Tips for travel photography

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Travel | 0 comments

Tips for travel photography

Lately Travel has been on my mind a bit with family about to head overseas for a tour of Europe, friends just returned from places such as Iceland, Turkey, Alaska and Vietnam. And with myself planning a trip later this year, I thought I might put together a few tips I have collected over the years on Travel photography.

Sunrise Trawler by Tony White 1/6 Sec @ F/11, ISO 100, 168mm

Sunrise Trawler by Tony White
1/6 Sec @ F/11, ISO 100, 168mm

The first things you need to think about is where are you going? Are you driving or flying? Is it a guided tour to a set schedule or a at your own pace? One of my favourite tools for researching a destination is Stuck on Earth, this allows you to explore the places you are going to visit and find photos of places to explore and photograph. Whether you are doing your own tour or on a set schedule this can be extremely useful, it will allow you to spend more time photographing less time wandering and searching. Of course searching and wandering can often allow you to find other subjects that could be of interest, but when on a tight schedule it can be the difference between getting an image or getting nothing. Don’t forget to also check out guide books and look for photo books of the destinations.

Stuck on Earth

Stuck on Earth

Ok so now what to take? Well I love my landscape photos and that will be the focus of my trip later this year, so my tripod is a must along with my wide-angle lenses and a yet to arrive Lee Big Stopper filter. If I was going on a more structured, guided type tour for then my choices would change to allow more flexibility, I would still take my Sigma 10-20mm lens and tripod for doing architecture shots of the buildings and night-time city lights photos. But I would also be taking a versatile zoom lens, which for me would be my Tamaron 28-300. With these 2 lenses I have most things covered that I would expect to photograph on the trip.

Reflections of Falls Dam by Tony White 2.5 sec @ F/11, ISO 100, 28mm

Reflections of Falls Dam by Tony White
2.5 sec @ F/11, ISO 100, 28mm

Now if you don’t already have a tripod I highly recommend you look at the MeFoto from Benro they are extremely compact and at under 45cm packed up it can easily fit into any suitcase. They are a pretty light and versatile tripod and when put up to full height will be tall enough for most photographers.

MeFoto Tripods - www.MeFoto.com

MeFoto Tripods – www.MeFoto.com

When it comes to planes and your camera gear I would not recommend you place any equipment in checked luggage unless it is in a pelican case. Yes your carry on is limited most of the time but an important note is that unless it is a small plane they do not weigh you and with a good jacket you can usually fit a lens or 2 in the pockets, or with the camera around your neck with your heaviest lens on your carry on will be much lighter.

Another thing to think about is what if your checked luggage goes missing, you can always buy clothes etc but some equipment just cannot be replaced that quickly. I place cables, chargers and card readers in my carry on but in clear plastic zip lock bags to be pulled out quickly when passing through security.

Pack Lightly by Tony White 1/80 Sec @ F/8, ISO 200, 18mm

Pack Lightly by Tony White
1/80 Sec @ F/8, ISO 200, 18mm

Laptop or no laptop? This is a difficult question and depends on the type of trip you are going on. My trips include it as I like to be able to process on the road. But it also allows me to back up my photos. My plan is to download the images to the laptop hdd, and 2 external hdds. One external hdd will stay in my camera bag so it is with me at all times, the other will be in my suitcase. I have suggested a similar setup for my parents and sister with each having a hdd in their camera bag with a copy of all images. This will hopefully mean that if something happens to one hdd (ie failure or theft) there is still at least one copy.

If you are not taking laptop then you might like to check into something such as a Sanho HyperDrive ColorSpace or similar device. These run on battery and allow you to copy the photos from your memory cards to an internal hdd. I must point out though, that I have no experience with these devices.

Grass Umbrellas on the beach by Tony White 1/2000sec at F/8, ISO 200, 77mm

Grass Umbrellas on the beach by Tony White
1/2000sec at F/8, ISO 200, 77mm

I hope these tips help you in planning your next trip, and stay tuned for follow-up posts with either more tips or some images of my upcoming trip.

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