily adjustable to suit your photography setup
  • The bag is waterproof*
  • Measures in at 18 x 13 x 6.3 inches
  • Weighs 1.5 kg (3.4 pounds)

The Evecase Camera backpack is one of those camera bags that upon first look you’re wondering whether it’s actually a camera bag as it its such a step away from your traditional camera bag design.

For a bag with a great design you would expect it to come with a high price. No not with the Evecase. Priced at a competitive [amazon_link asins=’B00NAQANTO’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ b890c14c-1cd7-11e7-9074-df54abe0a5d5′], the Evecase combines good design with the ability to hold a reasonable amount of equipment (camera body, 2-3 lenses, flash and accessories) plus a laptop and tablet.

One thing that really jumped out at me with the Evecase and makes it slightly different to your regular photography backpack was the way your equipment and accessories is compartmentalised compared to other bags. Rather than needing to open up the whole bag to access your equipment, the Evecase splits the compartments up with a large pocket at the front with four at the bottom which allows you to store your camera to be stored in the main area and your filters and other bits being stored in another. I find this really useful as a seascape photographer where sometimes I just want to quickly put my filters away so having a seperate sections for filters is a huge plus! Additionally, the laptop sits in its own compartment away from the camera and filter compartments ensuring that its safe and secure.

The Evecase backpack is a great backpack for someone looking for something different to your regular camera bag design. I’ve got nothing against camera bags but let’s be honest, you stick out like a sore thumb when you’re carrying a camera bag. Sometimes I’ll shoot cityscapes with more discrete bags to avoid unwanted attention which makes the Evecase all the more appealing. For me, coming in at [amazon_link asins=’B00NAQANTO’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ d22db5ad-15c9-11e7-9fe1-4fc5817adcb5′], being waterproof and holding lots of equipment makes the Evecase Camera Backpack a great bag and well worth the purchase.

 [amazon box=”B00NAQANTO” description_items=”0″]

Vivitar Camera Backpack

Quick Look

  • Enough space for a camera body, 2-3 lenses and accessories
  • Very cheap – [amazon_link asins=’B01G62CSP0′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ e06192cc-15c9-11e7-97db-ef76e45e61e2′]
  • Able to carry a tripod
  • Space for smaller accessories
  • Not waterproof
  • Measures in at 16 x 11 x 6 inches
  • Weighs 450 grams (1 pound)

It’s really great to see some camera bag brands entering the market with designs that challenge the traditional designs without breaking the bank like this one from Vivitar. Coming with a simple design and priced at[amazon_link asins=’B01G62CSP0′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ e06192cc-15c9-11e7-97db-ef76e45e61e2′], the Vivitar camera backpack is capable of holding your DSLR with 2-3 lenses and accessories.

The Vivitar camera backpack is a great bag at a reasonable cost but with that said, you do get what you pay for. With the nylon fabric material, this isn’t quite waterproof and lacks a waterproof bag to pull over the bag similar to the Lowepro bags. For some people, this won’t be a deal breaker but for me it’s reassuring knowing your bag is protected from the elements especially when out shooting a waterfall in wet conditions. Another criticism that I noted across reviews for the bag was the compartments lack quality and don’t support equipment as well as they should. I think this would be more of an issue if you’re lugging heavier lenses like the Canon 70-200 2.8 at 1.4kg but would be less of an issue with lighter lenses like the Canon 17-40 at 475g.

Like all things in life, you get what you pay for and some of the issues I’ve noted here may not be deal breakers for everyone. This would suit people looking for a bag that is good for short trips and you’re not expecting any rain.

 [amazon box=”B01G62CSP0″ description_items=”0″]

Burton F-Stop Backpack

Quick Look

  • Made for comfort in mind on those longer trips with a load balance waist harness
  • Holds a DSLR camera, 2-3 lenses, accessories and a tripod
  • No waterproofing
  • Measures in at 25.5 x 12 x 7.5
  • Weighs at 2.3 kg (5.1 pounds)

The Burton F-Stop backpack is a bag that has been designed for those longer trips in mind with Burton placing an emphasis on comfort. With the bag coming with waist and upper chest support straps, this ensures you’re comfortable for those longer adventures.

The bag is capable of holding a DSLR camera, 2-3 lenses, accessories and a tripod. Like most camera bags, the bag comes with adjustable internal compartments which can be adjusted to suit your camera setup.

One thing that Burton missed with the F-Stop backpack is the lack of waterproofing. For a bag which is obviously geared towards longer journeys, why would you compromise on waterproofing? For when you’re walking a few hours to a photo location, having something to waterproof your equipment is crucial and I’m really surprised Burton didn’t opt to include waterproofing. People have said you can use Scotchgaurd or Nikwax to waterproof the bag but it’ not quite the same as waterproofing provided by the manufacturer.

Would I recommend this bag? Look probably not… At the price point of Pricehere, the bag is up there with the bigger players like the Lowepro where you can get something similar with more features. That’s not to say it’s a bad bag as the design looks great and you may be happy to compromise on the lack of waterproofing but others may not.

[amazon box=”B00AZHAKSK” description_items=”0″] 

Chrome Niko Pack

Quick Look

  • Different to your regular camera bag with a great looking design
  • The bag is able to withstand all conditions with its water resistance
  • Fits a 15” Macbook Pro
  • Configurable velcro dividers which easily adjust to suit your camera setup
  • Straps to carry your tripod
  • Capable of holding a camera body, 3-4 lenses and accessories
  • Measures in at 8 x 11 x 17.5 inches
  • Weighs 1.3 kg (3 pounds)

The Chrome Niko backpack is one of those bags that suits everyone whether it be trekking a few hours into a waterfall or taking cityscape shots around crowded areas. This comes thanks to the sleek design of the bag. With the Chrome Niko, you won’t look out of place and will have a bag that is both comfortable and able to carry a large bulk of your camera equipment.

The Chrome Niko backback like all backbacks comes with interchangeable velcro separators which can be configured to suit your camera setup. The bag is capable of holding a large camera body (like the Canon 5D Mark III) and 3-4 lenses. Based on reviews, there’s quite a lot of people out there lugging a Canon 70-200, Canon 24-105, Canon 16-35 and a 50mm all while also carrying a tripod and laptop. That’s a lot of gear and makes this bag a strong contender for anyone doing some serious travelling.

With the ability to hold such a large load, the backpack provides comfortable support to ensure you don’t feel like you’re carrying a large rock around with the weight being evenly distributed across the bag and your camera being properly supported in case you were to fall.

Overall, the Chrome Niko backpack is an impressive choice for photographers because of its design and quality features. While it may be on the higher end of the price range, the bag does come with its perks including waterproofing, ability to hold a large amount of gear (including your laptop) and tripod mounts. . So all in all, it’s a great bag for people looking to have all their gear at hand for their next big trip.

[amazon box=”B00AZHCCHC” description_items=”0″] 

Incase Pro Pack

Quick Look

  • Comes with a secondary quick access zipper which makes getting equipment quickly a breeze
  • Holds a large amount of camera equipment (DSLR body, 3-4 lenses and accessories)
  • Able to hold a 15” Macbook Pro and tablet
  • Side mount to carry your tripod
  • Not waterproof
  • Measures in at 20 x 12 x 9 inches
  • Weighs 1.2 kg (2.7 pounds)

If you are an active photographer with a decent amount of kit, the Incase DSLR Pro Pack is the bag  for you. Incase have created a bag which not only looks good from the outside but also comes packed with a smart interior design with enough space for keeping a large camera setup including a DSLR camera, 3-4 lenses, tablet, laptop and your tripod.

The bag comes with interchangeable velcro dividers which make it a breeze to adjust to suit your camera setup. The velcro dividers have been developed to also ensure a snug fit which gives you that additional peace of mind that your camera equipment is well supported. The bag also comes with a secondary compartment for filters and other items which is a great feature to have when you’re out shooting and don’t necessarily want to open your whole camera.

Like some other bags in this lower price point, you do unfortunately get what you pay for. While the bag comes with a great exterior design, it is not waterproof which is a shame for the landscape photographers who are likely to come across rain on their journeys. For others though, this may be less of a concern.

Overall at the price point of [amazon_link asins=’B008HFIWGO’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 85eca4c2-1ceb-11e7-bfee-11e807321979′] this is a great bag. For this price, you’re getting a bag that is capable of holding a large amount of kit and is also comfortable for those longer journeys. For some people the lack of waterproofing won’t be an issue but for others it may. It’s just my opinion but if you’re storing a decent amount of kit including a laptop in a bag, spend the bit extra and get something that’s waterproof so you never have to worry.

[amazon box=”B008HFIWGO” description_items=”0″] 

Langly Alpha Pro

Quick Look

  • Holds a decent amount of kit (DSLR camera, 3-4 lenses and accessories)
  • Great looking design
  • Bag isn’t completely waterproof
  • Measures in at 18 x 14.5 x 8 inches
  • Weighs 2.1 kg (4.8 pounds)

While stock levels for this bag were low when I last checked thanks to this bag being a Kickstarter inception, the Langly Alpha Pro is still a bag worth mentioning thanks to its well thought out interior and exterior design.

Some people might find the design of the bag a bit unique (or even hipster?) but don’t let that put you off, with the design of the bag, you’re getting something that is perfect for the weekend away that is able to withstand all the elements with its tough leather, stylish design and rust-proof brass hardware.

The bag has been designed with three compartments, one upper, one mid and a bottom tripod compartment. Both the top and mid compartments have been designed with padded compartments which can be readily adjusted to suit the requirements of your camera setup.

The compartment design is actually really neat with with the mid compartment having enough room to fit your DSLR camera and around 3-4 lenses. The top compartment is also large and accommodates a laptop and your additional photography accessories whether that be filters or a camera flash.  While this all sounds great, most reviews generally suggest not to fill the camera to full capacity as it can become difficult to get things from the mid compartment if the top compartment becomes full and top heavy. This can be easily avoided when packing your kit by ensuring you don’t overload the top part of the bag.

Langly have designed this bag using water resistant waxeed canas which whilst not completely waterproof, provides you with adequate coverage if you were to get stuck in the rain.

All in all, this is a great backpack and I’d highly recommend it based on how much equipment that can be stored in the bag. For me the lack of complete waterproofing isn’t a deal breaker as the bag is still more than capable of withstanding some rain or a wave drenching it if you’re caught off guard. Based on the design and the functionality, I think this is a good purchase and would recommend!

Sling Bags

 NameSize (L x W x H)WeightStorageLaptopTripod SupportWaterproofRatingPrice
Lowepro Passport Sling III Bag5.7 x 17.3 x 16.1"500 grams (1.1 pounds)DSLR and 1-2 lensesY*
Tablet compartment
NN*
Fabric has some level of waterproofing
[amazon_link asins='B00J8V1INU' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 29b9eeb0-27be-11e7-bf81-eb804fc8497a']
Altura Photo Camera Sling Backpack7.7 x 17.3 x 12.1"500 grams (1.1 pounds)DSLR, 2-3 lenses, flash and accessoriesNYN[amazon_link asins='B00PV0IEDY' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 581c79c4-27be-11e7-a248-5dc3bb19f4a2']
24/7 Traffic17 x 6.3 x 10.8"1kg (2.2 pounds)DSLR, 2-3 lenses and accessoriesY - Tablet or 12" Macbook maximumNN*
Fabric has some level of waterproofing
[amazon_link asins='B018JORFYM' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 95e19d5c-27be-11e7-9ec9-ebc1f4965b7e']
Case Logic DSS-1019.1 x 7.9 x 15"700 grams (1.5 pounds)DSLR, 2-3 lenses and accessoriesN* - Tablet onlyYY[amazon_link asins='B00IDYS066' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' a6fe42b1-27be-11e7-9f40-b70f553105f1']

Lowepro Passport Sling III Bag

Quick Look

  • Designed for more compact setups (think a mirrorless setup with a few lenses and accessories) but is capable of holding a DSLR camera with a lens or two
  • Comfortable fit makes this ideal for those trips where you just want to quickly grab your bag with a simple setup and get out shooting
  • Bag fit is adjustable to suit different body types

This much smaller and cheaper design is great for anyone who doesn’t want the standard backpack look and is after something more lightweight and compact while still being able to cart around a decent amount of camera and accessories.  It fits a compact DSLR, an extra lens or flash, a tablet, your smartphone and any small personal items you wish to carry with you.  The removable camera insert is impact-resistant, making it ideal if you are travelling or needing to hop across rocks which may introduce sudden movement to your camera equipment.

One thing I like about the Lowepro Passport Sling III is that the tablet is held in a tablet specific pocket, featuring floating-foam construction which makes it able to withstand any sudden shakes or movements. This reduces the need to have your tablet in a separate carry case which is a plus.  You’re probably reading this and wondering why am I even bothering referring to the tablet holder if this is a bag for photographers? Good question. I don’t normally carry one with me but will often bring one for star trails where I’m not sleeping and sitting near my camera.

The bag is comfortable to wear, with an adjustable shoulder strap featuring a cam lock buckle and a removable shoulder pad.  It is a more discreet option than the Hatchback bag as reviewed earlier in the post and holds much more than you would think which makes it good for all occasions whether that be lightweight trips or stocking it up completely.  

The interior zip mesh pocket ensures that smaller items are kept safe and secure within the bag, without getting lost or slipping out when you are on the move.  The exterior pockets can store a water bottle or anything else that you may need to reach for in a flash.

I really like this bag as I find it perfect for those trips where you don’t necessarily need all your equipment but need something that’s comfortable and able to protect it as you hop around rocks by the sea where carrying a bulky square camera backpack may otherwise slow you down.

[amazon box=”B00J8V1INU” description_items=”0″] 

Altura Photo Camera Sling Backpack

Quick Look

  • Easy to rotate which works well for when you’re on the go and want to quickly pull out your camera
  • Secure fit for your camera with padded adjustable dividers ensuring your camera doesn’t move around when travelling
  • Not the biggest bag but not the smallest either with it being able to carry a DSLR camera, 2-3 lenses, flash and accessories

For people looking for a bag which is lightweight, cheap and allows them to get quick access to their equipment then the Altura Sling backpack is the bag for you. Priced at [amazon_link asins=’B00PV0IEDY’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 013aff1e-15ca-11e7-875e-6fe7c889ee7e’], this bag is great value for money.

The bag is designed for photographers who want their equipment in a rush. Thanks for the quick rotation system, the bag allows you to quickly rotate your bag and get your gear out in a flash.

As this is a sling bag, it’s not going to win any awards for camera storage however with that said, it does pretty well being able to hold a DSLR camera, 2-3 lenses (depending on size), some accessories and a mount for a tripod (not bad for a sling bag!). The bag comes with adjustable velcro compartments which allows you to adjust the bag to suit your setup. It’s worth noting that some reviews have highlighted that the dividers are a bit flimsy and could be firmer to more securely hold your camera.

Coming in at [amazon_link asins=’B00PV0IEDY’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 013aff1e-15ca-11e7-875e-6fe7c889ee7e’], the bag provides some serious bang for buck. Having a sling bag that is able to hold a DSLR, 2-3 lenses while including a mount for a tripod makes this great for all types of adventures. It’s worth noting that various reviews questioned the durability of the material used. If you’re looking for a bag for casual light trips then this is a good purchase for the money. If you’re looking for something that is able to withstand longer trips and securely hold your bag then perhaps this bag isn’t for you.

[amazon box=”B00PV0IEDY” description_items=”0″] 

24/7 Traffic

Quick Look

  • Camera compartment is fully padded even if it does appear a bit lightweight
  • Able to carry a small camera (think mirrorless with 2-3 lenses and an iPad)
  • All weather coverage
  • Weighs 1kg (2.2 pounds)
  • Has a top load compartment for personal items

With a name like the ’24/7 Traffic’ you know you’re in for a surprise or two. The 24/7 Traffic… Okay. How about I just call it the Traffic from here on in as it’s a bit tacky sounding… The Traffic is a funky looking bag which comes with some interesting features that makes it worth considering.

The interior to the bag has been designed with flexible partitions that is interchangeable to suit the layout of your camera setup. Reviews on the partitions are positive with most people confirming that the partitions provide a secure fit for your camera equipment.

The Traffic is meant to sling across the shoulder. It has a shoulder strap that is thickly padded just at the correct spot where it should rest naturally on your shoulder. You can carry it on either your right or left shoulder so both shoulders can share the weight.

The exterior of the bag while making a bold statement with the orange colour also is quite functional and comes with a rain cover which for me, was a huge plus and one of the big reasons why I opted to review it in this roundup. 

If the out there design for this bag doesn’t phase you and you’re looking for something that’s both comfortable and convenient for your next photography trip then definitely consider the 24/7 Traffic bag. For me, the ability to hold a DSLR, 2-3 lenses and an iPad/12″ Macbook while coming with a rain cover to protect your gear if the weather turns sour makes this a nice little bag.

[amazon box=”B018JORKKG” description_items=”0″] 

Case Logic DSS-101

Quick Look

  • Has a compact monopod or tripod side attachment with adjustable strap
  • Able to fit a camera body and 2-3 lenses
  • Dedicated compartment for your iPad or tablet
  • Weighs 700 grams (1.54 pounds)
  • Has top zipper and internal pocket zipper

The Case Logic DSS-101 is a great lightweight bag for your next adventure. With enough room to carry a DSLR, 1-2 lenses, tablet and some accessories, this is perfect for those trips where you’re rushing out the door and want something lightweight to pick your camera up in a rush.

The rain coat for the Case Logic left me giving it a big thumbs up!

As this is a sling bag, unfortunately you do have to make some compromise on how much camera equipment you plan to carry in the bag. Generally most people are able to carry a DSLR and 2-3 lenses but it really comes down to what lenses you are looking to carry. If we’re talking more smaller zooms like the 18-55 and a prime like the 50mm, you’re fine. It’s bigger lenses like a 70-200mm where you may come into some grief trying to fit it into the bag.  This may or may not be an issue for some but is worth noting. Personally speaking, if you are looking at carrying a diverse range of lenses then perhaps a sling bag isn’t quite the right choice for you.

Whether in use or neatly stored, you can rest assured that the Case Logic DSS-101 Luminosity CSC/DSLR Sling will protect your camera and all accessories from any elements thanks to its rain coat which fits properly over the bag. This is a big plus for me as not all bags reviewed in this article came with a rain coat (sorry I can’t resist and should refer to this as rain coer).

Additionally another thing that makes this bag a winner is its tripod side attachment that comes with adjustable hypalon strap preventing it from sliding. You have not seen magnificence until you settle your eyes on this one.

For me, this bag is the real winner out of all the sling bags mentioned, it’s both comfortable and comes packed with some great features including the raincoat, holds a tripod to the side and fits a reasonable amount of gear.  

[amazon box=”B018JORKKG” description_items=”0″] 

Shoulder Bags

 NameSize (L x W x H)WeightStorageLaptopTripod SupportWaterproofRatingPrice
Havana 4818.9 x 9.5 x 12"1.2 kg (2.7 pounds)DSLR, 2-3 lenses and flashY - 15" MaxNY[amazon_link asins='B01K7JITGA' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 0d172b38-27b7-11e7-b33f-310c2aa4f017']
Incase Ari Marcopoulos18.75 x 6 x 11"700 grams (1.5 pounds)Mirrorless, 2-3 lenses and accessoriesY - 13" MaxYY[amazon_link asins='B004DQB13C' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 943ca4e9-27b7-11e7-8061-cd30df1d912e']
Tenba Cooper 1310.5 x 14.5 x 1"1.1 kg (2.6 pounds)Mirrorless with 3-5 lenses or a DSLR with 2-3 lensesYNY[amazon_link asins='B016PU2100' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' e23b39aa-27b7-11e7-8d80-2f547fa02144']
Canon SLR Gadget Bag14 x 8 x 8"1 kg (2.3 pounds)DSLR, 3-5 lenses, flash and accessoriesNNY[amazon_link asins='B0002Y5WZM' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 13855479-27b8-11e7-af51-571684b337c6']

Vanguard Havana 48 DSLR Camera Messenger Bag Case

Quick Look

  • It weighs 2.7 pounds
  • Measures 18.9 x 9.5 x 12 inches
  • Has a total coverage rain cover
  • Can carry a DSLR with lens attached as well as 2 or 3 lenses, Flash
  • Has a compartment for laptop of up to 15 inches
  • Padded back and harness
  • Versatile bag, can be used as a daypack

The Vanguard Havana Camera bag comes in quite a unique design and one of the things I like about it, also comes in various sizes which makes it available for everyone from those with large collections of gear to those with smaller collections. There’s several reasons to love this backpack from the simple, clean look to added features like a total coverage rain cover. It’s not your standard Lowepro bag and that’s what I love about it.

Of course comfort is something to consider when opting for a shoulder bag and the Vanguard Havana has got that figured out. It has a harness and back that’s well padded to ensure even and utmost distribution of weight and of course comfort. I find occasionally with shoulder bags if you load them with too much equipment they can feel really bottom heavy (almost as if you’re carting a rock around). With the compartments of the Vanguard Havana, this helps with the weight distribution of the bag without it feeling like a rock on your shoulder.  

There’s also a quick-grip top handle for ease of carriage if you’d like to drag it along in your hands instead of have it hanging over your shoulder.

The bag has well padded dividers and camera insert which fits and secures your equipment well. I find this is critical for a shoulder bag which as opposed to a backpack, sometimes your gear is more prone to moving around due to the way your equipment sits when in transit. The Vanguard Havana is rated well for its ability to hold and secure your equipment when there may be sudden movement.

The Vanguard Havana is a traveler’s bag at heart and allows you to not only store your gear but also makes room for you to also pack your laptop. This is a plus and makes it ideal for those weekends away when you’re likely to go out shooting and want to edit your shots when you get back to where you’re staying.

Dimensions of the Vanguard Havana DSLR camera bag are measured as 18.9 x 9.5 x 12 inches, while the weight is 2.7 pounds which makes it decent enough to take on long hikes and shooting expeditions. Obviously this can vary slightly depending on what option you decide to take.

The Vanguard Havana DSLR camera bag won’t appeal to everyone due to its design but with that said, it makes up for it with it’s functionality of waterproofing and internal housing which ensures your equipment is well secured and ready for any conditions.

[amazon box=”B01K7JITGA” description_items=”0″] 

Canon SLR Gadget Bag

Quick Look

  • Measures 14 x 8 x 8 inches
  • Weighs 1kg  (2.3 pounds)
  • Has detachable padded shoulder strap
  • Comes with tripod straps for easy attachment and carry
  • Large pockets and dividers
  • Budget friendly

Did you know Canon makes camera bags? Neither until I started researching. Skeptically I decided to read further and was actually pleasantly surprised. While the bag isn’t going to give Lowepro a run for its money, it definitely has some good features plus who wouldn’t want a Canon bag to match their Canon kit? 😉

This bag isn’t going to win any awards when it comes to design and reeks of designs that were coming out 20 years ago for SLR cameras (pre the digital era) but at the same time, the bag does serve a purpose (which isn’t to look daggy) but be a convenient shoulder bag for carrying around a small amount of gear.  

The bag is made of a sturdy, nylon material which is water repellant and rugged enough to withstand a bit of rain.  Without a rain cover like some of the other bags reviewed here,  I wouldn’t suggest this as a bag for all conditions as the water repellant is just enough to withstand some light rain.

With dimensions listed as 14 x 8 x 8 inches, this provides a nice amount of space for your camera body, lens and some accessories. One downside noted for this bag is that the compartments aren’t as customisable as other bags mentioned here. This isn’t great as it means that you are restricted to the compartments that the bag comes with and can’t secure them to better hold your gear. For me, this is a big negative for the bag as you want something which you can securely hold your lens and not have to worry about it rocking around.

The bag can either be carried on the side via the shoulder strap which is detachable or held on the hand via its carriage handle, your preference. If you plan to carry your tripod on your trip, then the straps included would come in very handy to attach to your tripod.

[amazon box=”B0002Y5WZM” description_items=”0″] 

Incase Ari Marcopoulos Camera Bag

Quick Look

  • Great looking design
  • Not 100% waterproof but does come with water repellent coating
  • Designed to store more smaller setups (think mirrorless setups)
  • Compartments in the bag can’t be adjusted like other bags

This delightful little bag is great quality and stands somewhere in the middle price-wise.  The bag is low profile, ensuring it won’t stand out to potential thieves, and is made from heavy-duty canvas.  It also has a water repellent coating, to keep your equipment safe from water damage.  With an ergonomic, padded across-the-body shoulder strap, it is comfortable to wear and the one-handed adjustment slack pull and large side release buckle give you quick access to the contents.

This stylish offering has a faux-fur lining, so your equipment won’t get scratched due to hard materials.  The protective flap with a magnetic closure adds a real convenience to the product and the variety of storage pockets give you flexible and broad storage solutions.  It is a reasonably small bag and is ideal for compact cameras such as the Fuji X Pro 1 or Sony Alpha range.  The real benefit of this bag lies in the tightening strap, which allows you to use both hands when shooting your photographs.

The downside for this bag is that the compartments within the bag can’t be adjusted nor can it hold larger setups like a proper DSLR camera. This is disappointing as it’s a great looking bag. As the bag can’t hold my equipment, it ruled it out of selection pretty quickly unfortunately. A shame as it’s a great looking bag!

[amazon box=”B004DQB13C” description_items=”0″] 

Tenba Cooper 13 Slim Camera Bag

Quick Look

  • Has a removable and reversible weather wrap rain cover
  • Capable of holding a mirrorless camera with 3-5 lenses or a DSLR with 2-3 lenses
  • Able to carry a laptop or tablet up to 13″
  • On the pricier end of the scale when compared to other sling bags – [amazon_link asins=’B016PU2100′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’alexwisephot-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ 7a9264d4-15ce-11e7-8090-2fc83baa7a62′]
  • Exterior is made of peach wax cotton canvas which works well in wet conditions and you forget to pull the rain coat on
  • No tripod strap (but would have looked a bit awkward/clunky with one)
  • Interior is silicone coated
  • Weighs 1.1 kg (2.6 pounds)

The Tenba Cooper Slim camera bag is the perfect camera bag for someone liking style with great construction and attention to detail. To begin with, its stylish exterior is made of peach wax cotton canvas (which has 20% polyester reinforcement) with two times water repellent PU coating which makes it near waterproof. 

Internally the great construction and attention to details continues with the interior coming silicone coated and water repellent which provides maximum protection to your camera and accessories. This is quite a step up from other bags which generally use a form of material as a divider. 

The Tenba Cooper bag is well sized for your next adventure. For those with a mirrorless setup, you’re able to hold 3-5 lenses but for those with a DSLR setup you’re more looking at 2-3 lenses depending on the size. Additionally the bag comes with a seperate compartment to securely house your laptop or tablet up to 13″. 

Though not adjustable, the removable hand strap is a good size length and the shoulder strap allows you to carry the case across the chest and thus giving you two different options when carrying it (as a hand carry or over the shoulder). Even when carrying a heavy load, the bottom of the bag will never give up as both the shoulder and hand strap run down the side the bag providing equal support to the bag. 

If you are looking for style and service, this is the option to go for. My only gripes with this bag is that the rain coat isn’t permanently attached to the bag like other bags. This means you can accidentally leave it at home if you’re not careful. For the price is this bag worth it? Yes as you’re getting a good looking bag that’s made from some great materials that are bound to last the test of all conditions.

[amazon box=”B016PU2100″ description_items=”0″] 

Hard Case and Rolling Cases

 NameSize (L x W x H)WeightStorageLaptopTripod SupportWaterproofRatingPrice
Pelican Storm IM2950 31.3 x20.4 x12.2"12kg (28 pounds)DSLR, 4-6 lenses, flashes, accessoriesYNY[amazon_link asins='B0018LJSLM' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' d998b5e7-27bf-11e7-803e-0144d903488f']
Lowepro Hardside 300 Hard Shell Case31.3 x 20.4 x 12.2"3.4kg (7.7 pounds)DSLR, 4-6 lenses, flashes, accessoriesYNY[amazon_link asins='B00NV6JTBG' template='PriceLink' store='alexwisephot-20' marketplace='US' link_id=' 24539202-27c0-11e7-a4e4-99da08a7e5ca']

Pelican Storm IM2950 Black Hardigg Case

Quick Look

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Rugged in-line wheels
  • Versatile travel case for delicate equipments
  • Weighs 12kg (28 pounds)
  • Uses Press and Pull latches
  • Molded lockable hasps

This is a Pelican Hardigg product, so what do you expect? Rugged military case is what you should expect. If you are comfortable dragging a ton, then you will love this ‘bomb proof’ case.

The case is made of HPX Polymer which is a very sturdy resin that is able to resist impacts from just about any activity, whether it be being submerged or dropped from above, the Pelican will hold its own even in the harshest conditions. With the foam inserts of the bag, this allows you to customise the bag to suit your camera setup. Being able to configure the bag to your setup is great as it will ensure in the event of dropping the bag, you know your equipment will be protected and safe thanks to the snug fit which the foam inserts provide.

The case is also watertight, so you are protected from the elements. There are also five press and pull latches alongside three double layered chambers which gives your valuables a safer housing area.

The bag comes with in-line wheels (a plus over the Lowepro reviewed in the next) which is useful when you’re lugging a heavy bag like this around. Additionally the bag also allows you to secure it in transit with two padlock ready hasps ready.

Let’s be honest – due to the weight alone, the Pelican Storm IM2950 isn’t a case that everyone will be rushing out to buy. For those looking for something that is durable and will withstand all elements (think kayaking down rivers for a week) then this is the bag for you. I know a few people that use the bag kayaking trips and from all accounts, it’s amazing especially when a bit of weather gets in the boat. For someone like myself though, I don’t mean the ruggedness which the bag provides so looked for something more slim.

[amazon box=”B0018LJSLM” description_items=”0″] 

Lowepro Hardside 300 Hard Shell Case

Quick Look

  • Fits everything from a DSLR, 4-6 lenses, flashes, accessories and your laptop and tablet
  • Has waterproof and dustproof rating of IP67
  • Exterior is made of ABS polymer
  • Weighs 3.4kg (7.7 pounds)
  • Has tuck-away backpack straps
  • Standardized size to meet airline carry on requirements
  • The interior of video/photo insert are adjustable and padded
  • No wheels is disappointing considering the weight

If you are looking for a good hard camera bag that will hold your camera and all your accessories in one case while being able to double up as a backpack (this is huge!), then Lowepro Hardside 300 Hard Shell Case has brought your search to an end. You can be sure that your equipment is going to be well protected as its exterior shell is made of ABS polymer specially designed for extreme impact resistance..

Being such a large bag, the bag can be easily adjustable and suited to your camera setup whether that be multiple lenses, camera bodies or accessories – this bag has you covered. 

Whatever the weather Lowepro Hardside 300 Hard Shell Case is the case to go for as it will protect your camera and accessories from water and dust. This is owed to the fact that it is waterproof and dustproof. Perfect for those big adventures where you want to ensure your equipment is going to be safe. The bag has been designed with travel in mind with the dimensions conforming to meet airline carry-on requirements (obviously depending on your airline a bit).

One thing I really liked about the bag was the fact you don’t always have to carry it on your hand. Thanks to its tuck-away backpack straps you can easily put it on your back and be on the go. Sure, it’s going to likely weigh a ton when you’re bag is fully packed but it’s a nice feature which is new in the hard case industry. 

This is a great option for anyone looking to pick up a hard shell camera bag that is both durable and able to carry a lot of kit. I really love the fact that it comes with straps but I feel the bag falls slightly short by not having wheels. Anyone using this bag is going to be carrying around some similar weight. With the bag weighing 3.4kg on its own, you will easily hit the 10kg+ mark once you load in a camera body (850g), lenses (1-3kg depending on the lens) and a laptop. For some, wheels may be a hindrance and get in the way but I would have preferred them as it would have made it almost the perfect case for those extreme conditions trips. 

[amazon box=”B00NV6JTBG” description_items=”0″] 

Conclusion

Before we finish though, let’s look to close out with my favourite bags from the various categories reviewed:

Backpack: 

Shoulder Bag:

Sling Bag:

Hard Case:

If you’ve made it this far – thanks for reading and hopefully this article has been useful for you. If you found this article useful, you might enjoy my other posts which are mostly geared towards landscape photography:

  • As far as photography purchases go, long exposure filters are one of my best purchases that I use often to get the results in my photos. My buying guide to long exposure filters provides an overview to what long exposure (neutral density) filters are, how they are best applied and what’s on the market
  • Looking to get into long exposure but stuck for ideas? My long exposure photography ideas post is a great way to get the creative juices flowing
  • Have you ever wanted to photograph waterfalls but wasn’t sure where to start? My guide to waterfall photography is a good kick start

Thanks for reading!

Alex 

 

Posted on 6 Comments

Guest Blog – Travel Photography Guide by Carl Ashley

Welcome everyone to the first guest blog post as part of an ongoing series on my blog. It’s been a goal of mine for a while now to start a guest blog series as I feel it’s a great way to promote other photographers that you may not be aware of and also let them shed a little insight or tips into their photography process. If you’re interested in contributing to a guest post on my blog, be sure to get in touch via the enquiries page.

Carl Ashley is a photographer I’ve enjoyed following for a while now ever since meeting him a few years back when visiting Hobart. We made a trip up to Mt. Wellington to capture the sunset and star trails. It was freezing that night (around -2 c) but we still had a lot of fun. Carl has recently just returned home from a Europe trip and has been kind enough to give some travel photography tips from his recent travel experience.

Continue reading Guest Blog – Travel Photography Guide by Carl Ashley

Posted on 8 Comments

Interview with Travel Landscape Photographer Matthew Stewart

Matthew Stewart is a travel landscape photographer based in Brisbane, Australia. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch Matt develop his photography from the start through us both starting out on the same forum (Overclockers Australia). His recent trip to Tasmania highlighted how talented he has become in recent years in terms of being able to find beauty where ever he goes and later post process it perfectly. I hope you enjoy this insight into Matt’s photography.

Tables turned; The tree intently studied the form of the Photographer.

Hi Matt, firstly can you tell us a little about yourself? Your age, where you’re from, equipment used and profession.

My name is Matthew Stewart; I’m 29 and live in Brisbane, Australia. I grew up in Brisbane and my family has lived in Brisbane for several generations. I briefly lived in Hervey Bay for about 5 years when my immediate family moved to for a ‘sea change’. There I studied Information Technology and now work as an “IT guy” in the Queensland Government.

My standard equipment is the Canon 5D Mark II and 17-40 f/4 L Lens. I also own a Canon 50D camera, and 24-70 2.8 L, 70-200 f/4 L and a Tamron 100-400 lenses. I prefer to use Lee filters and have always used the soft versions in addition to a Lee Big Stopper for those 10-stop long exposures.

I like to travel and shoot new and different places – Australia is fantastic as it has so many options and it’s not too expensive to get around, and even just disappear for weeks or months at a time! Landscape Photography is what I love most. It’s what I’m passionate about and what I love to share to whatever level it takes, and to give back what so many others have shared and taught me over the last few years.

Mt Roland, Sheffield, Tasmania, Australia

Blue Evening

What got you into photography and particularly seascape/long exposure photography?

As a young boy in the 90s, I used to like using the old Kodak film camera that my family owned to take family shots and ‘happy snaps’. In 2004, my curiosity in Digital Photography and video began to grow when a work colleague who had a film SLR (I didn’t even know what an ‘SLR’ was then, I was just used to point and shoot cameras) was looking to buy a digital camera, the Fuji FinePix S5500 – a nifty little 4mp camera that did video too. I soon followed suit by Christmas that year and was out and about shooting the local spots of Mt Coot-tha and Kangaroo Point.

Life took over and my enthusiasm began to slow down and it wasn’t until I stumbled into Infrared Photography early 2007 when I found some work by Naomi Frost on RedBubble. Naomi, who using her own small equivalent was making these stunning black and white long exposure photographs. Long exposures? What was this concept? Infrared Filters? I did some research and found out that my camera was very suitable for such photographs. With some advice by Naomi, I soon had in my hands a KOOD R72 Infrared filter from the UK. I hit the local parks, looking for trees, waited for bright days and soon I had a series of IR images I was happy with. Looking back at these now, they aren’t that great! I didn’t really know much about apertures and shutter speeds or post processing and just ‘winged it’. However, I could see elements that I now look for in my standard seascape and long exposure photographs (in particular cloud movement).

When investigating online later in 2007 for tips on how to photograph the lunar eclipse that year, I came across a forum called Overclockers Australia (OCAU) and was impressed with their Photography sub section. Here I soon met with others a few weeks later and photography really bit hard then.

I went on a further few shoots with Lance Jackson who taught me some good base elements for taking photographs, in particular, long exposure night photography around Brisbane.

Early 2008 I bought my first DSLR, the Canon 400D. I then travelled to South East Asia, and upon returning did my first Seascape shoot at Fingal Heads in New South Wales. The rocks, the movement of the sea and the sunrise light – wow, this was great. Here I also realised the need for Neutral Density Filters and shortly after I bought my first set of Cokin’s for Seascape Photography. At that same shoot I met a few good friends that I would shoot with fairly regularly over the next few years particularly Kane Gledhill who I have done many, many trips with around Queensland and New South Wales, and Joshua Robertson, Melanie Sinclair and Michael Reed. This tight group really made a huge impact on how far I have come and what we learned together over the years.

Seascapes and long exposures became a norm for me after ‘Fingal’ – it was just what I enjoyed and still do. That wispy movement in the clouds and the hazy water around rocks giving this misty, smooth, ghostly feel; and the rough waves and strong water movement pulling you into a photograph – like a receding tide to a shipwreck or a wave cascading over a large rock.

From the Fingal Heads shoot to now, it’s been go go go – I’ve been out late many times, been up countless times before dawn and drove thousands of kilometres, many hundreds before sunrise – and it’s something I’ll continue to pursue for some time to come as well.

asleep

Which of your first images made you go wow and give you the bug?

On Easter Monday 2005, I decided that I should shoot my first sunrise photographs. I woke up at 4am (!) and hopped in the car and drove the 20 minutes to Mt Coot-tha in Brisbane.

As I waited for the sun to rise, I was blown away by the colours of the sunrise sky over the Brisbane CBD. I walked back and forth trying to capture as much as I could. It was a decent sunrise with good high cloud about and white streaks through the sky.

Soon the sun rose over the mountains to the right of the City and with a huge band of cloud on the horizon, I took this photograph – image number 1165 taken on my camera.

Everyone Has A First Time

After that, a hot air balloon rose about the City in the warm orange glow – I was snap happy with that as well. On the way back to the car I saw the moon rise in the sky, and I grabbed some shots of the moon too.

When I got home, I waited a while in anticipation and then I copied the images and found that one image I was so very proud of. I then printed about 100 from that morning that week.

Who are your main sources of inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration from local photographers particularly in the South East Queensland area where I can recognise local areas in their imagery and associate my photographs with the area. More so however, as I’ve developed my interest in Photography, I’ve begun to also look towards great Australian photographers such as Peter Eastway, Christian Fletcher, Nick Rains, Darran Leal, Ken Duncan and Peter Lik, and other upcoming photographers like Ben Ryan, Steve Tanti, Tim Wrate and Alex Wise.

I’ve definitely grown to appreciate simple, refined, elegant yet very well thought out and processed photographs that ‘grab your eye in a heartbeat’ and are a slight dark twist to the straight up landscape photographs I often see. In my eyes, no one does that better than Peter Eastway, Fletcher and Rains, and others like Ben Ryan and Alex Wise (Editors note – Money is in the mail). Shots from any of these photographers I’d gladly grace my walls with.

Something that I also draw upon is comments on Flickr, friends and family, and particularly those photographers who I respect. When I had time with Peter Eastway in Brisbane in October 2011, he commented that my photos were of a professional quality yet needed some more work to make them high show quality, which really made me feel good about the direction I was taking for me, was maybe the right one.

These are three very different images and personal favourites of mine. Can you please tell us some technical information about the photographs (exposure time, equipment used, etc) and also how you processed the image

Star Burst Sky Spin

Arthur River (ii), Tasmania, Australia

Sugarloaf Rock, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park,  Western Australia

Star Burst Sky Spin was one of my best long exposure star trails images. It’s taken near Lake Moogerah, about 1 hour out of the Brisbane CBD; we picked a night that was clear skies, pretty cold and also somewhere that you can find a southerly viewpoint to find the celestial point and looked for a subject.  I took a very high-iso image first and ensured that image was well exposed, and then worked out the correct settings from there for an image with a lower ISO and a mid-level aperture setting for sharpness – this is all based on light and how long you want to take a star trail photograph for, typically I aim for 40 mins, but this was 21 mins, which worked out well for this image. I used a Tungsten white balance to give it that purple/blue hue, some adjustments to exposure, brightness, some vignetting and a correction on the lens profile – all in Lightroom 3. Quite close to out of camera really.

Arthur River (ii), Tasmania, Australia was a photograph I captured in my last trip to Tasmania. First time here and well I just had to jump up onto these logs where the water was crashing over and grab this shot around sunset – when the light was hitting its peak. I took about 30 of this composition, and then the light came through for a minute or two to light up that log on the right just enough. I wanted the image sharp so at least f/8 but I needed to get a quicker shutter speed around 1/4 – 1/8 of second to capture one of the splashes to add something to the centre of the image.  I had a foreground of nice logs, a great textured sky, but not quite enough happening in the middle third of the photograph – the movement of the splash (which could do with being a bit bigger) at that range of shutter speed really captures movement of water and you can almost sense, feel and touch the scene.

 Sugarloaf Rock, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Western Australia is one of my all-time favourite photographs. I was running late and ran down to capture this image – this was the 3rd image I took of the 3 mornings I photographed Sugarloaf Rock! The early morning twilight, about 30 minutes before dawn delivered this absolutely stunning light, which made the rock glow so fantastically. I knew I wanted quite a long exposure yet a sharp image. 30 seconds was attainable with an aperture of f/16 for decent end to end sharpness and a low ISO for less digital noise. I also shot this image at 40mm which is unusual for me, but it has worked well to compress the scene together to give it a more surreal feel by using the zoom on my wide angle lens.

When I took this image back to the computer, I used layers (I’ll discuss this more in the next question!) to darken areas and lighten areas – and a graduated filter on the sky (in addition to my Lee filter on the camera itself to save the sky from overexposing). I even went to another level of making a layer mask for the sky around the rock and then tweaking the colours in the sky using masks. I love the image for its thirds – the sky, the rock and the twisty twigs in the foreground.

One thing I’ve enjoyed over time is your ability to post process an image. You’ve developed a nice workflow that is consistent throughout all your images. Can you please share us some details to your work flow? What are some of the common things you apply to your images?

My first step is to import my photos directly into Lightroom and apply some basic keywords. I go through the images marking the best with a ‘white flag’ and the rest with a ‘black flag’ (I don’t generally delete images unless they are totally unusable, but at times, will do a big clean out). Next is to the Develop module.

I chose a photograph I wish to work on and I check the first thing – both ends of the histogram for black and white ‘clipping’. I use the Recovery slider to bring the whites down so they are no longer blowing out (so there is no longer pure white in the photograph as when you print the image, you will just see paper, not ink) and reduce the Black slider to almost nothing (as typically my Photoshop work will increase blacks, I like to keep them minimal as too much black means no detail in those areas). I may add some Fill Light to move the histogram to the right more so, even brightening it too much. I may play with the Clarity slider at this point, but not so much until the image returns to Lightroom from PS. Here I also adjust the horizon in case it’s not quite straight and make any crops as need be. The cropping tool in Lightroom 3 is fantastic. I do now use the Lens Correction option too which on some images will fix that bend you sometimes get on a horizon. I also will add a gradient to the sky in LR3 via the Gradient tool; again, as it’s so easy and then I may even darken it more in Photoshop. When this is ready – I then move to Photoshop.

Photoshop is where I do most of work – and this is an ever tweaking workflow, and as Fletcher and Eastway has taught me (and there is no way to make this not sound very pretentious but it’s not!), like the painters and artists who have followed before us all, it’s as it was for them and as is for me, all by eye – I have no set special process, more of a series of methods I have learned that I can chose to use on an image to make it look right to me. If something doesn’t work in an image, is too dark or too bright, I use Curves Layers (often 5 – 10 a photo) to brighten some areas and darken others – basically making the image as close as possible to how I remember it and highlighting parts that I want to stand out – parts that stood out for me, that rock, that tree, that pier. From there, I try to take a more artistic take on a scene – and this is where I feel my landscape photography is heading at the current moment.

Some other additions I add to my workflow are typically an ‘auto’ Curves Layer to commence with. It’s amazing what this does to an image in a moment – the image you thought was excellent before, not begins to morph into something else which is far more crisp and exciting. I also use a high pass sharpening technique that adds a new dimension to my images which I use sparingly. A Black and White Layer set to a blending mode of multiply with a low opacity of about 30% can give a little more of a moody look to an image. The Vibrance Layer often gets a run too and the Brightness and Contrast Layer. I do need to learn some more on layers such as Split Toning, Luminance Masking and using Colour Fills.

Lastly I add a small vignette to almost all my images. This draws your eye into the image and stops it from the escaping out the sides of the frame– if your eye is generally not in the middle of the image focusing on one or more central points, then this can make that extra bit of difference.  Sometimes I use it very subtly, and sometimes very strong. I use an action by Mark Galer to do this and adjust the opacity as need be.

When I return to Lightroom, I might play with Clarity a little more and I now find myself playing with the White Balance often too add a touch of warmth to an image. If the highlights (white in the image) are clipping again, I might use the recovery slider again and even increase the fill light slider to reduce the blacks again. I also love the sharpening and noise reduction tools in LR3 and will use them on my images also.

From here the images are exported out and uploaded or used for print.

Binalong Bay Tree, Tasmania, Australia

 As photography is always increasing in popularity and it is becoming difficult to discover locations which aren’t commonly photographed, have you found it a challenge to add your own unique take on some locations without it being too similar to the work of other photographers?

There is only one answer to that question, yes, absolutely, yes. I have agonised about going to commonly photographed areas and other unique places I have found that others have made their own in the past. I have set out at times to visit a location inspired by other photographers to capture an image reminiscent of theirs and always aspired to make my own photograph of that moment that I’m there– but sometimes that doesn’t happen, sometimes you get a fantastic image that you love to bits, jumped up and down when you saw it on the LCD screen, and were in the moment with – but it looks similar or identical to image Ken Duncan or something someone else took. What do you do? Do you toss it in the scrap heap, bury it in your computer or delete it and not share it to the world?

I wrote this comment a little while ago in a blog to someone struggling with how to shoot Dove Lake in Cradle Mountain, how they wanted to get that one great unique image. When I wrote it I was dealing with these same thoughts (and still do to an extent) and I really feel this sums it up just right:

I wouldn’t stress so much about getting a “non clichéd” shot. Go there, try your best to get a shot that makes YOU feel good 😉

If it bares resemblance to another person’s shot, then that’s how it is. Don’t dismiss it as “already done, can’t take that shot”. It’s how you saw and felt the scene when you were there, that’s the important part 😉 You got up early or stayed late and the shot will be the fruits of your efforts, and people will respect that a lot.

So let your creativity drive you when you’re standing there at Dove Lake! Get the clichéd shot and maybe try something else if it feels right.

I’ve spent too much time myself trying to find that “un clichéd” photograph of many places and wasted great light. Sometimes you find it by hard work and planning sure, or you take a “clichéd” shot that spoke to you on the day. I bet if you took an identical shot of a Dove Lake scene to someone else but you add a story and describe how passionately you loved that scene at that very moment in time, then you’ve made your own great photograph to share.

I like to think of this as my new mantra to photography – it seems to be working well to keep me motivated.

 What direction would you like your photography to take over the next 5 years?

This is a tough question for me as I really don’t know at the moment. I get great little ideas at times to open a gallery or travel to the USA and Canada but I just don’t know. My immediate goal is to get my website up and running better, offer print sales with environmentally sustainable framing options, and be able to present a more broad array of images from the areas I visit rather than just my “fine art” images (if you can call them that) on Flickr. I’m not that particularly interested at the present in pursuing a career in photography but just to keep on going and see how it goes. I would like to exhibit at the Wilderness Gallery at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania sometime, and will be visiting Tasmania again in November. I would also love to visit New Zealand as it’s so close by. I’d also like to travel back to Cambodia and South East Asia like I did in 2008.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aramisfirefly/4709097174/in/photostream

 Are there any styles of photography you’ve tried and just didn’t enjoy?

I have tried portraiture and glamour photography but I just didn’t love it because I had a series of images I couldn’t do much with, I couldn’t really sell or share and as thus, lost a lot of interest. I have tried macro photography and it was a little bit of fun, and Lensbaby which is very tricky to master. I do shoot weddings from time to and time, and do enjoy those as they are great happy fun filled events. On the other hand, I have shoot musical and award events and it’s been too clinical for me. I have photographed the Abbey Medieval Festival as well, which I went in with great aspirations to shoot fantastic portraits but still couldn’t do it. I guess there is an element of me that likes portraiture, people and animals, but I see it as a huge learning curve that I’m not yet ready to pursue – maybe one day, I’ll see!

To me, at this point in time, there is a something about landscape photography where you can stand in a scene, look at the horizon and just ask, “What will you give me this time?”, and just challenge yourself to work with what you have.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aramisfirefly/4567395104/in/set-72157621420732937

The Open Road

 If you could give 3 tips to emerging landscape photographers, what tips would they be?

3 tips? I can give so many!

Here is the top 3 (with a few sneaky extra ones):

  1. I don’t know where this comes from but I’ll quote it here – “Photography is 50% light, 40% photographer and 10% gear”. Light. Light. Light! Gear? Well it’s important too but not everything – buy the best you can afford, for landscapes, get that 10-20mm or 10-22mm lens or 17-40 or 16-35 on a full frame camera like a 5D Mark II – my 17-40 barely leaves my 5D Mark II and almost always sits at 17mm. Graduated filters make a difference and it’s worth investing in them. Cokin’s are a good start but you’ll soon outgrow them and want the better Lee’s and Singh-Rays, but trust me – the Lee’s were one of the best investments I’ve made, as well as a 10 stop filter to shoot long exposures during the day and late mornings to make those skies streak and those rocks hazy.
  2. Don’t be afraid to process and polish what your camera has captured on your computer. Don’t fall into the trap of “this is what the camera captured so this must be real and if I change the image I’m cheating”. Every wonder why often an image on camera often looks worse than what you saw? Your eyes see much much more so why not try to recreate that as best you can? Ansel Adam’s classic photograph of El Capitan looked quite different to the classic white and white image you see today.
  3. Grab the camera. Climb out of bed at 3am, pick up your best mate (or go solo which can be more rewarding) swear to yourself all that way for that 2 hour drive, “Why am I up so early? My bed was so warm!” get out of the car and trudge to where you’re shooting that morning, in the dark (still swearing and tired) and then wait. When the light comes for that one moment and you look at your LCD screen, you’ll exhale – “worth it”. Or it’s belting down rain and you come back next weekend!

Thanks very much for your time Matt.

For more of Matt’s beautiful photography be sure to view his Flickr or website.

Cradle Mountain (v), Tasmania, Australia

Riverfire 2010 - Opening Dump and Burn

Star Burst Sky Spin