See What's In My Bag

A few weeks ago I posted about the tools I use to hand paint photographs. Today, I thought I would open up my camera bag and let you see the gear I use to get those photos.

Lots of people believe that to take good photographs you need to have every expensive lens, gadget, or oversized designer camera bag. I have never really followed that principle. Since I was young I have always had a camera. My first camera, the classic Kodak Instamatic. I carried that camera around everywhere in the original box. ..

After college, things started getting serious in the 'gear' department. I was a devoted Canon user throughout school and my early years of shooting. That gear was great. Difficulties didn't start to show up until I got married - to a 'Nikon' guy. We figured out early on that it would be better to have one system in the house with the ability to share lens etc. So Nikon it was.

Recently we have split up, no not that kind of split, but a camera equipment split. Matt shoots a great deal of time-lapse and video, so he needs a camera (Lumix) suited more toward the needs of his current projects. He does continue to have all the crazy gadgets, gimbal, and lights, While I am a more streamed down or minimalist shooter. I approach shooting knowing that I will probably take "elements" from a scene and use them to construct collaged compositions of collected images.

Lets Start With My Camera Bag

All of my gear travels with me in a charcoal-colored Think Tank Photo TurnStyle 10 V2.0 bag. This is a sling-type bag which is really nice. There is not a lot of weight on my shoulders and it rotates easily for rapid access to gear and accessories. A stabilizer strap holds the bag steady while active or tucks away when not in use. The bag also includes a dedicated padded pocket that fits an 8" tablet. This bag comes in multiple sizes and to be honest, we have all the sizes. I currently hike with the medium bag.

My Camera

I have had a collection of cameras in my career from Kodak to Nikon to my current camera, the silver Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with a 16-50 mm lens. The a6000 is a super-compact mirrorless camera that's about half the size and weight of a typical DSLR. It has the same size APS-C sensor as most DSLRs and interchangeable E-mount lenses. One of the best features of this camera is it fires11 frames per second continuous shooting with AF (Auto Focus) tracking. I am also drawn to the somewhat retro appearance of the body. I do carry my iPhone 8 for backup, it is easy to toss in a pocket.


I travel with two lens. A Sony E 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens and Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 lens. Both of the lens operate smooth with a minimum of noise. I have UV filters on both for protection.

The Extras

I have two options I use for camera straps: a leather neck strap and a handheld wrist strap. Sometimes I prefer to hold my camera with the handheld strap to take the extra weight from the camera off my neck.

Lately, I have been using the Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand: Flexible Tripod and Mount for Smartphones. I pair it with a wireless Bluetooth remote for documenting my darkroom and studio processes for Youtube videos.

Other incidentals hidden in camera bag pockets include lens clothe, Moleskin sketchbook/pencils and SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO

There you have it. My go to hiking set-up. This is what currently works for me and is flexible enough to change to any situation. It is important to remember that I am usually hiking with Matt (another photographer) who carries extra gear in a larger camera bag. He has the 'emergency' essentials that we might need such as water, first-aid items, and other personal goods.

If you have any questions on my 'set-up and gear' drop me an email a rslarson (at)