Walking around Europe with lots of photo gear?

As I continue to prepare for our trip to Europe I have been trying to think of as many creative ways I can think of that will make the hours of walking around the streets of London, Paris, and Lyon as comfortable as possible with all of the photo gear I'll need. I won't need every ounce of gear all the time so the best plan is to actually take two separate bags. One big bag for traveling from place to place and one smaller bag for walking around with. I'll give you a description of what I have come up with for both.

SMALL BAG:SwissGear - ZINC Messenger Digital SLR Camera Bag - Black

In the past I have carried around a back pack but because I'm mainly shooting with Prime Lens now I needed something that I can easily and quickly reach into and make lens changes quickly. I searched high and low and the bag I settled on is a simple over the shoulder bag from Swiss Gear (and its cheap). Its small enough to fit comfortably in front of me but big enough to carry all three of my lenses with room to spare. It also looks a bit more low profile then most bags.

IN THE BAG: Lenses, Memory Cards, Shutter Release. THAT IT- trying to be as minimal as possible, any extra weight will get old really fast

CAMERA STRAP: Black Rapid Sport

In an effort to keep a low profile, I want to use a different camera strap then the one Canon provided.  It has always bothered me that the camera strap broadcasts the model to everyone who can see me from 20 feet away. The last thing I want is to attract thieves who are looking to score some gear to know what camera I'm carrying around my neck. I may actually tape over my model number as well just for extra coverage.

The camera strap I went with is the Black Rapid Sport! This is an awesome camera strap and is really comfortable walk around with and should work out great.

I'll also be walking around with a tripod which I'll either just keep in my hand or I'll attach it to the shoulder bag in some way.  I bought a simple shoulder strap that I'm hoping to attach to the tripod so I can carry it around my neck as well but I'm not sure its going to work.

 

 

 

 

 

My Travel BIG BAG: Think Tank Airport Acceleration (Backpack)

This is the bag that I'm going to travel through airports, trains, and hotels with. Its big enough to carry everything I could possible need as well as carry some of the just in case items that I might or might not use along the way. This bag will also carry my macbook pro, miscellaneous snacks, power cords, chargers, converters, books, and other items.

One of the things I love about this bag is that it has great security options. There is a built in lock for my computer as well as zipper lock rings so that I won't have to worry about people getting into my bag without me knowing it.

MY GEAR LIST:

  1. Canon 5DmkII
  2. 16-35mm f2.8
  3. 50mm f1.4
  4. 85mm f1.8
  5. 135mm f2
  6. 3 memory cards
  7. Shutter Release
  8. Tripod. 
  9. Extra Battery
  10. LED Video light (Can be used as a flash or light for night shots)
  11. Macbook Pro
  12. Power cord, Canon Battery charger, Iphone charger
  13. 250gb Hard drive- flash card BK
  14. CF Card Reader
  15. LED Headlight (I take it everywhere....its really useful at night!)
  16. Camera Rain Cover/ Bag Rain Cover (you never know)

NEW GEAR EXPERIMENTS:

There are a couple items that I'm hoping to try out for the first time on this trip. These are items I have never used before that I'm hoping will turn out to really useful.

LED VIDEO LIGHT: Instead of carrying a flash with me, I'm hoping to carry this inexpensive video light instead. Because I mainly do night photography as my primary focus, having a video light like this can be really useful. First of all its dimmable. Without having to deal with remote triggers or TTL I can very quickly adjust the light level up or down. This makes it quick and easy for portrait work or just adding a little extra light to a scene if needed.  I can also use this during long exposures as well. For example to light different foreground objects or to do some creative light painting with gels and what not.  I'm hoping it will be pretty useful.

THE GREEN POD: The last time I was in France the use of tripods for photography was sometimes prohibited. This happened often in churches and some museums. For this reason I'm hoping to use this bean bag tripod in place of my big tripod. Hopefully by placing it on a chair or the floor I'll still be able to do some bracketed exposures for HDR in these type of situations. We shall see how it goes. 

 I'm hopeful that I'm fully prepared for any scenario, photography wise, I might encounter on this trip. If anything, all of this prep work has put my heart at ease knowing that I'm ready for anything. Now all I have to do it relax and prepare for two weeks of awesome vacation.