This is what I am bringing to Africa on the trip to photograph for the non-profit I-KODI: Remember, this isn’t a typical African safari trip- I will not be going to any parks and probably won’t be seeing any of the iconic Africa animals. A few birds here and there but that’s about it. I will be spending all my time in the town of Pap Onditi photographing the town and the people.
In a medium-sized, everyday-looking backpack (carry on size) I have packed 2 Nikon D750 camera bodies and three lenses- 16-35, 24-120 and a 20. There will no use for a telephoto so I won’t need to bring along the big, heavy lenses. I am also bringing my little Mac Pro 11″ laptop- the best traveling hard drive I know- a terabyte hard drive for back-up, 6 batteries, 6 memory cards, charger, cords, etc.
I am not bringing a flash because I don’t like to use them and am not smart enough to use them well- see Bob Krist for beautiful flash photos- and I am not bringing any diffusers, reflectors or alternative light sources. I will use only natural light and hope for some cloudy skies or lots of shady overhangs.
I have my travel tripod along just in case I get inside of someone’s home and end up shooting at shutter speeds longer than I can effectively hand hold. Otherwise most of my shooting will be all hand held at very high ISOs- 1600 – 3200! Inside at night I expect to be shooting at ISO of 6400 to 8000!
I’m bringing a small slung camera bag that holds most of this stuff. The rest I put in a small, soft-sided fanny pack. The trick to to keep it as simple as possible and as light as possible to be able to go anywhere you need to and have everything on you at all times. Most camera backpacks are just too big and too hard to spend all day under. Go light and you’ll find more opportunities and get better pics.