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Ambassadors Programme

Explorer

Joel Santos

Oct08

Packing for China - the Great Wall, Beijing and Guilin

By Joel Santos, Tuesday October 08, 2013
The Great Wall of China. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens; the exposure was 1/80sec at f/11, ISO 800.

The Great Wall of China. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens; the exposure was 1/80sec at f/11, ISO 800. © Joel Santos

My photographic workshop in China is approaching at a fast pace and one of the priorities is to carefully plan the kitbag. Above all, it’s important to have all the necessary equipment to cover any shooting situation - landscapes, portraits and architecture - but without making the kit very cumbersome as most of the locations will be visited on foot, from sunrise until sunset in order to catch the best light and photo opportunities.

After leading five trips to this country - this time we will visit the amazing city of Beijing, the otherworldly Great Wall of China and mystical landscapes of Guilin area with its traditional fishermen - it becomes easier to choose the equipment that will truly make a difference. So, here's my preliminary kit list:

2x EOS 5D Mark III
1x EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
1x EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
1x EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
1x EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM
1x PowerShot G16
2x chargers
5x batteries
1x shutter release cable
2x self-powered external hard drives
1x USB battery
1x LED flashlight
1x filter bag
1x grip
1x triple power strip
1x FOTOpad (field guide and notepad)
Plenty of CF and SD cards

One of the notable additions is the new Canon PowerShot G16 [compact], which I’m eager to try in all those situations where I’ll need to use an unobtrusive and lightweight camera, without compromising the image quality, and have the ability to record videos in Full HD. All these experiences with the G16 will be noted down in FOTOpad, the field guide and notepad created by me, and I hope to share them here during and after this trip.

The triple power strip has proven to be photographer’s best friend, allowing you to charge all the batteries without having to wake up in the middle of the night and swap them. The portable hard disks with autonomous energy also allow me to travel without a laptop, thus reducing the overall weight. Finally, the powerful LED flashlight will allow me to manually focus using the Live View even under pitch-dark situations, where I'll go for long exposures or use the increasingly reliable high ISO settings.

This travel kit will also be valuable in the following photographic workshop in Iceland, where the period of the New Year’s Eve of 2013/2014 will be spent searching for the Northern Lights. You can learn more about this at: www.joelsantos.net

The 'Beginning-to-Believe Peak', Anhui, Huangshan, China. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens; the exposure was 1/40sec at f/11, ISO 200.

The 'Beginning-to-Believe Peak', Anhui, Huangshan, China. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens; the exposure was 1/40sec at f/11, ISO 200. © Joel Santos

My kitbag for China, already with the new Canon PowerShot G16 compact.

My kitbag for China, already with the new Canon PowerShot G16 compact. © Joel Santos