Travel Tuesday: Travel Tip of the Day

by | Jun 15, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”—Gustav Flaubert

As things slowly start to begin looking almost “normal”—is that enough weasel words for you?—people appear to be traveling more. In fact today, my wife is traveling to New Mexico today, making her first business-related travel since January 2020. Maybe it’s time for all of us to hit the road? Since hopefully more and more of us will be traveling and photographing during these trips, I thought it was time to bring back my travel photography-related series of posts.

It’s Travel Tuesday and if you only learn one new thing from this series of travel-related posts, it’s this: Don’t buy a new camera or lens on Thursday before leaving for a week-long trek in Africa, Macho Picchu, or Easter Island. If there is any secret about travel photography it’s that using your equipment has to be instinctive so when an opportunity presents itself and you only have a few seconds to get a shot, you can capture it. There’s not going to be time to think about what menu to use or how do I turn on continuous AF or what exposure mode am I in anyway, you got to make the shot now The scouts have it right, you gotta “be prepared.”

How I Made This Shot: Ghost Ranch is a 21,000-acre retreat and education center located close to the village of Abiquiú in Rio Arriba County in New Mexico. It was the home of Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as the subject of many of her paintings. Ghost Ranch is part of Piedra Lumbre (“Shining Rock”), a 1766 land grant to Pedro Martin Serrano from Charles III of Spain. The Rito del Yeso is a stream that meanders through the canyons and gorge. In 1976, Ghost Ranch was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. I made this image using an Olympus E20 with 9-36mm lens (35-140mm equivalent) lens at 9mm with an exposure of 1/500 sec at f/4 and ISO 80.

Just as important as knowing your equipment inside and out is what other stuff you need to bring along to make sure that the images from the trip are as vivid as your memories. That’s why you should always pack lots of memory cards. You may be not able to find an SD card or even a Wal-Mart in the mountains of Bhutan or you may be surprised that the prices for SD cards in Tokyo’s Akihabara are a lot higher than your friendly local camera store. Speed matters too. While there seems to be an ever-confusing array of memory cards available for digital cameras, chances are you know the one or two formats that your particular DSLR or mirrorless camera accepts. If not check your camera’s User’s Guide.

So what size memory cards should you use? The conventional wisdom that I hear from some of my friends is that you’re better off with more, smaller capacity cards than fewer larger ones. This idea is based on the assumption that you’ll loose fewer images if you have a card failure. (It’s happened to me.) I have a different theory: Instead, use fewer, bigger cards. You won’t have as many to keep track of (or lose) or have to spend time changing cards and, perhaps, missing a shot when you do.

Right now and I’ll admit this is, at best, a moving target, the best memory card bang-for-the-buck seems to be the SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC, especially the 128GB version that sells for $33.49. It’s compatible with the UHS-I bus, and has a speed class rating of V30, producing minimum write speeds of 30 MB/s. If your device does not support the V30 standard, the card supports the U3 standard that produces minimum write speeds of 30 MB/s. Read speeds are supported up to 170 MB/s and write speeds max out at 90 MB/s. While this card has been designed for cameras that are UHS-I / V30 / U3 compatible, it may also be used in devices that do not support UHS-I / V30 / U3.

The card is shockproof, X-ray proof, waterproof, while also being able to withstand temperatures from -13 to 185 degrees F, allowing you to take this card into extreme environments, such as snow, deserts and pools. In addition to a limited lifetime warranty, you can also download the company’s RescuePRO Deluxe software, you know, in an emergency.

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