It’s Time To Travel With Your Camera

It’s Time To Travel With Your Camera

Be A Tourist In Your Own City Reading It’s Time To Travel With Your Camera 6 minutes

Getting out and about with a camera on holiday is a great way to spice up your photography life. Regardless of where in the world you travel, you’ll come across new scenes, views, and compositions that you just don’t see at home. What’s more, if you specialise in a genre such as bird or wildlife photography, you’ll test your skills with new environments and species. Travelling to a destination with stunning vistas is a perfect place to start if you've never tried landscape photography. The most essential part of travelling with your camera is that you’ll faithfully document every experience, street, mountain, and plate of food. What better way to relive your holiday forever?

Why Travel Makes Sense

Taking your camera and a selection of lenses on holiday makes perfect sense. Especially if you’re travelling to a destination, you’ve never been to before. Travelling to new destinations or even exploring new areas of a favourite city grants photographers fresh and exciting opportunities. From a documentary perspective, witnessing, studying, participating in, and capturing a new culture is enriching. It will teach you more about the world and how your life differs from the locals. It will also teach you a lot about your creative approach to photography. It’s an excellent way to appreciate all you have and be a little jealous of what you miss out on.

The Best Gear To Take On Holiday

Knowing what camera equipment to pack on holiday can be stressful. The biggest fear is that you’ll come across a scenario where a specific lens would be perfect. But if you don’t pack it, will you miss an amazing shot? The flip side is packing a big heavy zoom lens only to discover at the end of your holiday that you never took it out. Lugging around heavy gear is a burden at the best of times - let alone when trying to enjoy a holiday simultaneously. I advise packing as light as possible and picking lenses covering broad genres. A 35mm prime is a great starting point if you're a prime shooter. It works in street scenes, portraiture, and landscapes with a tighter frame and can be a do-everything lens. 

Zoom photographers should start with an 18-55mm zoom lens covering the same genres. From there, add lenses to meet your needs for telephoto work, wider landscapes, etc. I packed two camera bodies and six lenses on my first trip to Tokyo. I lugged it around in a backpack, and as the days passed, I left more and more lenses in my hotel room before heading out. On subsequent trips, I packed a very minimal kit with one camera and two prime lenses - a 16mm F2.8 and a 23mm F2. One of the joys of photography is to live in and capture the moment. Imagine what you would miss while on holiday, hunting around in your camera bag for the best lens for the job.

Be Safe And Secure

Another critical element of travelling with your camera is to ensure that you take practical steps to be safe and keep your gear secure. When planning a trip away, you probably already consider whether it’s a safe location and what risks the location presents. The same applies to photography holidays - however, it’s critical to understand that carrying an expensive camera can make you a target for crime. Keep your camera, lenses, and bag with you when out and about. Fit your camera with a strong, secure, and comfortable camera strap. Never hand your camera to a local and ask them to take a picture of you.

When I travel with my cameras, I always use a wrist strap and keep that camera in my hand at all times. Strong wrist straps that are slash-proof and tamper-proof are ideal, especially if you’re visiting a city renowned for pickpockets. As for camera bags, I recommend avoiding noticeable camera bags with big brand logos. With a small kit, you can drop a padded camera cube into any day bag, and no one would know what it contained. I also avoid backpacks as they sit behind you where you can’t see what people are doing. A camera sling or shoulder bag sits by your side at all times.

Edit On The Go

Another unique challenge that travel presents is editing and sharing your images while away from your home computer. While you could wait to get home and take your time editing as you suffer from holiday withdrawals, other options exist. Consider editing your travel images while you’re away on your phone, tablet, or laptop. Modern digital cameras allow for transferring RAW or JPEG images to a smart device. Alternatively, use an SD card reader attached to your tablet or laptop. If you rely on a top-tier editing suite such as Adobe Lightroom at home, consider downloading Lightroom for mobile and tablet. Editing images as you experience them is a great way to review the day, remember the story, and share with your family and friends online.

Spice Up Your Photography Life

Travelling with a camera seems like a no-brainer of an idea. However, you’d be surprised how many people head away on a trip without a decent camera. Smartphone photography is one thing, but capturing high-resolution memories of your most recent holiday is the next level. Alternatively, rather than planning a holiday and bringing along your camera, flip the process. Plan a photography adventure that just so happens to be in another country or city.  Plan to make the most of the camera and lenses already in your kit. Research the best locations to maximise your fast, wide prime, or telephoto zoom. No matter what you decide, don’t waste the opportunity to capture stunning, memorable images that will last a lifetime. 

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