In terms of travel the world is now very accessible and full of fantastic places, extraordinary views and amazing memories all waiting to be photographed, shared and relived for years to come.
We pay a lot of attention to organizing our suitcase and often our camera bag is last to get ready. But a bit of forward planning before setting off will help enormously with a stress free holiday and happy “snapping”.
We are always on the move and often time is limited so being organized will optimize your time to capture those memories.
The list below covers both travel and photographic logistics to help maximize your time. Most are common sense but with so much going on before setting off they can get overlooked.
ENSURE you have the correct power adaptors for the countries you’re visiting.
BE PREPARED it could make the difference a missed moment or magic memory.
REMEMBER EVERYDAY IS DIFFERENT
1. Keep your gear in the same place.
No matter how small or large your camera bag efficient and consistent packing will give you quick access to your gear when you need it most.
Often opportunities are fleeting. You want to be looking to capture the moment not be looking inside your bag.
Packing your gear is something that comes from time and experience. Why not embark on some photo day trips. This will help consolidate the best way to pack your bag that suits you.
2. Take the instruction manual with you.
Modern day cameras are very complex and even the most experienced photographers cannot be expected to know everything.
Your environment may inspire you to try something new whilst on your travels. Having the manual will show you how.
Plus, if you experience any malfunctions the manual will be invaluable to enable you to carry on.
Most manuals are pocket size and will take up very kittle room in your bag.
Alternatively, download the electronic version to your phone.
3. Keep it clean. Spotless gear means spotless images.
Pack a lens cloth, brush and blower.
Wherever you are in the countryside or urban, dust is all around us.
Take care when changing lenses and try to shelter against any wind.
If your equipment is spotless then so will your images.
This also includes the bag. No point putting clean equipment into a bag covered in dust.
4. Charge batteries at every opportunity.
When the opportunity arises charge your batteries. It’s very easy to forget and impossible to anticipate how much or little you’ll use your camera from day to day.
If possible carry a spare. In which case, create a separate storage place for used and unused batteries.
It’s also a good idea to number them with a bright marker pen to help with identification. Don’t fall into the trap and assume that you are all charged up when you are not.
It can be useful to have a car charger adapter in some circumstances.
5. Back up images at every opportunity
Similar situation to batteries.
Memory cards can corrupt or simply stop working for many different reasons. Take plenty of spares.
Don’t assume you have room on your cards for a full day shooting. EVERY DAY IS DIFFERENT
You don’t want be at a stunning location and be distracted by worrying about how many pictures you can take.
Lots of us travel with laptops, tablets, hard drives or have cloud storage. Make the most of them and backup your unique files as often as possible.
6. If you have to carry them in your bag keep non-photographic related items separate.
When travelling, we carry more personal items than normal. Passport, travel guides, tickets etc
Keep them accessible but separate from your gear so as not to have to empty your bag every time you need them
7. If possible organize data as you go.
This is a nice to do rather than a must do.
During a trip you may take 1000’s of images. It’s always a busy time when you get back and quite often the mammoth task of processing the images will put you off even starting.
The images will then just sit on your computer as there’s never enough time to go through them.
The more you keyword, caption, rate and group your images while travelling, the less daunting it is when you return. So you can enjoy and share your fantastic images and memories sooner rather than much later.
There are numerous programs and apps that make these tasks quick and simple with Adobe Bridge or Lightroom being the most popular.
These tips work for me. Hopefully they will give you food for thought and help you plan your next trip making it an enjoyable, stress free and memorable experience.
After all, we don’t travel all those miles to rummage around in a camera bag and regret missed photo opportunities.