As a wildlife photographer, you often find yourself at the ends of the earth, in desolate wastelands, or atop rugged mountaintops.
When you’re miles from civilization, there are some essential tech gadgets that can aid in your photography, as well as your safety. While a great camera, telephoto lens, and tripod are the core elements of your equipment, there are some other fundamentals you should consider. Here’s a look at the best tech accessories for wildlife photographers.
Why GPS Navigation Matters
This may seem obvious for anyone setting out on an extended photography journey, but bringing along a GPS is a must. The question becomes: Which type of device should one bring, and which are the best options? Garmin has long held the crown for the niche of back country GPS devices, and for good reason.
The Garmin eTrex 30x is especially good for photographers who find themselves in the wilderness. You can mark image spots with digital flags, geotag your photos with a log, and check the sun and moon cycle so you know when light will be ideal for your shots. With a long battery life, high-resolution screen and barometer for weather predictions, this handheld, back country GPS device is a top option. Companies with similar products include CampeGPS, Falk and Magellan.
Get Lost? Use Your Satellite Phone
Smartphones are a big improvement over flip phones, and cellular service now reaches further than ever before. Yet, you will still want a satellite phone in your possession when you leave the beaten path. Satellite phones are reliable almost everywhere, and many of them will hold reception on all seven continents, while others have small limitations.
Satellite phones are also expensive to purchase. That’s why some companies have set subscriptions for satellite phone service at a daily or monthly rate. While it’s still not the most economical accessory for your wildlife photography adventure, you may find trouble on your adventure and need to call for help. But if you must use the satellite phone, you know it will be worth every penny.
Add Tools to Your Photography Arsenal
Will Burrard-Lucas is not only one of the greatest contemporary wildlife photographers; he’s also an inventor. The BeetleCam is an armored, remote control photo-buggy that can fit a GoPro or DSLR. The device allows photographers to get closer to wildlife than ever before.
Burrard-Lucas has captured predators close up while they feast on pray, elephants at impossible angles, and more with the BeetleCam. The BeetleCopter isn’t much different, although instead of capturing ground angles, it takes to the sky. This robust drone can carry a full DSLR and capture sweeping views and landscapes that were once out of reach. These gadgets aren’t cheap, but they are indefensible tools in your photography arsenal.
While digital photography has made it easier and cheaper for photographers to capture spectacular images, the digital age of photography has presented its own challenges. Don’t find yourself out of a charge when you’re miles from anywhere with electricity. Bring along a solar charger, like the Goal Zero Nomad 7.
Nature photographer Dan Bailey uses a combination solar and USB charger to power his DSLR when away from a power source. Most solar chargers aren’t powerful enough to charge a DSLR camera directly, but with stored energy in a USB charger, you can then plug in your DSLR battery charger for a renewable energy source.