This week I was very fortunate to attend my weekly photography class with the Melbourne Camera Club. The topic we happened to cover tonight was travel photography (how convenient!!). As a supplement to my previous Tuesday Travel Tips on What Equipment to Pack when travelling, I have added a few extra things on the list for those keen travelling photographers out there.
1. Always pack an adaptor when travelling overseas
I may or may not have mentioned this in the past but ALWAYS bring an adaptor with you when you travel. This is of course, unless you plan on buying one when you get to the destination. Remember: some countries share the same power plugs (e.g. Hong Kong and the UK) so keep your adaptors after your trip and research to know which ones to bring before you go.
2. Download your camera’s user manual
Camera manuals are handy to have when you’re travelling and you’re not 100% familiar with your camera (i.e. unless you’re a full professional, I’d suggest you keep it handy). These days you can actually download an electronic version of the manual and pop it into your smart phone, ipad or on your lap top. I usually like to read this when I’m on a short train journey whilst travelling.
3. Bring your camera strap, a spare lens cap, and clear wipes
In addition to the obvious such as bringing along the camera bag and SD cards, make sure you bring your camera strap. There’s nothing dorky about not breaking your brand new DSLR and you definitely want to keep the strap around your neck or wrapped around your wrists so there’s no chance of dropping or losing the camera (to theft). A spare lens cap is wonderful if you have one cause a lot of the time when you’ve taken it off it somehow gets misplaced or just goes missing. Clear wipes are great for cleaning the front of the lens, the view finder and the screen where I sometimes find make up smudges.
4. Lens hoods
If you like landscape photography and the convenience of not needing to take off and put on a lens cap every time you take a photo, I’d suggest you purchase a lens hood. This not only prevents flare from the sun but helps with the light metering in your camera, making those shots all the more desirable.
5. Camera Lens Filters
Polarising filters are by far the best filters for landscape photography. They work by reducing the amount of reflected light that passes to your camera’s sensor. Something that no photoshopping can only fix to limited degrees. This gives the sky a deeper blue and minimises the glare from reflections off surfaces such as water. The contrast between land and the sky will be less and as a bonus, it protects your lens from scratches, acting as an extra barrier.
Extra tip: Don't bring unnecessary equipment such as a tripod and speedlite flashes if there's no real need. They're bulky, fiddly and heavy to carry, not to mention when you're travelling your main focus should be to enjoy what's before you.