Traveling with taking photos in mind can be a rewarding experience. It will provide you with fresh perspectives, new scenery, and if you’ve chosen your destination carefully, a lot of inspiration to get out there and take some great photos. In order to make the most out of your travels and score some great photos, you’re going to need to pack your gear bag carefully!
It may be tempting to just go ahead throw everything little piece of equipment you own in your bag so you’re never without anything while you’re away from home. But more often than not, you’re not going to need to pack up the entire studio when you’re traveling. In fact, packing lightly can be a much more rewarding, if not an even greater educational experience. Here are few pointers to get yourself all set up for success.
Camera a tripod. Don’t forget those. But you don’t even need to bring all your lenses. I’ve been traveling pretty much non-stop for several years and never carry more than two lenses with me. The only exception to that rule is if I’m out shooting a specific scene for a client and absolutely need a special lens I wouldn’t normally carry with me. There are exceptions to every rule, but when I’m out there traveling for my own leisure and enjoyment, I’ll usually only travel with my wide angle prime lens, such as a 14MM F/2.8, and a zoom lens. I’m currently in love with my 28-300MM F/3.5.
With those two lenses, I can cover a pretty wide range of focal lengths, meaning I pretty much always have the right length lens with me at all times. If I know I’m going to be shooting wildlife and need something a little bit longer, I’ll be sure to pack an 2x extender with me as well. This handy little gadget effectively doubles the focal length of whatever lens I stick it on and it weighs a lot less than having to carry around a 600mm lens!
When choosing your lenses, take into consideration what you’re going to be photographing most. If you’re traveling to a remote destination to shoot a lot of landscapes, bring a wide angle that will get the job the done. If you’re going to a bustling metropolitan area, something like a 50mm, or even an 85-105mm lens will be better suited to the type of photography you’re going to be shooting. Do some research before your trip so you can accurately understand the types of shooting situations you’re likely to find yourself in.
On more than one occasion, I forgot to pack a few smaller accessories that would have really come in handy. For example, a cleaning kit for both my lens and DSLR. I tend to get myself into some fairly dusty, muddy, wet, or otherwise messy shooting situations and being able to keep my gear protected is essential. Now, I keep checklists handy to make sure I’m not forgetting the extra little things like a couple of clean towels, plastic bags, and lens wipes.
Of course, you also don’t want to forget a filter or two. Especially a circular polarizer, which is useful in just about any kind of shooting environment. You may also want to bring a long a remote shutter release speedlight. Again, a lot of this comes down to knowing what to expect when you make it to your destination–research is key!