Whether you’re a travel photography newbie or already have established methods, it’s always valuable to gain an outside perspective of essential equipment that you might be missing out on. By keeping up on industry trends and seeing what gear other photographers value most, you can gain insights on new best-practices and standards to make your life easier. Before getting started, here are a few things to read about:
What to Keep in Mind While Packing Travel Photography Gear?
There are a few things you should keep in mind both when packing and when shopping for new gear. First, remember that travel photography involves a lot of, well…travel. So it goes without saying that the lighter the load, the easier your life will be. Sometimes getting that perfect shot might mean hiking through some wilderness or camping out for a while, and your spine will thank you in the long run for bringing lighter or less gear. Leave the heavy equipment for the studio. So let’s get right into it. Here are the essentials for any photographer embarking on an adventure abroad.
What Gear Should You Bring During a Travel Shoot?
Obviously, the first thing you’ll need is your camera. There are many cameras for any budget, but the key here is to think about how much you are willing to carry. Some professionals may even take two cameras: one with a wide lens and one with a long lens to be prepared for any situation without having to stop to switch lenses. However, if you already know what types of pictures you’d like to capture, it’s easier to narrow down the proper gear. For example, carrying a bulky DSLR camera and spare lenses are great for capturing crisp images in low-light situations, but they tend to be heavier. Remember: your camera is just a tool in your arsenal. Other factors that create a stunning photo such as composition, lighting, focus, etc. are up to you. Click here to find out more about different travel cameras.
Your tripod needs to be lightweight (notice a common theme yet?) but sturdy enough to withstand inevitable wear and tear during travel. Generally, carbon fiber tripods are more expensive but will be lighter, stronger, and won’t slow you down. Aluminum tripods aren’t as sturdy, but if you’re on a budget, they’ll get the job done for a lower upfront cost. Just don’t get too attached to it or expect it to hold up after numerous trips. Here you will find some travel-friendly tripods.
These are a few types of filters that are commonly brought during travel:
- UV filters – these filters are an absolute necessity when using a film camera. Without one, photos will have a blue tint after development. But even if you’re working digitally, a UV filter will protect your lenses from long-term damage — a worthy investment considering they can cost thousands of dollars.
- Neutral Density (ND) filters – if you tend to shoot in the daytime, pack a neutral density filter. They help neutralize bright light to eliminate over-exposure, especially if you plan on creating effects that require wider aperture or slow shutter speed.
- Circular Polarizing Filter (CPL) – polarizing filters will eliminate sun flares in your shots and add color and contrast, especially to greens and blues. This makes post-production much easier, especially if you’re new to editing or have a time crunch.
4. Multiple Memory Cards/Hard Drives (HDD)
Bringing a large (in terms of storage size), portable hard drive during any travel is extremely important. Raw digital photos take up a lot of space and depending on local WiFi for cloud storage while overseas is never a good idea. Transferring your photos from your camera’s memory card to a laptop or portable hard drive with 1TB+ space will save you a headache in the future. Just be sure to do your research to get a durable one — HDDs will generally break when dropped, exposed to dust or liquid, etc.
The same goes for memory cards. Bring multiple memory cards because you never know when something will fail. And be sure they’re fast and have large storage capacities. This will let you capture rapid and burst shots in the field and more quickly transfer photos when it comes time for long-term storage. Shoot now, sift later.
5. Miscellaneous Important Travel Photography Gear
Miscellaneous does not mean optional, so don’t flake out on bringing these essential items:
- Camera Bag – A quality camera bag might be one of your most important pieces of gear. It needs to be comfortable, lightweight, durable and have the capacity for all your equipment. Various types of bags can have their own advantages depending on the situation. A large bag might be good for hiking in the wilderness to carry extra gear, but might not be practical for crowded shoots in a city. Check out this guide to get started.
- Batteries – Always carry at least two fully charged batteries with you for every shoot. You never know how long you’ll be out and the last thing you need is to hike for a few hours, get to the perfect spot, and turn right back around because of a dead battery.
- Cleaning Materials – Your camera equipment is expensive. There are no two ways about it. So taking good care of it is of utmost importance if you plan on getting the most use out of your equipment. When practicing travel photography, your gear will be inevitably exposed to the elements and using improper cleaning materials will just do further damage.
- Weather Protection – As mentioned, your equipment is expensive and traveling means exposure to the elements. Whether in dust or rain, you need to come prepared.
- Outlet Adapters – At the end of the day, you’ll need to charge your batteries and computer. Whenever you travel overseas, find out what type of electrical outlets are used in their buildings so you can bring the proper plug adapters.
Lastly, all of this equipment is abundantly important to have in the field, but when the shooting is finished and it’s time to bring your artwork to life, the developing, framing and display processes are just as crucial. After all, you didn’t go through all that effort to create a subpar finished product. Check out our TruLife Acrylic for photographers to really make your work stand out. It is single-sided, anti-reflective, abrasion resistant, anti-static, UV blocking acrylic developed specifically for printing and face/second surface mounting. As you hone your skills, learn new techniques, and find your niche, you will probably add and subtract certain items from your photography arsenal, but these are the basics that will have you snapping beautiful shots no matter where you go.
Happy travels and have fun shooting!
Share this Article:
This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.