Scott Bourne’s Alaska Photo Trip Video Diary Entry #1 from Scott Bourne on Vimeo.

or see it at Vimeo:

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

NOTE: This was made with Canon G9. I was by myself and having trouble getting the items into focus while I held the camera with one hand and the gear with the other. It’s very low production quality. Watch at your own risk.


Join the conversation! 46 Comments

  1. Boy, I could never unpack my bag after packing it like you’ve done.

    Still, as a young amateur photographer it is amazing to see so many premium lenses in one bag. Nice video, the quality is as bad as you first make out in your note.

  2. Thanks for ripping all your stuff out Scott, but it was well worth it, for us at least. There were a few things in there that I have taken note of and will bring along on my next outing.

    To be honest, coming from such a small camera, the video quality is GREAT. Enough quality to see EXACTLY what you had with little distraction.

    Again, good work. I look forward to seeing the shots you will capture on this lovely adventure.

    Stay safe.

  3. Very informative video in this travel-unfriendly day and age.
    I am curious why you don’t think much of Moose Peterson. I have met him and he seems somewhat abrasive although his pictures are quite striking sometimes.
    Good luck on your trip.

  4. Cool video Scott. Was wondering how well the macbook air performs using Aperture or Photoshop? Or are you just using it to offload your cards?

    Good luck!

  5. @Arun, sorry I made a big typo in my last post. I meant to say, “isn’t as bad” not “is as bad”

  6. Wow! That all you are can take for a week away, including gear.

    Perhaps that explains why there are not as many women photographers?


    Great post (yours, not mine).


  7. @Danny I use the Air strictly to offload cards and then I use Aperture to look at and mark for deletion any images I know I won’t keep. The rest gets exported as a project and imported into my main library for further editing and finalization. I do occasionally use Photoshop, but not often.

  8. Good video, interesting what a wildlife photographer takes with him.

  9. Thanks Scott

    Very informative and if anyone complains about quality they’re out of there mind (if they complain they can film all this and do all the packing I’m sure they’d see things differently then)

    You can see everything and WOW what a lot of everything there is for such small bags.

    Thanks again Scott

  10. Thanks for that Scott. That’s a lot to repack but I always LOVE seeing what bags people are using and what gear they can get in those bags. Thanks again for taking the time to do that.

  11. I enjoyed watching the video and learned a lot as a very new D80 owner (and first-time DSLR owner of any kind).

    Just a perhaps silly question, no tripod? I guess for wildlife photography one is not needed, but with all the other stuff you brought, I thought you’d bring one for “just in case.”

    And if no tripod, how will you use the remote you showed?

  12. Jason I have the tripod in the big REI bag. Thought I mentioned that on the video but in case I didn’t, yes a Gitzo tripod with two heads.

  13. Thanks Scott
    I’m always curious how others handle their packing. Have you considered using resealable plastic snack bags for items like your remote trigger, cords and other loose items?

  14. At first when you pulled out that Sony recorder, I thought it was a light meter and was really going to laugh. :)

    However, did you record the audio on the G9 as well? It’s great, so why bring a long a $2000 audio recorder when you’re so concerned about weight?

  15. @TranceMist because I am an audio guy too and I can :)

  16. great video! thanks for sharing. stay safe.

  17. Great video, thanks for taking the time to show us what it takes. I’m really really looking forward to the “sensor” cleaning video using the pen. I can’t imagine how it can be so clean relative to pixel sensor size using the pen.

  18. Cool video…. Now you just need a little red wagon to haul the bags. :-)

    Looks like the Macbook Air is really designed just for this sort of thing.

    Another thing that strikes me is the number of chargers that any trip, even the commute to work requires now. It is sort of ridiculous. Seems like an opportunity for an enterprising company.

    Good luck and a safe trip @Scott

  19. Never mind how you pack, I’m going through major equipment envy. Sigh. Hmmm, maybe I can sell my condo…..

  20. Thanks for that video, Scott. It’s so valuable to be able to see what a pro brings on a trip where the usual urban amenities won’t be just a couple minutes away.

    Best of luck on your trip — I look forward to seeing the images and hearing the audio when you get back!

  21. Scott, thanks for taking the time to walk us through your gear for the Alaska trip, it was helpful to see what you packed. In an upcoming episode could you all chat about teleconverters for the zoom and telephoto lenses (i.e. what ones you like, and what you don’t like about using teleconverters with the particular lenses you use). Thanks and hope you get some great shots in Alaska.

  22. It’s always great to see how other photographers pack to head up to Alaska!
    Although you are going a bit more remote than either of my trips up North (One in Sept. the Other in Jan. – Mar. for 8 weeks in Fairbanks!). When we flew out to shoot the bears, ours were day trips and we could leave gear at a land-based location. Funny, we were limited to roughly 13-15lb/per person on the float plane, and we were on a 12-passenger plane. (although, I did manage to “sneak” on my non-carbon fiber tripod & 500mm lens…)
    Is your trip a special charter?
    Will you be doing more video-diary type stuff from this trip? Or just writing about it?

    None-the-less, that is some smart packing.
    Best of luck for weather & subject matter co-operation!
    Hope you come back with some great stuff. Looking forward to reading/viewing more from this trip?


    …you know, speaking of weather, You didn’t have any wet weather coverage for your gear?
    I know the LensCoat stuff helps (I also have these & Love them!), but it doesn’t do much with serious rain! Just curious…

  23. Scott, I was a little worried by your warning that the video was going to be unwatchable, but it was decent quality, and got the point accross. It really made me think about getting the G9 now for some video as well as the great pictures it can take. I was really curious as to what you were going to be taking along, and this filled the bill! As a small request, down the road, I think it would be interesting to see what/how you pack for a trip closer to home, like say a day to a local park or something. I would not expect anything soon as you are clearly busy for a while here, but I think it would be an interesting video for the future. Thanks again!

  24. @merlyn9 I forgot to mention that I am taking the Think Tank cover which is packed in my big REI suitcase. I Twittered about it but didn’t mention it in the video.

    I’ll be shooting video of the set up in action which should be easier to understand.

  25. Man that REI bag seems to have a lot in it… Just how much did that weigh?
    What does that bag weigh empty? I find that to be the biggest drawback in selecting a bag large and sturdy enough to carry my clothing, personals, tripod (& Wemberly head), and extra gear… some of the better built bags are already at 10 pounds Empty, so getting to 50 doesn’t take much…
    Glad to hear you have the Think Tank cover. Is that the new Hydrophobia?
    Be interesting to see others using that… Video of that setup would be cool!
    Personally, I love this on my 500mm. Great folks there too.


  26. Thank You for making and sharing the video, quality of video is good enough for me.

    Have a great trip and show us some photo when you come back.

    Thanks again for the video.

  27. @Scott You did mention it, two or three times. I think you referred to it as “Gitzo” without the word tripod once or twice. Enjoyable video; there’s something about org/packing pr0n…

    And the quality was fine; the lack of a studio & a few grand of gear doesn’t matter for this type of thing. I’d wager the same thing for your in-the-field audio recorder, but that might also just be my gear-jealousy.

  28. That’s cool, but, like where do put my bikini? I guess Ol’ Moose Peterson didn’t think of that one. Not at all.

  29. Thanks for the video Scott. Maybe one day Alex will get his video up as well.

    I love the “case” you have for you MB Air too. Slick!

  30. Great video, Scott…very informative. Stay safe.

  31. @Lisa

    Can a bikini really take up that much space? I’m getting a flashback of Shallow Hal here! Haha

  32. Enjoyed thevideo very much Scott. You stated you were taking a 12-24. Did you mean the 14-24mm?

    Have fun.


  33. Awsome video for all the gearheads… alot of photogs are gearheads thought eh?

    thanks Mr. Bourne

  34. @Mark yep sorry – I meant 14-24 f/2.8. I have no idea how or if I’ll use that lens but thought surely if I didn’t bring it, I’d wish I had :)

  35. Thanks Scott, really good video, Have a great time away. Just wondering do you back up your photos once there on your MBPro in the field?

  36. @Graeme I use the MacBook Air and I back up to two 160 gig USB HD.

  37. Terrific video. The quality was certainly adequate to the task. Hope that you are having a super trip.

  38. WOW imagine that. 20 minutes for us to watch an edited video of Scott unpacking. Imagine how long it took him to PACK all that!

  39. Thanks for the video, it was great to watch. Just think, the total value of the equipment that you packed into those 3 bags may exceed the GDP of some 3rd world countries!

    Have a safe and fun trip.

  40. Thanks for the great video Scott. It’s always interesting to see what others pack and to pick up some good tips along the way. Have a good and safe trip.

  41. Way too much stuff to lug around and keep organized. It’ll take you two weeks just to use all of it. Leave it all at home, just bring the G9.

  42. Scott,
    As everyone has said, thanks so much for taking the time to shoot the video and pack and unpack the bags. As both a gear and bag nut is was a learning experience. Hopefully it will be posted as a twip video podcast. Extremely good image and sound quality on the G9, and all with one hand! best of luck on the trip, can’t wait to see the pix. Good health to you.

  43. Thanks for the video Scott. That really helps those of us just starting out with Wildlife Photography by providing some guidance on limiting gear selection to just what’s necessary for the type of trip planned and how to pack it all.

    I was wondering if you had thought about including something like a 8 or 10mm fisheye lens for some landscape work and why you had ruled it out if it was under consideration ?

    Also, was a 600mm F4 not taken because it would be too much lens for bears ? I would think it would allow you to stay a little further away and still fill up the frame. Just curious.

  44. @Gregg I took the 14-24 F/2.8 thinking that was wide enough and of course, my focus was bears so longer lenses were the order of the day.

    I didn’t take the 600 for several reasons.

    1) It didn’t arrive at my office until the day after I left :)
    2) It’s heavier than the 200-400 and I had reason to believe we’d be close enough that the 200-400 with 1.7 TC would do the job, and most of the time it did.

  45. Scott, just curious why you didn’t bring the 2nd D3 for redundancy? If your D3 glitched, and that one battery for the D700 died, you’d be in bad shape… I’d have left the short zoom at home to take the 2nd D3.

    Thanks for the vid!

  46. @Jeremy trying to save space and weight – and also wanted to put the D700 through its paces. I hadn’t really gotten much chance to use it since it is just a backup body. When the D3X is announced soon, it will probably be my fourth body…. meaning even less use.


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