There are two important things to consider when you're buying rock climbing equipment: portability and durability. That's especially true for photography equipment, which tends to be cumbersome and easily broken. So, how do you know what will work best out on the rocks? Here are some things to keep in mind when you're shopping:
- See if the camera is waterproof and guaranteed against a fall. If so, to what depth of water and from what height can it survive?
- Make sure the camera has a quick start-up. You don't always have the luxury of holding still for a long time when climbing, and you don't want a good photo opportunity to pass you by.
- Look for storage and carrying straps that are protective but accessible. A single, bulky carrying case will probably be more of a hindrance than a help, and you'll have to dig around for just the right piece of equipment. Instead, consider smaller individual carriers for your camera, lenses, batteries and everything else. There are lots of choices out there, from simple padded cases to hi-tech aluminum alloy boxes.
There are plenty of accessories to consider, too. A tripod can help you get the steadiest shot possible, but will you really use it? Though it's not terribly practical for taking photos mid-climb, you might find it useful once you're at the top. Solar battery chargers are environmentally friendly and cost-effective, and they'll keep your pockets free of extra batteries. A microfiber cloth is useful for keeping your lens clear of dust or moisture, as well as scratch-free.
And, of course, there's the big question: digital or film? That's largely a matter of personal preference. If you're tight on space, though, considering going digital; not having to carry rolls of film will lighten your load. The other advantage of digital is that you don't have to worry about wasting film in search of the perfect shot. As long as you've got enough memory cards, you can shoot as much as you like.
Now that you've got your gear in order, you're set to head out and try your hand at adventure photography. Check out the next page for tips on how to make your shots extraordinary.