Today, Aaron Sheldon shares what gear he brings when he leads photo walks to help you prepare for the Midwest Photography Expo, which kicks off this Friday night. Sign up for photo walks, classes, and speaker events here! For more insight into street photography, check out Aaron’s previous tips & tricks. We look forward to seeing you at the Expo. Here’s Aaron:
Whenever I lead a photo walk, I am asked by at least one participant what gear they should bring on the walk. I thought I would take a minute to share what I carry in my bag on a typical photo walk.
For photo walks (and street photography in general), I recommend a wide angle lens. My current favorite camera lens combination is the Fujifilm X100s. It is small and light, with a large APS-C sensor, a 35mm lens that is fast and bright at f/2.0 and has amazing image quality even at higher ISOs. This is the perfect street photography/walk-around camera for me.
When I take a DSLR with me I usually will have either a Canon 5D Mark III or Canon 6D with the Canon 24mm f/2.8 USM IS or the Canon 40mm F/2.8 STM pancake lens, which is insanely small and lightweight and has excellent image quality for being such an affordable lens.
I rarely bring a tripod with me on photo walks. I carry a Manfrotto Super Clamp and attach my tripod’s ball head to it. The Super Clamp can be quickly and easily attached to either a square or round tube handrail, street sign, bus stop shelter, etc. They are sturdy and, when attaching a camera via a ball-head, just as flexible to use as a tripod to set up your shot and don’t get in the way of other walkers or pedestrians.
I like to carry an off camera flash with me when I go on photowalks because it doesn’t take up much space, it’s lightweight, and you never know when you will have the chance to do an awesome street portrait. For that I use the LumoPro LP180. It is a VERY well-built and easy to use flash. I trigger it using the Wein Sync-Link Infrared transmitter, which attaches to my camera via the hotshoe. No radio transmitters or receivers or sync cables to mess with. It’s a great setup that is easy to use and affordable!
Finally, let’s talk about the bag itself. I prefer a smaller bag because, for me, the bigger the bag, the more I will put in it. To me, the best small but functional bag for my money is the Retrospective series by Think Tank. They are low-profile but hold a lot, are durable, and are comfortable to carry.