I am by no means a professional photographer – I came into this trip with very little experience using a DSLR camera. However, I still managed to take a couple decent photos and learn along the way!
- Canon Rebel T2i (550D)
- 35mm f/2 lens w/ UV filter
- 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 lens w/ UV filter
- 16GB SanDisk Extreme III SDHC
- 8GB SanDisk Extreme III SDHC
- One extra battery
- HP Mini 210 netbook
- Cords and chargers
- Lens cleaning equipment
- Crumpler camera bag
What I Should Have Brought
While everything I brought was sufficient, there were a few items that would have been pretty useful to have on hand. An extra memory card (or two 16GB instead of a 16GB+8GB) would have been good, considering my shooting style. My usual tactic involves taking photos in volume, and hoping that one or two turn out okay. Combining that with “Large JPG + RAW” camera settings eats up a lot of storage, very very quickly. Towards the end, I had to mass delete unnecessary photos from the 8GB card to make room for more. Granted, if the trip had only lasted the original six days (rather than nine), this might not have been an issue.
A point-and-shoot camera is a must! My parents brought theirs, so I didn’t bother with an extra one. When it’s raining and sleeting outside, you don’t want to make your nice camera suffer like I did with mine… oops. On a related note, bring a camera cover (or plastic bags to act as cheap makeshift versions) for all those finicky elements.
Short-range lens. I primarily used my 35mm and swapped it out for the telephoto lens for wildlife shots. While I thought the 35mm would be great for an all-purpose lens, I forgot one thing: ship cabins are not spacious. They are super tiny. You can really see this from my photo of the expedition crew, where I flattened myself against the far wall to try and fit everyone in the shot. A point and shoot would work well here, too.
Update 12/2016: I still have the same camera body from this trip, but I do now have a newer 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens that I would recommend. The zoom should be enough to get most wildlife shots, without sacrificing the close range for indoor or landscape shots. And by bringing only one lens, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of remembering to swap lenses before setting out each day.