My Florida Birding photo safari is less than a week away. Two really good practices when you’re getting ready for any photo trip are to use a checklist and to start packing early. While I’m not going to be getting on the plane until later this week, I’ve already begun to pack. Here’s my ThinkTank Photo Airport Security Roller bag, loaded for birding. What’s inside?
In the bag:
- Nikon D3s body
- Nikon D300s body with MB-D10 grip
- Nikon 300mm f/4 AFS Nikkor lens
- Nikon 600mm f/4 AFS G VRII Nikkor lens
- Nikon TC-14e teleconverter (1.4x)
- Nikon SB-900 Speedlight with sync cord
- Nikon FT1 adapter for Nikon 1 V1 body
- Extra batteries (for cameras and flash)
- Flash extender
- Tripod wrenches
- Drop-in polarizer for 600mm lens
- Memory card wallet (in external pocket)
- Wimberley flash bracket (in external pocket)
- AquaTech Soft Hood for 600mm lens
- Gitzo 5541LS Tripod
- Wimberley Head
The tripod and head will be packed in my checked bag; I use a large rolling duffel and pack the tripod in the center.
Packing and Preparations
At least a month in advance of your trip, put together a basic list of what you’ll need to bring. This is the time to decide if you need to purchase anything new for the trip, so you can order it and test it before you go. A photo safari is no place to be fumbling through a camera manual while you try to figure out where the exposure compensation button is!
About two weeks before any trip, put together a checklist of items that you’ll need to pack. Making a checklist is a great way to make sure you’re not forgetting anything. One idea you can use on your checklist is to indicate where you’ll be packing each item (main bag, computer bag, checked bag) so that you’ll know where to look for it later.
- As the trip date approaches, consider performing the following tasks:
- Charge batteries
- Format memory cards
- Update software applications on laptop (important if you don’t use your laptop as a primary computer)
- Pack all cables & chargers
- Clean camera/sensors
- Clean lenses and rear lens caps
- Test gear/check electrical contacts; clean if necessary
- Double-check your checklist!