I have always loved the idea of traveling but always hated packing! What to take? What to leave?
Especially, travelling for photography can be a little overwhelming.
Don’t you worry, dear photographer. I have you covered!
Here is the ultimate packing guide for you:
1. Different kinds of Cameras
There are different kinds of cameras for different kinds of photography. Which one should you take?
Know your purpose first: Where are you going? What kind of photos/videos do you want to take?
Here are some examples of the types of camera you can take for your next expedition.
DSLRs are good for the image quality. You can take better pictures of fast moving objects due to its auto-focusing features.
You can set the ISO, shutter speed and aperture before snapping your masterpiece! Also, the preview image is much closer to the final image.
The problem with DSLR for traveling is that it is heavy and needs high maintenance.
Mirrorless camera doesn’t have the mirror and prism, like that of the DSLR. Thus, it is lighter, compact, and travel-friendly.
They have better video quality and some can even shoot Ultra HD videos.
The drawback is that it can suffer in low light or with fast moving objects unlike that of DSLR preview.
Small action camera
Small action cameras are portable and have “point of view” image. This camera fixed in your helmet or clothing can provide a dramatic footage.
The flip side is that it doesn’t have any zoom function and could miss the event that happens a little far away.
Drones are best for the bird-eye view. You can use it to take a very wide video shoot of the landscape like hills, mountains, forest, or oceans.
You need to understand the rules and restrictions of the place you are traveling to.
Phone cameras are good for taking photos while traveling. This multiple purpose device in your pocket can actually take pretty good snaps.
This can be a very good backup if something happens to your main camera.
2. Good camera bag
A good camera bag is a necessity for the photographers. You need to save your camera, lenses, chargers, and batteries from shock, dust, water and other external dangers.
A good camera must be comfortable around your body: neck, shoulders or waist. Go for light materials, comfortable straps, and compact body.
The compartments should be deep and tight enough to keep your lenses secure. If you plan to shoot in a humid place or around the water bodies, go for waterproof camera bags.
3. Lightweight Tripod
A tripod provides steady shot and adjustable height to the photographer. For travel, the lightweight, foldable tripods are preferable.
Even so, the tripod must hold the weight of the camera and the head should tilt as required.
If you want to have a good quality image then you might take two lenses with you: wide angle lens and telephoto lens.
The wide-angle lens has a short focal length that makes the closer object seem far.
As contra, the telephoto lens has long focal length giving you a narrow view but much focus on far objects. The subject seems much closer.
If it’s a hassle for you to carry two, then you can carry just one: superzoom lens. It has a variable focal length from short to long, giving you both wide angle and telephoto shots as required. You might not get the same quality, though.
Power and Backup
5. Extra batteries
You might not find batteries suitable for your camera where you travel. Or, it may come at a huge price.
Make sure you have a spare one with you.
If you are taking a drone, then you might need few extra batteries for the remote controller.
Pack all the chargers of the electronic items you have taken: cameras, laptop, phone etc.
7. Converters and adapters:
Some of the devices come with dual voltage system. Chances are, not all your systems may be have dual voltage.
First, check what voltage the places you are planning to go, use. Then, check if all your devices are of single voltage or dual.
Take the converter if you need a different voltage but do not have dual voltage devices.
Another important thing to consider while traveling is, adapter. Adapters come with different plug shape so that your chargers can connect to the different electric outlets.
The shape of the electric outlets is different in different areas.
Again, check the type of outlets used in the area before you go.
8. Power bank
While you are traveling, you might not always be able to charge your devices. You may need to charge on the go.
Get a portable power bank.
You can take your laptop for editing your photos and storing your pictures.
10. SD cards and External hard drive
SD cards can be replaced the moment you are out of storage. And if you have an external hard drive then you can backup all your pictures.
Tip: As per airline regulations, keep your batteries and power banks in your carry on.
Double check your documents like insurance, passport, hotel bookings, credit cards, etc.
Also, make copies of your documents in the cloud so that you can recover it, whenever required.
11. Maps and weather apps
You wander around taking pictures in a beautiful place. What if you don’t remember how to return and it starts to pour?
Have maps and weather apps on your phone to be ready for any kind of weather and always find your way back.
12. Rain cover
Include rain covers in your backpack if you are expecting to shoot in the rain or near water bodies.
13. Lens cleaning kit
The camera lens can pick up dust or mist and fog up. If you do not clean it thoroughly, then it will affect the picture quality.
Carry a lens cleaning kit with you.
14. Camera strap
The camera strap should be secure and comfortable. Even if you are shooting for a long time, the strap must not hurt you.
Pack a camera strap for security and comfortability.
Filters are used to save the lens and to take a good picture in difficult lighting conditions.
There are different kinds of filters these days which helps in extending the exposure time, filter UV, polarize, match the exposure and intensity of light, correct the colors, etc.
The resin filters are lightweight and are flexible and does not break as easily as the glass filter does. Yet, it is prone to scratches.
The glass filters, have better sharpness and is not easily scratched. But, they are usually heavy and breaks if you accidentally drop it.
Clothes and other miscellaneous
16. Comfortable shoes and pants
You might have to walk for a long time in forests, beaches, or a cliff to get the best shots. Make sure you carry comfortable shoes and if possible, waterproof ones.
The same goes with your pants. It should be comfortable for a long day wear.
You may protect your camera lens with UV filter. Now, you need a UV filter for yourself. Take a good SPF sunscreen with you.
Look at the weather app if you will need to pack these or not. But carrying a light raincoat or umbrella is a wise decision you take.
19. Water bottle and snacks:
A long day, long walk. You will need to refill your energy. Keep a water bottle and snacks with you, wherever you go.
If you are on any medication, be sure to pack more than enough for the days you are traveling. Sometimes, you might even drop the tablets.
Also, keep extra medicines for allergies and flu. Better be prepared.
Happy Travelling! Happy Photography!
The Ultimate Packing Guide for Travel Photographers
- Camera Equipment
- Power and Backup
- Clothes and other miscellaneous