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Gabriella Viola blog
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What's In My Camera Bag: Photography Gear List

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

What's in My Camera Bag.  Gabriella Viola Photography Gear List

In this post, I'll be listing the gear I currently use to capture and create my images.

Some things I consider when buying gear:

  • Price. I'm not looking to break the bank, which is why I often go with third-party lenses like Tamron.

  • Weight and size. I prefer gear that is relatively light and comfortable enough to walk around with, hike with, and travel with.

  • Ease of use.

  • Above all else, quality.

It's worth mentioning that you don't need tons of expensive equipment to take beautiful photos. Although the right equipment can help take your work to the next level, it's not the gear that makes the photographer.

So with that being said, here's what's in my camera bag!

Photography Gear Guide

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Nikon D750

In 2018, I upgraded from the Nikon D5300 DX to the Nikon D780 FX DSLR. I have to say, I absolutely love it. It's a full-frame camera, that has two memory card slots, built-in wifi, and does well in low-light situations. It's also relatively lightweight compared to other full-frame cameras, and of course, it takes beautiful photos.



Tamron 24-70 lense

Wide Angle Zoom Lens

The Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 is my all-around go-to lens. It's a third-party lens and about half the price of Nikon and Canon's 24-70mm lenses. However, it doesn't skimp on quality. I love this lens because it's versatile, ultrasharp, image-stabilized, has nice bokeh, and does great in low light.

Lake Tahoe Sunset on Lake tahoe's east shore
Settings: 24mm, 4.0 sec at f/22, ISO 100
Emerald Bay Sunset in Lake Tahoe
Settings: 38mm, 1/100 sec at 5.0, ISO 100
Paddle Boarder at Secret Cove in Lake Tahoe
Settings: 55mm, 1/200 sec at f/7.1, ISO 160

Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 Lense

Telephoto Zoom Lens

While I don’t use the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 regularly, mostly because it's so heavy and not ideal to hike with, I like having a zoom lens of this caliber in my kit. It's ultrasharp, image-stabilized, and great in low light. This is the lens I use to photograph the moon because it's so sharp. It also has beautiful creamy bokeh, making it a great portrait lens. As mentioned, the only downside is its size and weight.

Sunset from Lake Tahoe's East Shore
Settings: 82mm, 1/100 sec at f/5.0, ISO 160
Full Moon in Lake Tahoe California
Settings: 200mm, 1/100 sec at f/5, ISO 100

Tamron 28-300mm 3.5 Lense

Versatile Zoom Lens

This is my main daytime hiking lens. It's very light and small and has a focal range of 28-300mm making it super versatile. I love not having to pack more than one lens while using it. Its downside is that it's not the best in low-light situations (it's not the worst either), but this is not a lens I'd use for sunset/sunrise or dusk photos.

Lake Tahoe crystal clear beach on Lake Tahoe's East Shore
Settings: 35mm, 1/320 sec at f/ 9.0, ISO 100
Secret Cove in Lake Tahoe
Settings: 70mm, 1/250 sec at f/8, ISO 100

Prime Lens

The nifty 50mm f/1.8 is currently the only prime lens in my camera bag. I don't use it that often but it's great to have for when I need it. It's the best-priced lens on this list and gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It's very small and light, excellent in low-light, and has lovely bokeh, making it a stellar portrait lens. It also works on both FX and DX cameras.

Cave Rock Hike in Lake Tahoe
Settings: 50mm, 1/1000 sec at f/4.5, ISO 160


Mavic Air Drone

I love this drone. It's lightweight, easy to travel with, fits in the palm of my hand, and the image quality is great. The Mavic Air is also a great drone for beginners; it's not too intimidating or overwhelming in terms of the learning curve.

Update: The Mavic Air has been replaced with the Mavic Air 2.

Aerial view of Lake Tahoe
Settings: 4.5mm, 1/3000 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100
Aerial view of Lake tahoe
Settings: 4.5mm, 1/950 sec at f/2.8, ISO 109


Breakthrough Photography Neutral Density Filter

A neutral density filter is essential for achieving that silky-smooth effect in your photos. I currently own a 6 stop and a 10 stop ND filter, both made by Breakthrough Photography. The 10 stop is great for photographing long exposures mid-day when there is a lot of sunlight. However, the 6 stop ND filter is the one I use most often. It's what I use when shooting long exposures of waterfalls and sunsets.

A step-up ring is also a great accessory because it enables you to use one size filter on different sized lenses.

Sand Harbor Beach in Lake Tahoe
Settings: 26mm, 1.3 sec at f/14, ISO 160
Lake Tahoe Sunset at Secret Cove
Settings: 24mm, 10 sec at f/9, ISO 100
Glen Alpine Falls in Lake Tahoe California
Settings: 40mm, .8 sec at f/18, ISO 100

DSLR Tripod

I’ve owned this tripod for a few years now and it has been great. While it's not the most high-end or heavy-duty tripod, it's light and packs pretty small. I'm not a fan of being weighed down by heavy bulky gear, especially while hiking or traveling. The K&F Concept Tripod is a great compromise between quality and weight.


Vanguard havana Backpack

Views of Emerald Bay from the Bayview Trail in lake tahoe

I bought and returned a few camera bags before I came across the Vanguard Havana Backpack. I love this bag because it fits everything, including my laptop and some clothes with room to spare. It's comfortable to wear and perfect for travel. I also love that it doesn't look like a camera bag.

The only downside is that the designated tripod compartment is too small to fit a regular-sized tripod. My workaround is just hanging my tripod off one of the bag straps!



Macbook Pro 13 inch

Up until 2019, I was editing my photos on an old Macbook Pro 2011 version (yikes!). This summer I decided that it was time to shell out for an upgrade. Editing is a big part of the photography process, and having up-to-date gear just makes life easier.

I was really torn between the 13-inch and the 15-inch MacBook Pro and decided to sacrifice a bigger monitor for the convenience of the 13-inch. It fits perfectly in my camera bag and is easy to travel with. I did choose to upgrade my RAM to 32GB for faster processing, which I highly recommend.

Adobe Lightroom on Macbook Pro 13 inch


Lacie External Hard Drive

The Lacie External Hard Drive is compact, durable, and great for travel. The orange rubber bumper adds an extra layer of protection which is nice. I find that 1TB is plenty of space. I have two years' worth of photos and videos on this drive and haven't even made a dent in the amount of space on it.

Macbook Pro and Lacie External Hard Drive


Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Adobe is the gold standard when it comes to photo editing software.

I pay $10 a month for Adobe's Photography Plan which includes Lightroom, Photoshop, and a few other useful apps. While Lightroom is pretty intuitive, Photoshop definitely has a learning curve. I purchased one of Ben Willmore's tutorials on Creative Live to help me learn the basics of Photoshop, and I have to say it helped immensely.


I hope that you found this photography gear list helpful! If you have any questions please feel free to ask me in the comments! Also, be sure to subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss the latest blog posts, videos, and other good stuff!


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gabriella viola lake tahoe

Hi, I'm Gabriella, an outdoor photographer living in Lake Tahoe, California. 
I'm originally from New York and moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to try out living somewhere new and different.  I found myself loving the adventurous lifestyle and dramatic scenery on the west side of the country.  Eventually, I moved to Lake Tahoe in 2019 after falling in love with its natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle. 
On this site, I share adventure tips and destination guides to help you explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, Northern California, and beyond...

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Tahoe Blues is a curated collection of  9 pieces that showcase part of what makes Lake Tahoe so incredibly special- that crystal clear, brilliantly turquoise-colored water.  The selected images capture unique conditions and perspectives of Lake Tahoe during the day and represent calmness, joy, and awe.

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