There are many tips out there for taking better photographs, but one of the biggest for me is my backpack! What! Your backpack? How does that help you take better pictures? It's simple really and I discovered it recently. This is how it helps me. When I am traveling to a new location, hiking to points of interest and overlooks I take my backpack. I the past I would have my camera ready on my tripod, with my tripod over my shoulder. Some say that this is dangerous for your camera but I never had any problems. In any event, there was a longer hike, of about 3 miles, to get to a spot I wanted to reach. I didn't want to carry my tripod over my shoulder for such a duration so I left everything in my backpack.
While on my hike I would see some interesting stuff. Normally with my camera over my shoulder I would snap pictures and work the scene to find a pleasing result. With my camera in my pack I would study the scene and try to determine if it was worth the time of getting my camera out. The result? I started to think about important details in the image before I started shooting. This process actually saved me time.
We should always study a scene before we take an image, but it's often easy to take "snap shots" with our camera readily accessible. Having my camera in my pack helped me slow down, look for details, light, composition, and subject. The result was more thought out, quality imagery. With my camera in my pack, will I miss opportunities? Possibly, but it hasn't happened yet.
5D III 16-35mm @ 16mm f16 10 Sec. ISO 100