Whats In My Seascape Camera Bag?

26 01 2010

My guess is I’m not the only one that has accumulated way more photographic gear than will fit comfortably in a single camera bag.  So I tend to pack my camera bag for specific types of shoots that I am going on.  I enjoy seeing what other photographers have in their camera bag, sometimes they have a very cool accessory that makes life  a lot easier.  So I thought I would share with you whats in my bag and on my belt when I’m photographing seascape or landscape images.

A – My Crumpler photo bag…. I like this bag for a couple of reasons

  • It’s well made and well designed
  • For seascapes, sometimes you are standing and wading in water, so you can’t put the bag down anywhere (which is a problem with backpacks)
  • It’s fast to get access to your gear
  • Comfortable to carry short-med distances (I’d use a backpack if I had a big hike ahead of me
  • The only time I have damaged gear is from backpacks where I don’t fully do the zippers up and gear has fallen out when I have lifted up the backpack.  With the Crumpler it has a flip over flap which velcros shut.
  • Has a handy little front pouch with easy access
  • Easily adjustable internal pads to support camera and lenses.

B – My ShamWow shammy – I have this folded up at the bottom of my bag in case I get wet while shooting.  It also provides extra padding at the bottom of the bag for lenses etc.

C – My Nikon D700 with 24-70 f2.8 lens.  The camera also has a Really Right Stuff L-Bracket on so I can flip from horizontal to vertical format in a flash while keeping camera weight over the center of the tripood head.

D – My Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 lens.  This is probably on my camera the majority of the time when I’m shooting seascapes

E – My Nikon 16mm fisheye lens

F – My Hoodman LCD Loupe – I just got this recently and I love it for the following reasons:

  • If you are trying to view your LCD in a bright light, then it’s a disaster without this
  • I wear glasses, and normally when I want to inspect the LCD I have to remove them to focus on the LCD.  Because the Hoodman has a diopter in it, I can leave my glasses on and focus on the LCD (yay!!!)
  • There is something special about inspecting your LCD with the Loupe.  It’s almost like watching your image projected on the screen of a cinema… it’s all dark except for your LCD image, and you can really study it without ambient distractions.  I think it must be a bit what it is like when large format photographers put the black cloth over their head and study the ground glass.

G – My legal rights as a photographer in NSW.  This is a cool 1 page dual sided print out that summarises my legal rights as a photographer in Australia…. Everything from shooting in public places, through to photographing people in public etc.  I have that in my bag in case I get into a tussle with a cop or security guard about photographing certain locations.

H- My business card with contact details.  I had a terrible scare once where I left my camera bag on location and didn’t realise for about an hour.  While I was absolutely crapping myself on the drive back, what made it worse was that I realised I had no contact information in my camera bag.   Now I make sure I have a biz card in each of my camera bags.

I – My home made night photography table.  Allows me to calculate exposure for moonlight photography.

J – Allen key to adjust my tripod adjustments

K – 2 spare batteries for my D700

L – Lots of spare CF cards (I now shoot with a 32GB card in the camera which gives me 1,200 RAW files, but it’s nice to have a few extra cards in case of problems or in case I can’t unload.

M – My electronic timer and cable release

N – Lens cleaner solution from Visible Dust.  I’ve found this stuff to be the best at cleaning lenses without leaving smears.  It’s great stuff.  I get it shipped from the USA because I haven’t found anybody here who sells anything as good.

O – Heaps of microfibre cloths. If I’m shooting with lots of spray in the air, I put a few in my left pocket and a few in my right pocket.  Left pocket does a wet clean, then right pocket cloths polish the lens or filters clean.

P – Optech Rain Sleeve – weighs nothing, costs nothing, takes up no room, but provides good insurance for big wave action, rain or spray.

Besides my Crumpler full of stuff, there are a few more accessories I carry.  I usually either sling my tripod or carry it as a walking stick.  Around my waist I wear an army belt with a pouch for my filters.  Here’s what I use.

1 – Velbon carbon fibre tripod with Really Right Stuff BH40 Ballhead.  I love this head for a heap of reasons:

  • It’s super light weight but will support all my lenses (including my 70-200 f2.8)
  • You can just rinse it under water if you get salt or crap on it
  • It’s great for pano’s because it has a swiveling pano base
  • Nice friction adjustments
  • I can change my camera from horizontal to portrait in about 2sec flat and everything is balanced over the center point.
  • Really Right Stuff make absolutely gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous gear.  If you appreciate well made gear, you will love theirs.

2 – My filter pouch and military belt.  Having your filters right there all the time makes it easy to drop in an ND filter, or try a polariser.

3 – My set of ZPro filters (100mm wide).  These include from left to right…

  • Cokin circular polariser
  • Singh Ray 3 stop hard GND
  • Sing Ray 2 stop hard GND
  • Lee 3 stop soft GND
  • Lee 2 stop soft GND
  • Lee 3 stop ND
  • B&W 10 stop ND

4 – My Cokin ZPro filter holder and 77mm adapter ring.

I hope you find whats in my camera bag interesting.  If you have some equipment that you regularly carry, please share it by commenting on this post below.

Happy Australia Day Everybody




31 responses

26 01 2010

For your resin filters, you might like to consider the Lee filter pouch. I bought one of these recently, and it’s a lot better than using the individual pouches supplied with the filters.

The filter pouch holds ten resin filters in one zip-up wallet, and the individual pockets are made from a soft felt-like material (if not felt itself) which provides much better protection than the nylon innards of the individual pouches.


26 01 2010

Being the stalker that I am, I love posts like these. Thanks for taking the time out to post your bag Brent, looks like I’m getting a Hood Loupe 😉

27 01 2010
David Selby

I just arrived in Australia for 6 months and this is everything I have with me:

27 01 2010
27 01 2010

Hey Johnno

Does the Lee filter holder slide on to your belt?


27 01 2010

Hey Brent cool post,

where do you buy the lens cleaning solution?



27 01 2010
Brent Pearson

Hi Tim

This is the lens cleaner I buy

I just discovered that they do have an Aussie distributor… I wonder who retails it?
Distributors & Authorized Dealers
Company: B.C.S. Photographics & Imaging
Address: 18-20 Michael Street
City: Brunswick
Country: Australia
Postal: 3056
Telephone: 61-3-9387-7133
Fax: 61-3-9387-5899
Website: bcsphotographics.com

If anybody finds a local store where I can get this, I’d appreciate it.


27 01 2010

Hey Brent

What about a picture of your Sherpa to carry all that stuff…….:-)

Nice post though, its a good checklist. Need to go and find one of those photographers rights documents, sounds like a great idea. Also it would actually be useful to know my rights.


27 01 2010

By the way I bought my visibledust cleaning stuff from L&P in Artarmon

27 01 2010
Brent Pearson

Hey Gavin

Ask and you shall receive….

Here is the link to more info that you can possibly want to know about photographic rights in NSW. It’s really well summarised and quite interesting reading.

At the bottom of the article is the downloadable PDF file that I carry in my camera bag



27 01 2010
Brent Pearson

Did they sell the lens cleaner? I checked with L&P about 3 months ago and they only had this shitty cleaner.


27 01 2010

Come to think of it, I bought the sensor cleaning stuff from them, not the lens cleaner so not sure. Thanks for he photorights link.

27 01 2010

Hey brent.

early yesterday morning i order this from really right stuff as well as the L bracket and pcl-1 pano plate 😉 when did you get yours ? i remember you had the pistol grip like mine. the saltwater stuffed mine thats why i upgraded. really right stuff is an execellent source of information in regard to products and what can be achieved with them 😉

28 01 2010

Hey B.

Nah, the Lee filter pouch doesn’t have a belt loop, so you’d still need your camouflage belt pack.

It’d just easier having all of your filters contained in one good wallet rather than individual wallets.

PS: The camouflage isn’t very effective, as I could still see you…


28 01 2010
Brent Pearson

Hey Ian

I got my Really Right Stuff L Plate and head about 7 months ago and absolutely love it.

The best thing about it, is that if there is grit that gets in, you put the whole head under the tap and rinse it out in fresh water.

My Manfrotto couldn’t handle the sea spray… I pulled one apart trying to maintain it myself and I totally screwed it up.

Much better for Panos too.

28 01 2010

Cool post Brent love post like this myself … Our bags ( although mines a back pack) do look strangely similar right down the night shoot cheat sheet …. I think I printed your one off you had posted a long time back. Mines wrapped in glad wrap … Still waiting on my really right stuff gear though …. I do agree about the back packs they are a pain sometimes when you need to move fast and relocate for whatever reason … I will have to give your solution a try out sometime ….

You never listed the homemade lightbox … thats killer 🙂

29 01 2010

Cant wait for it to arrive. My manfrotto xb190 blew a head gasket also so to speak. The steel frame and fittings couldn’t handle the sea water abuse. There is only so much water abuse they can take and wd-40 😉 Thats why im upgrading that to. Carbon fiber all the way baby. I really want a Gitzo but there double the cost of the manfrotto carbon fiber models. I dont want Karla to divorce me 😉

Cheers Ian.

29 01 2010

Hey Neal

You are going to love your RRS gear… seriously it’s just a joy to use, so fast, so light, and so precise.

Re: my homemade lightbox…. that only gets packed in light painting bag.

I typically pack 4 different bags depending on the shoot
1) Seascape (which is above)
2) Landscape light painting
3) Creative light painting
4) Portrait / Off Camera Flash


29 01 2010

Hey Ian

Yup, My Manfrotto couldn’t take the salt water abuse either.

The RRS gear is bullet proof in that regard.


29 01 2010

Hi Brent

Did you check out the Manfrotto L bracket , if so whats better about the RRS.



30 01 2010
William Ophuis

I like seeing other peoples kits, get some good ideas, I love my RRS BH-55 quality bit of kit! on top of a carbon gitzo pure awesomness! your filter holder pouch is a good idea too!

30 01 2010

That looks like a lot of gear you carry, wish I had the “finance department” approve my spending 🙂

My set up is realllll simple, camera, crumpler bag and sometimes tripod. As it is, the weight of the camera gets hard to bear when traveling / tracking around Europe 🙂

On that note, can I add you to my blog roll? I was going to do it anyway 🙂 it is just polite to ask

30 01 2010

Hey Kheng
Most of the locations I shoot in don’t involve big hikes. If I am doing a big hike, I’ll trim down a bit, but I will still usually sling a tripod as I suffer from insecurity if my 3 legged friend is not there.

Regarding the blogroll, thanks for asking.


3 02 2010

Hey Brent, another great post. Can you tell me where you got your loupe – I have exactly the same problem. Could only see them in the US and postage was a killer.

Cheers, Muzz

5 02 2010
Dylan Fox

Greta post mate!
apart from wanting all your gear i really need to carry a shit tonne of lens wipes cause by the end of a shoot at perths windy as all hell beaches my filters are very blurry! and one cleaner just doesnt cut it! lol

16 02 2010
Lee Duguid

Hey Brent,
You inspired me to do similar, I’m a bit low on the gadgets though 🙂

Lee’s Landscape Photography kit


18 02 2010
Allan Ward

You write that you always carry a 2 sided printed sheet with your legal rights as a photographer. Where can we get a copy of this? I’ve been stopped (with my Nikon D300) from taking photos on a number of occaisions, yet my wife standing next to me with he pocket point-and-shoot has been allowed to carry on taking photos. Such sites as Darling Harbour, Silverwater streets, etc. I’m a hobby photographer, but zealous security people are attempting to kill my passion.

18 02 2010
Brent Pearson

Hey Allan

If you go here http://www.4020.net/words/photorights.php

You can read all about your rights, and you will see a link on the left hand side menu to the PDF download.



28 05 2010

Hi Brent,
I read some where on your blog (can’t seem to find it now) about a cool strap to hook your camera on.
Can you please tell me the brand and where you bought it, and also the Rain sleeves, as it was a pain out in the rain trying to take seascapes this morning.
Keep up the good work,

28 05 2010

Hey Geoff

The strap I use (and love) is called the Black Rapid. You can find info on them here


The rain hoods are from Optech and you can get them from Adorama in the USA online


Hope that helps


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