Photo Tip Tuesday

Photo Tip Tuesday – Travel photography checklist

With stay-at-home orders being lifted throughout the country and around the world, many people are planning summer trips. If cabin fever has taken hold and you’re ready to hit the road again, here are some tips on equipment you should pack for your upcoming travels.

Camera bodies
Try to travel with a minimum of two camera bodies. This will safeguard you in the unfortunate event that your main camera body breaks or malfunctions while on the trip. It will also help to prevent dust from building up on your sensors every time you change lenses.

Camera manuals
It’s always good to have these in your bag in case there is a function on your camera you’re unsure about or if a problem arises with the camera. Since camera manuals can be bulky, download the manual for your cameras and store them on your laptop or phone.

Spare batteries
You may be out shooting for a whole day before getting an opportunity to recharge your batteries, so make sure to pack spares (and charge them when you return to your hotel room).

Battery charger
Try to have an additional battery charger in case yours is left at the hotel.

Power adapter
Find out what type of power adapter you will need for the country you are headed to (before you leave home) since they may vary country by country. Most big box retailers sell adapters with options for different countries (and many foreign hotels have USB charging ports in the lobby & rooms).

Memory cards
It’s always good to use a minimum of 64GB to 124GB memory cards to prevent you from changing them constantly (or in case one or two should break or fail).

Lens cleaning cloth
Bring along several in the event they get dirty or lost.

It’s best to bring a variety of lenses which include a range of focal lengths (for example: an 18-55mm, a 55-200mm and a 100-400mm).

Polarizers and neutral density filters can be very useful, especially for super bright conditions or when using slower shutter speeds.

If you don’t want to carry around heavy lenses, teleconverters are a great alternative. Avoid anything greater than 1.5x on zoom lenses since larger converters can leave images appearing very soft.

These can come in handy when it comes to low light situations, portraiture or light painting.

Spare batteries for flash
Don’t buy the cheapest batteries since they tend to have slower recharge times and can run dead in no time. Try to buy rechargeable batteries; this will save you money and weight in the long run.

Remote shutter release
There may be no one around to push the shutter button when you want to be in the image; this will allow you to get in front of the camera and still take the image.

You can often end up with a small fibers on your sensor when changing lenses; a blower will help to remove the fibers.

Small bristle brush
This will aid in helping to clean your equipment at the end of each day or help prevent dust from entering the camera housing when you change lenses.

Laptop and power cables
These will be an essential part of your daily routine since it’s advised to download and back up your images at the end of each day.

Power packs
If you know you’re not going to be near power for a few days, you should carry a few of these in your bag to help charge your equipment while on the road.

External hard drives
Along with the aforementioned laptop, an portable external hard drive is essential for backing up and storing your images safely at the end of each day.

Travel-size tripod/monopod
These can aid in getting your camera in positions you may not be able to (or allowing you to jump in the image while the camera is on self-timer).

Camera bag
Make sure you use a quality pack which can carry all the equipment you expect to use on a daily basis.

Power supply and charging equipment
Depending on where you are staying, you may have access to power points in your room, and at other times, there may be designated charging bays. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to label your batteries, chargers and any other equipment which could potentially end up in a common area. This will help prevent any mix-ups when it comes to other people collecting their items.

If you are traveling with a drone, not every country permits their use without approval, so do your research before leaving home (otherwise, you may be forced to leave your drone at customs upon your arrival).

Packing camera gear
If possible, avoid having to check your equipment; try to pack your gear in your carry-on. If you are flying on a smaller aircraft, as many travel photographers do when they go to remote destinations, a soft-sided travel bag is preferred. Rigid, hard-cased bags and cases are often refused by pilots in smaller planes (particularly when they do not fit into the aircraft’s luggage pods).

With the above checklist in hand, you should more than prepared to capture photos & video on your travels! If you’re planning any upcoming trips, let us know in the comments; we’d love to see the images!

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