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Getting Prepared for Travel and Holiday Photography

Before leaving your house with the whole package on your back for your summer vacations, some tips are good to know or recall for your camera safety, to take the most original shots and just to enjoy your trip!

Before starting the count down, it is important to determine what type of photography you are going to do. Are you just looking for some souvenirs and selfies, then in this case a Point&Shoot ( theRX100M III is probably one of the best for this. Otherwise for $80, you can get great holiday pictures with this Sony W800) or even a smartphone can do the job, no need to bring 20 pounds (10kg) of equipment and come back at work with a backache!

Should you bring 1, 2, 3, 4 lenses?
Getting prepared for travel photography. What are you going to bring? Choosing the right gear for travel photography- iLHP
Getting prepared for travel photography. What are you going to bring?

But if you are an enthusiast photographer and if the light and the depth of field and the overall quality of your pictures matter the most, then you will consider bringing your “stuff” with you. If you really want to travel light, then a 24-70mm or a 24-105mm will do the job as an all-around lens. Or if you want to travel very light with your DSLR, some pancake

primes can be interesting like a 35mm or a50mm, that’s up to you.  But in order to make a trip unforgettable, you need to have some very original shots. Not that you cannot have original shots with a standard zoom lens, but an ultra wide angle even maybe a fish-eye if you like this style, will help you a lot as this is an extreme lens. Personally I use a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. That’s how I would compose my bag but if you still think it’s not enough, then a long focal length zoom or prime could be added but these lenses are very heavy so I do not recommend it for a travel. My default bag for travel would be the 24-105mm with an ultra wide angle, a spare battery, tripod, filters (ND1000and Polarizer) and a blower to clean the sensor. It goes without saying that you bring your lens hoods with you. That should be around 6 pounds (3kg) which is totally acceptable.

10 tips for travel photography
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The extreme end of Key West, Florida. The southernmost point in the Continental US

10/ Make your camera look old and a little damaged. The idea here is to avoid to have your camera stolen by making it look bad. It won’t be as appealing and you will be more discreet as well. You can also use a classic back-pack to be more discreet. Back-packs specifically designed for cameras can be very obvious. Everybody knows a 5DIII or a D610 or A7II are expensive cameras.

marni eiffel DARK iLHP.
The Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero, Paris, France. Photo credit Alyssa Black

9/ Take a picture of your business card or a paper with your contacts on it. If you lose your camera and someone finds it, this person can contact you. which would be very nice. Do the same with you smartphone and set it as the lock screen.

8/ Again, try to have a bag as light as possible. Mirrorless cameras are known to be light and small and thus very convenient for travel photography. Depending on the size of your sensor (micro 4/3rd, APS-C, full-frame) the lenses will be more or less heavy and big. The smaller the sensor, the smaller the lens. Think about your shoulders and back after hours walking under the sunlight… You want to enjoy your vacations, not workout! :-)

7/ Take a climbing sling to attached your DSLR to your wrist as a hand strap. You can also use it as a tripod strap. That can also help you secure a “tripod stick” to have very original angles of view and perspectives like in the video above! You can also use the Cuff and the Leash camera strap from Peak Design.

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Helsinki, Finland. Photo credit IdeaLuz Photography

6/ Remove tourists from your photos. You have 2 different solutions. The first one is to take 10 to 15 frames and combine them with Photoshop for instance. The second solution is to use an ND filter (usually ND400 to ND1000 depending on the weather and light available) and shoot very long exposure shots. 10 to 20 seconds should be enough. If you shoot 1-2 seconds, you will have some people sharp and other blur which also gives a cool effect. Especially in airport and big train stations.

5/ Throw a GoPro in the air for some aerial shots or attach it to original things during your trip like a paddle for instance which will give you some unique angle shots.

4/ Take polaroids for the people you meet and make friends. You can share it instantaneously. It’s an awesome tip to meet and get friendly with the people you meet. You can use the Instax mini.

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Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Photo credit IdeaLuz Photography

3/ back-up your photos and invest in a quality hard drive. Make 3 copies of your photos. In your computer, the external hard drive (like this one or this one) and another copy in a separate location. You don’t want to loose all your pictures for a mistake or because someone stole your camera.

2/Get up early to have the best light and less tourists to bother you. As said in the video:” Don’t be lazy and miss the sunrise, the light is awesome!”

1/ If you find an especially good location, wait to get the ideal moment and press the shutter button!

Boston harbor- iLHP
Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.

Chris


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