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Choosing the Best Camera Backpack for a Variety of Situations

The best camera backpack allows you to carry and protect all of your gear for extended periods of time. One of the biggest benefits to these professional camera bags is that you can have quick access to all your gear wherever you may be traveling. Regardless if you are a professional traveling photographer or you are taking a unique back country vacation and want your laptop and camera gear along for the trip, consider a few of these important factors before just choosing any backpack.

Lowepro Flipside 500 AW Pro DSLR Camera Backpack

What Do You Plan on Shooting?
What you plan on shooting will have a huge impact on the type of photo backpack that you choose. If you already know what type of subject material that you will be shooting on a regular basis, then you will have a better understanding which camera and laptop backpack will work best for your unique needs. While different subject matter brings with it unique challenges, getting a good idea what you will need for every possible situation is key in getting the right pack. From children playing in the park to exotic wild animals roaming their natural habitat, these subjects will drive the types of lenses you need to have with you at all times and to being along to the shoot.

1. Street Shooting – When you do the majority of your photography work on the streets, you need the best camera backpack that will allow you fast access to the equipment when that moment of inspiration quickly arises. The photo backpack should include side access so you can quickly get the shot before it disappears. Access on both sides of the pack is ideal, as well as top or body access for getting those different lenses in a pinch. Make sure the backpack has a dedicated compartment for a tablet or laptop because in urban environments you will certainly have plenty of access to WiFi connectivity. Consider the slimmer style backpack design because on the busy streets you will certainly draw unwanted attention to those looking to make off with your equipment while you are distracted.

2. Nature Photography – When you do the majority of your shoots out alone in nature, you will certainly be a long distance away from the subjects of your pictures. While getting close to most of your subject matter is impossible, utilizing longer lenses will make short work of that problem. This means that you will need to find professional camera bags that will allow you to reach just about any subject in the distance. The super-telephoto lenses take up a lot of room, so look for the pack that has the added space and plenty of support to protect these expensive pieces of equipment. Consider shopping for the best dslr backpack, they are built for hiking and will easily and comfortably carry all of the larger lenses.

3. Adventure Photography – Remote locations that put you in challenging conditions call for a camera bag that can be mobile and protect your gear on the run. When shooting in these conditions, such as climbing, mountain biking, or skiing, you will need to bring along the right tools to support the type of shoots you will be involved in. There might be a need for climbing ropes, axes, and even skis, and this is in addition to all of your photography equipment. This calls for professional camera bags that are built to handle extreme weather conditions while protecting your expensive camera equipment. Look for packs that are both weatherproof and waterproof, made from abrasive resistant materials. Consider looking for features like a premium suspension system that offers maximum versatility.

4. Vacation Photography – Perhaps you are finally taking that long vacation to several parts of the world and you want to be sure to take plenty of pictures. Now you need the best camera backpack that will hold some of your non-related gear as well as your camera equipment. Consider a camera and laptop backpack that has dedicated space for the laptop and your personal items, then one additional compartment for all your camera gear. Being able to bring along your camera equipment and personal items will ensure you have everything you need when that unexpected photo opportunity arises. Many people who like to island hop while on vacation miss great opportunities to get amazing pictures because they bring along changes of clothes and not the right camera equipment. Choosing the right camera pack will allow you to easily carry the essentials and be able to document the journey with some amazing pictures.

How Long Will You be on the Road?
The time frame and location for your photo shoot can greatly affect the type photo backpack you should bring along. When you primarily take day trips to your shooting locations, you want the camera bag that provides the flexibility to handle your camera gear, laptop, and personal items.Be sure to look for a bag with built-in weather barriers to ensure everything is protected in the event of a sudden storm. These waterproof backpacks are ideal when your day trip includes canoeing, boating, or kayaking. Consider a backpack with a built-in rain cover to protect from rain, mud, and excessive dust. If your shoots involve being outdoors for extended periods of time, then you want to locate bags that can handle trekking poles, sleeping pads, and drinking devices. The best dslr backpack distributes the weight of all your added gear so the trek is comfortable, and usually has separate compartments for your camera gear to give it added protection. Look for a dedicated camera storage area with the waterproof barrier between the camera and personal gear.

How Are You Getting to the Shoots?
If you are going to be spending considerable time in planes or trains traveling to your photo destinations, you need a specific camera and laptop backpack that will comply with the regulations of these modes of transportation. Getting on a crowded plane with all your expensive equipment can be quite stressful for many photographers, so finding the right camera and laptop backpack that will fit safely in the overhead compartment is an absolute must. If you tend to travel to these shoots with a massive amount of camera gear, then you need to find the right size camera bag that carries everything you need to get the most of every opportunity. Many of the packs will easily fit in the overhead compartments, and provide you travel friendly rolling features so you can get the bag on and off the planes easily too.

What Type of Activities are Involved?
When it comes to choosing the best camera backpack, one thing that will determine which pack to choose is the types of activities that you will be involved with at these shoots. These different activities can range from quiet locations, sporting adventures, to active locations. Perhaps you will be on the active trail and don’t want any opportunity to arise with you being unprepared, so you want the right pack that is both durable and can easily support every piece of camera equipment that you will be needing. When you will be cycling, hiking, or even mountain climbing, the camera bag you choose needs to be able to carry and protect your belongings while helping to keep you balanced as you trek to dangerous locations where the subject matter awaits. Many times the perfect shot can appear instantly, and then you need a pack that you can get to quickly and easily grab all the pieces you need before the opportunity is gone.

With so many photo backpack and professional camera bags to choose from, there is no need to get overwhelmed when you simply analyze your unique situation and build the bag around your specific needs. It doesn’t matter the claims made by the manufacturer if you will not be utilizing all the features of their top-selling bag. That is the mistake many novice photographers make early in the game, they buy the best bag and then quickly realize it does not to support them on the road. The key here is to carefully picture your day on a number of different shoots and imagine everything you will need during those tips. Purchase a bag that is durable, weatherproof, and provides plenty of padded compartments to keep all of your expensive camera equipment safe during your travels.

 

Camera Backpack Top 5 List

 

 

1. Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack

case-logic-slrc-206-slr-camera-and-15-4-inch-laptop-backpack

2. High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Backpack

high-sierra-freewheel-wheeled-backpack

3. Lowepro Flipside 400 AW Pro DSLR Camera Backpack

lowepro-flipside-400-aw-pro-dslr-camera-backpack4. Lowepro Slingshot 202 DSLR Sling Camera Bag

 lowepro-slingshot-202-dslr-sling-camera-bag

5. Lowepro Fastpack 250 DSLR Camera Backpack

lowepro-fastpack-250-dslr-camera-backpack

 

How to Properly Use a Photography Reflector

When it comes to photography, nothing will work unless you have light. In the photographers world there are two different types of light, the artificial and natural light. Natural light is usually a preferred setting for many professional photographers, but you work in a less controlled environment unless you utilize things like a photography reflector or photography umbrella. Here are some simple tips to use a photography reflector effectively and help enhance the photographs by bouncing that natural light.

Choosing the Right Photography Reflector
If you have not shopped for a reflector before, this process might be a little overwhelming for you. These reflectors come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The first thing that you will need to do is decide on the size you will need. If you are only shooting individual portraits, a small reflector works best. The larger the reflector, the larger area of softer light you can work with. Next you will need to consider the shape of your reflector. Some of these have handles for easy moving and adjusting, brackets, and frames. The more features, the more you can expect to pay. The 5 in 1 reflector will obviously cost a little more due to the fact it can do five things as opposed to a smaller unit that only does one. Lastly, consider the material you prefer working with. Silver material can be too reflective on sunny days but perfect for indoor shooting. Some models come with several cover choices to allow you to change depending on the outdoor conditions.

Using the Reflector
There are just as many ways to use the reflector as there is different type reflectors. There units you can hold yourself, have the subject hold, have an assistant hold, lean against something, or ones that are utilized in a stand. The photography umbrella will help to either enhance the images once the reflector is in place. The larger the light source in comparison to your subject, the softer you can expect the light to be. The reflector basically reflects your light source to the subject, so instruct the subject to not look direct at it, especially direct sunlight. Once you have the subject and reflector in place, move the reflector back and forth until the light hitting the subject is ideal. After moving the reflector back and forth a few times you will easily see the difference and be able to select the ideal conditions. A photography background can absorb a tremendous amount of light while directing just the right amount to the subject.

Working With Natural Light
Every photographer will have their own personal preferences when it comes to dealing with natural light. If you are using the reflector correctly, you can begin to incorporate more of the photography background into the shoot. In many outdoor situations you will find that there is not adequate light on the face of the subject and dark shadows will appear. Simply place a large reflector in front of the subject on the ground or a specific angle. Adjusting the reflector will eliminate those dark areas without blinding your subject. On overcast days you will notice that dark shadows will form under the subject’s eyes, a quick fix with a small reflector placed right on their lap or just out of the shot. Outdoor shooting can be very difficult for a beginning photographer because lighting is never the same at any given moment. Having a wide variety of colored reflectors on hand will ensure that you can maintain some normalcy in the shots regardless if the clouds start rolling in right in the middle of your shoot.

Working with Artificial Light
Working in the studio has one distinct advantage over outdoor shooting, you can easily control the lighting so that it is more consistent throughout the shoot by utilizing things like a photography umbrella or photography background. Even for something as simple as a headshot, a reflector allows you to get the right amount of light on the subject and automatically gives you the right ratio-correct fill light. One of the advantages to using a photography umbrella is that the flash is reflected off the umbrella and then to the subject, so the light is not as glaring as it would be coming from direct sunlight off a reflector. Bouncing the artificial light using a soft-box provides you ample lighting for just about any type subject. Experimenting to get the right mood is easy with reflectors, you can bounce a small flash off of a larger reflector to create soft, large lighting. Small reflectors are ideal for outdoor shoots because they can easily be placed just outside of the range of the camera but still improve the lighting on the subject matter.

Working With Landscape Shooting
Working with landscapes means you are now shooting a larger area that you obviously can not control the lighting for. The best photographers however utilize the landscape as their photography background, then use the photography reflector to focus the attention to either a key element or a subject placed in the foreground. The reflector is ideal for wedding shoots outside where the couple want to capture the surrounding location in the shots but still want to be the focus of attention. Rather than letting the beautiful surroundings take over the entire image, the reflector will cast a unique amount of light so that the couple almost appear to bounce off the picture. Working with a 5 in 1 reflector allows the photographer to adjust the tone of the light on the subject to produce different shots without anyone moving. Utilizing the different color reflectors can have a drastic impact on the way the pictures will appear when complete.

Jump in and Get Working
The key to taking great pictures is to experiment with your reflectors and understand which types work best in certain conditions. Although you have more control of your light indoors, the lighting can appear fake looking if you are not reflecting it properly. The same can be said for natural lighting. Not using the reflector the right way can cast too much light on the subject and bleach out the final product. The 5 in 1 reflector is probably the most versatile piece of lighting equipment that you could purchase. There really is no limitation to ways that you can use the reflectors, and as you get more experience, you will develop your own style that will help you to create masterpieces when you work.

There are a tremendous amount of reflector sizes, shapes, colors, brands, and styles to choose from. You might not find the perfect reflector on your first try, so experiment small and work you way up. The big advantage to buying the 5 in 1 reflector is you are getting five different unique settings for the price of one. This allows you more control over the conditions regardless if you are indoors or outdoors. Regardless if you are shooting portraits in a studio or working with subjects outdoors, the reflectors give you the opportunity to control your surroundings so that you can develop your own style that will set you apart from other photographers.

Neewer 43-inch 110cm 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector
Neewer 43-inch 110cm 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector