Essential Camera Gear for Travel Photography
Camera Gear is as essential in photography today as buying an camera. The saying runs true that if you are an artist you just need your phone and you can create wonders, but in today’s world wit all the competition and regular technology enhancements, it has become really important that you choose the right gear for you to make your photos stand out in the crowd.
Those of us who love spectacular photo images, especially those we have worked to capture ourselves, know the value and advantages of good camera gear.
We also know the importance of a good plan before embarking on any trip. A crucial part of this planning stage is to ensure that all necessary, and possibly needed, camera gear is packed in your camera bag ready to go.
My travel camera gear that I am detailing below is something I have worked and studied for years and it took me a long time to build this list. It includes the equipment and accessories that are necessary for the types of photographs and videos I tend to capture.
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A) Camera Bag (The Must have camera gear):
A good backpack is the foundation of any travel photographer’s kit. A well-designed pack that fits and carries well when hiking and is equipped with pockets and organizing sections is a must.
Here are three great backpacks I recommend in various circumstances. All of these backpacks are well designed with adjustable belts and straps to properly distribute the pack weight on our bodies while hiking.
- The Dakine Mission Photo Backpack is used for smaller landscape excursions that will not require a lot of supplies or the use of large lenses.
- The Lowepro Flipside 500 AW Backpack is best for photo trips that will necessitate the use of a large lens like Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L. Since some always carry two camera bodies, one can carry the Dakine pack and one can carry the Lowepro so they are prepared for any wildlife or landscape shot.
- The Lowepro Pro Trekker 650 AW is a large capacity bag that can be used to transport your camera gear on the airplane or longer road trips that will require more lenses and supplies.
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B) Intervalometer :
A remote shutter release intervalometer is fantastic for decreasing camera shake caused by the pressure of your finger activating the camera shutter. Using this items results in sharper images.
I’ve used expensive and cheap models and find that they all wear out quickly. I always carry an extra because it’s frustrating when the shutter release goes out on you in the middle of a shoot. You can compensate for this by using the camera timer, but it is inconvenient. You will need to search for a remote shutter release for your specific camera model.
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C) Gorrilapod and Mount
I personally love the JOBY Grip Tight GorillaPod Stand to use with my smartphone because the legs wrap securely around any surface. It does a wonderful job stabilizing the phone when capturing video sequences as we drive or hike. I use this as a selfie stick as well.
There are GorillaPod stands for point and shoot, DSLR and smart phones. Be sure to get the correct mount for your camera needs. Some stands don’t include the mount – I prefer the metal Jellyfish Mount – read the description of the item to make sure you have a stand AND mount.
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D) Lens Cleaning Kits
When you are in the field your camera interacts with lots of dust particles which is not good for your camera lenses as well as sensors. A quick field cleaning is sometimes necessary to remove dust or water droplets on your lens.
A good camera cleaning kit should include a lens pen, cleaning fluid in a spray bottle, air blower, microfiber cleaning cloths and a soft brush.
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E) Camera Lens Filters:
Want to get those soft misty water shots in broad daylight or more blurr effect during the daytime you need to use filters with your lens to get those amazing misty shots.
Circular Polarizer and Neutral Density filters are nice pieces of equipment to have, but pay the price for a name brand. You don’t put cheap glass in front of your expensive lens.
Circular Polarizers are great for bringing out the color and depth of your landscape shots.
Neutral Density Filters can be very helpful in obtaining a blurred motion with water scenes and when shooting in high light conditions.
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F) Tripods :
A good sturdy tripod is worth the investment and can make a tremendous difference in the sharpness of your photos.
My Mefoto Carbon Fiber Globetrotter is the perfect lightweight tripod for long hikes or when I won’t be using a large, heavy lens.
There are many quality tripods of varying sizes and capacities. Evaluate your needs and spend the money to obtain a good quality tripod to meet those needs. It will definitely pay for itself in the quality of your images.
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To determine which lenses to pack, you must know what images you want to capture. Will you photograph landscape, wildlife, waterfalls or all of the above?
- Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens: This is my primary landscape lens that gives me a wide angle as well as telephoto to get closer shots.
- Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM : This is the lens I use for Portraight photography, It is also very good for low light candid photography.
- Rokinon 24mm F/1.4 Aspherical Wide Angle Lens: This is a great lens if you want to capture the Stars or the milkyway.
- Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens : This is the great supertelephoto lens if you need one for your work.
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H) External Battery charger and Hard drive :
Eliminate the need for an electrical outlet to charge your phone by using an external battery charger.
I normally use my smartphone as a camera and video recorder most of the day when I am traveling, which can drain the battery pretty quickly. An external battery charger gives my phone a full charge when I am outdoors exploring. I carry it my backpack and plugs it into my phone so it can charge while I am away from the car or hotel.
Electronic devices cannot be trusted this is the reason I always backup my work whenever I can this is where my External hard drive comes in hand.
Create a photo back-up process that you do at the end of EVERY PHOTO SHOOT. You don’t want to lose photos left in the camera if something corrupts the memory card.
My image back-up system:
- IMMEDIATELY after a day of shooting, I download the photos to my main computer if I am home, or my laptop if I’m on the road.
- I also copy the photos to a portable external hard drive. These are my back-up copies.
- I then save the photos to my cloud storage if I am home, or once I return home from a trip.
When traveling keep your laptop and portable hard drive in two separate places – if your laptop is locked in the hotel safe while you are out exploring, be sure to carry the portable hard drive with you as they are small and lightweight.
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This concludes my article on must have camera gear in your bag I hope you like it. Please share and support than you.