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Inside My Camera Bag | Emily Endean

A chaser of light, a lover of nature, and a complete ocean obsessive, Emily immerses herself in her surroundings and creates Soulful imagery from the heart.

‘I use my camera to authentically connect with the world around me.’ I feel so grateful I get to follow my passion in life!

I’ve reached a point where I don’t remember life without photography. I’ve loved taking pictures since I was a child playing with an old-style film camera.

It became a big part of my life, and eventually, I started Emily Endean Photography alongside my day job. After about ten years of practising daily and honing my craft, I finally decided to go full-time with photography in June 2022.

I love being outside as much as possible and enjoy capturing the world’s beauty through my camera, especially the ocean. I have a strong connection with the sea and try to be near it whenever possible.

But whether I’m on land or at sea, I love being in nature. Photography helps me connect with the world around me. I shoot the land, sea, surf, commercial lifestyle imagery – anything outdoors, really.

My camera of choice is the Fujifilm X-T5. It has a retro look with the classic dials on top of the camera body, making them intuitive. I can alter my settings quickly without even thinking about it.

I love the look of the colours straight out of the camera, and the RAW files are just beautiful, something that Fujifilm is renowned for.

It boasts a 40-megapixel APSC sensor and includes 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS), providing up to seven compensation shutter steps.

The tilting screen makes handling easier and makes those low angles much more achievable.

But it’s not just about the techy stuff for me. I  love how this camera feels and how it produces top-quality images. It’s weather resistant too, which is perfect for me as I’m out in all weather.

Moving onto the lenses, it is good to be equipped for whatever is thrown at you, and shooting various genres and subjects, you never know what might present itself to you, so I enjoy a variety of lenses, which can change quite regularly.

Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f/4 – perfect for more expansive landscapes and seascapes.

Fujifilm XF 30mm f/2.8 R LM WR Macro – a great lens for macro and photographing out in the sea.

Fujifilm XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro – again great for macro and photographing out in the sea.

Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS – this lens is great for photographing the surf from the shoreline or compressing those landscape scenes or views further away.

My bags of choice are the Vanguard VEO Adaptor R44 Backpack and the Wandrd PRVKE Lite 11 Backpack.

The Vanguard VEO Adaptor R44 Backpack fits my camera, lenses and filters nicely; with the tripod hooked onto the front of the bag, it’s all easily transported.

I can also slot my Macbook in there, and it has a USB port for charging gear on the go.

I love the sleek look and design of the bag; with access from the top and the back, you can quickly access the camera. It’s waterproof, perfect for being out in all conditions, and comes with a rain cover for those days of downpours.

The harness system has been designed ergonomically with a waist strap that can be easily tucked away when unused. This allows you to carry the bag comfortably, minimising any strain on your back.

I have the Wandrd PRVKE Lite 11 Backpack in yellow and use this most days for other things as well as photography, as it is lovely and small, waterproof, streamlined, and has a great functional design.

It’s a great day bag if I’m heading out with my camera and one or two lenses or hitting the beach with my housing. It has many compartments, fits my laptop and a flask of coffee too!

It also comes with accessory straps to attach the tripod or anything else you want to hook to your bag for transportation.

My tripod is the 3-Legged Thing Bucky – it’s carbon fibre, lightweight and easy to fold to a compact size for transportation. These were my main reasons for choosing this brand and model.

For photographers who need greater versatility in a travel tripod, it extends to great heights and gets down to ground level. It has three detachable legs to enable conversion to monopod or a table-top tripod should the need present itself.

Bucky can support twenty times its weight, making it strong and sturdy yet lightweight for travel and easy to carry.

After working through so many tripods over the last ten years, this ticks all my boxes.

I have the Ellie dedicated X-T5 L Bracket. The benefit of an L Bracket is that it enables you to maintain a level horizon and keep the camera on the same focal plane while keeping the camera’s weight above the centre of the tripod, in the most stable position, and not making the setup side heavy.

I also use the 3LT footwear when needed and have the claw feet and stilettos in my bag. These help with grip when out in the field.

I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos, and over time, I have developed my style and presets that I use as a starting point and tweak from there.

I would say I spend no longer than two minutes editing an image. I love to be outside creating rather than spending too long in front of my screen.

When photographing in the water, an underwater housing for your camera is essential. It’s simply a waterproof case that lets you operate the camera underwater. These come in many forms, from a zip lock bag to a dedicated and bespoke housing for your camera model.

I have had experience with a fifty-pound zip-lock bag, which can be a little scary when you put your expensive camera inside. It was fine for a few sessions, and then the condensation got bad, and I was at risk of the camera getting damp, so I quickly moved on.

I currently use a dedicated Aquatech EDGE Pro Water Housing for the Fujifilm X-T5. Buying something bespoke and of great quality will come with a price, but let me tell you, it’s worth it to keep your camera safe and dry!

You will also need to consider lens ports depending on the lens you want to use out in the water and whether you want a flat or dome port. I have the P80, a flat port that fits my 30mm and 60mm, my go-to lenses when I’m out in the water.

The Aquatech EDGE Pro Water Housing is compact, lightweight, and has a depth rating of 10m/33ft. It is perfect for the photography I shoot in the water, from the ripples on the surface at sunrise to the crashing waves and all the people in the water, surfing or swimming with me. It helps me produce some great results.

Filters help you in landscape and seascape photography in several ways. You can get a more balanced exposure, and they can help capture a scene accurately.

I use graduated filters which can hold back any brightness in the sky, balancing the exposure of the land and the sky.

I also use neutral density (ND) filters for a creative approach. A significant advantage of using ND filters is to create some motion in your pictures by holding back the light and, in turn, extending the shutter speed. You can either create movement or freeze things altogether.

You can extend the time of the shutter being open and allow yourself more creativity here by playing around with anything from, say, a second up to minutes, depending on the result you want to go for!

I also use a polariser, a great way to improve your landscape photos by reducing haze, enhancing colour, and removing glare from the water. This can add colour and contrast too. It all makes it much easier to get it right on camera and save time later on when editing your RAW file, in addition to allowing you the freedom of creativity.

I’d say photography is about the whole experience: getting outside, feeling the warm sun on my face or the cold ocean water on my skin, the colours of dawn and dusk and the sounds of nature all around me.

Photography isn’t just about the end image but about being in the moment and enjoying the outdoors!

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