While you would want to carry plenty of options to capture that one perfect shot during your travel, but let’s be more realistic- you wouldn’t want to walk around like a pack mule while capturing moments. So, weight and size play an important part while packing your ultimate travel bag. While a lot more items go into a travel photographer’s bag, with World Photography Day just around the corner (19 August to be precise), we have compiled a list of five must have for a Travel Photographers that they can simply not do without.
Lenses: We are not focusing on the camera, assuming you own one, DSLR or mirrorless, with interchangeable lenses. It is common knowledge for any good photographer that while the body of the camera provides the basis for stunning photography, the entire experience hinges on the lens. No wonder, the options for different kinds of lenses are so many that it can easily confuse even the best professional travel photographer out there. While your heart might implore you to carry different lenses, you should carry just about two that could cover most of the photographs.
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Although we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, carrying a walkaround and a fast prime lens is a good policy. When choosing a walkaround lens, go for the one with a wide aperture. A wide aperture lets in more light making the lens suitable for a range of photography situations.
On Camera Storage: On-camera storage or an SD card is as important as a camera or lens. Choosing the right storage can be pretty tricky. You would want a high-capacity SD card that is purpose-built for photographers. For example, the new SanDisk Extreme UHS-I card claims to be built and tested for harsh conditions, and is temperature, water, shock, and x-ray proof.
Extra batteries: Well, it is just unimaginable for any photographer to travel without additional batteries as backups in case of eventualities. It is always better to carry backup batteries to overcome the hassle of charging, in case you are at a remote location, or staying outdoor in a tent. If you are traveling by air, then you should be aware of any restrictions by specific countries or airlines.
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Generally, the rule allows you to travel with lithium-ion battery cells; one can carry multiple batteries of less than 100Wh, in a protected case. For international flights, it is safer to carry 95Wh batteries, as the lithium-ion batteries come in 95Wh, 130Wh, 160Wh, and 190Wh variations.
Fast, Portable Storage: Travel photographers must also carry external storage. The important point to keep in mind while selecting a portable storage option is that it should be lightweight, fast, and rugged. For example, SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 that offers lightning-fast read/write speeds of up to 2000MB/s3. It should ideally have a handy carabiner loop so it can be easily secured to your belt or backpack. Having a lightweight drive with you, don’t worry about deleting any shot, good or bad, they are all memories.
Lightweight Tripod: For travel, you must have a strong, compact yet lightweight tripod. It should fit easily into a compact travel bag. So, the requirement for travel tripods is a bit different from the conventional ones. It should make the shooting experience efficient but most importantly enjoyable instead of weighing you down. Go for carbon fiber built which is a superior material to aluminum- and offers a stronger and lighter body, but on the downside, it may be costly. Also, it makes sense to pick a tripod that is suitable both for photography and videography. You must know what the must-have features you want in your tripod, and which one are you willing to make a concession and buy accordingly.
There are times when we wish that we had brought a certain lens or a different tripod. With experience, we get better at carrying the most apt equipment depending on the type of photographs we will be capturing. However, the most important thing is enjoying every minute of this journey as we get better and better at our craft.