Wednesday Words: A Few More Travel Tips

by | Jun 16, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

As things slowly start to begin looking almost “normal” people seem to be traveling more. 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.

As I mentioned yesterday, if you only learn one new thing from yesterday’s and today’s posts, it’s that you shouldn’t buy a new camera or lens before leaving for a week-long trek to Chile, the Great Pyramids, or Papua New Guinea. Here’s a few more tips:

  • Batteries: Remember to bring lots of rechargeable batteries and maybe some non-rechargeable ones depending on where and how you’re going—and don’t forget the battery charger! (and adapter if you’re leaving the USA.) That happened to me one during an out-of-town group model shoot and only because I ran into a friendly photographer who loaned me his charger was I able to make any images past the original charge. It seems like I never learn, when on another trip I had to purchase a battery charger while in San Diego. Paid too much. Now I keep a charger in all my camera bags for each cameras that’s inside.
  • Memory Cards: Pack lots of memory cards too. You may be not be able to find an SD card or even a Wal-Mart in the mountains of Chile and you may be surprised to learn that the prices for memory cards in some parts of the world are higher than your local camera or discount store.
  • Camera Support: Even a small tripod will help you capture sharp images when the light is low but unless you are a die-hard shooter even lightweight carbon fiber models don’t make the best traveling companions. When traveling by car consider a window clamp tripod, which is especially useful to keep you from being eaten by lions while on safari. (I’ll talk about IBIS and lens-based stabilization later this week.)
  • Camera Bag(s): Equipment protection comes at all levels; soft to hard, metal to plastic, fabric and foam, fabric covered hard shells, plywood laminate with metal corners, vacuum formed ABS and the choice of wheels—or not. And lighter bags—empty or full—make better traveling companions. I’m also a fan of backpacks and even designed one or two back in the day.

How I Made This Shot: The photograph (at right) was made at the Golden Buddha one of three largest statues in Japan. I couldn’t resist this charming image of a teacher making this photograph of his class. Camera was a Canon EOS Digital Rebel with EF18-55mm lens at 30mm. Exposure was 1/200th of a second at f/10 in Program mode.

More on Camera Bag tips: Many soft bags are made from fabric whose fiber thickness and diameter is measured in denier or “D.” The higher the number, the stronger the fabric will be. Most soft-sided luggage, for example, is covered in 400D material.

There are as many ways to packing a camera bag or backpack. The most common mistake is leaving too much space around the gear. Tip: The snugger the fit, the better the protection. And don’t look at any bag as a collection of features. Instead think of it as a system that includes useful add-ons. Many bag makers offers accessory pouches, small bags, wraps, and cable organizers. Take advantage of them.

If you enjoyed today’s blog post and would like to treat me to a cup of Earl Grey tea ($2.75, Starbucks has raised the price of Earl Grey), please click here. And if you do, thanks so much.