How to Prep For Summer Travel Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials for th Strobist Street Photographer (2 of 9)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 3.5

Travelling is something that lots of us should try to do at least once a year if we can afford it. During the summer, you can travel light while still fully enjoying the sights and sounds of a big beautiful city or a secluded escape from the hustle and bustle. There is a lot more that you’ll need to remember besides the normal camera gear though.

 

Bring Lots of Batteries

Battery Port

The first thing you should know is that while you’re out and about shooting and being a tourist is that your battery life on all your devices are going to go. A great idea is not only only bring extra batteries but if you can fit a power source into your camera bag then totally do so. In the case of Sony and Samsung cameras, the charging ports are the same as Android phones–and that can be plugged into a little portable power source to charge your Android phone and your camera if need be.

But there are loads of other sources that you can use to charge your battery if needed: one of the most common being a car charger.

Having enough power is going to be important to documenting an awesome trip. But of course, don’t get so caught up in taking photos that you lose sight of having fun.

Pro Tip: Besides all the camera gear remember the important stuff. Have allergies or an easily irritable stomach? Carry some meds in your camera bag

Pro Tip: Besides all the camera gear, remember the important stuff. Have allergies or an easily irritable stomach? Carry some meds in your camera bag. This image was shot in Carmel Valley, CA

One Camera, Two Zooms, Two Primes

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm XM1 review images (6 of 6)ISO 2001-55 sec at f - 5.6

While all of this may sound like a lot to put into a camera bag, it’s the most that you could possibly need. On a personal note, I’m much more of a one lens and one camera type of guy but two zooms and two fast prime lenses should be able to cover just about any situation that you’ll want to tackle. Most folks typically have something like this in their kit but generally only have one lens that is constantly glued to their camera.

You have the option of bringing one lens with you and leaving the rest in another back at your hotel room.

Keep It Light

Staffs Favorite Bags  20120512Gservo-8699

When you’re travelling, you’re walking around or moving about all day and sometimes all night. During the summer, it tends to get much warmer than in any other month. So in order to help prevent dehydration, you’ll want to keep your daily walkabout kit light and only stick to the essentials. You’re best off bringing one camera and two lenses max or keeping your camera strapped around you at all times.

Pro Tip: Always bring your camera with you. This image was shot in New Orleans, LA.

Pro Tip: Always bring your camera with you. This image was shot in New Orleans, LA.

Use an Eye-Fi Card or Built-in Wifi

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer EyeFi Mobi Cloud intro (1 of 1)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

A great idea to be able to share photos immediately is to use an Eye-Fi Mobi card or Wifi built into your camera if your camera has it. This will let you share some JPEGs immediately while the RAWs stay on your card to let you have more editing versatility later on. The best time to upload images is to wait until you have some down time and are reviewing them on your camera.

It’s very satisfying and even really fun.

Pro Tip: Most big cities are open to photography in public because of the fact that they want to encourage tourism. But the laws may vary.

Pro Tip: Most big cities are open to photography in public because of the fact that they want to encourage tourism. But the laws may vary. This image was taken in Berlin, GE.

Bring a Small Camera Bag for Daily Travel/Touring

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Building on what we said about travelling light, don’t think about bringing the same bag that you bring to a wedding shoot to walking about while on vacation. You’ll need something a bit restrictive that forces you to only bring the most important things. This will be the lightest camera bag to tote around with you while still letting you bring more stuff (like souvenirs) if you’d like.

We recommend taking a normal day bag and converting it to a camera bag if possible.

Leave Your Computer/iPad Back at Your Hotel Room

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You’re much better off not travelling with your computer or your tablet lest it may get stolen. Leave them back in your hotel room and don’t add the excessive weight to your camera bag. Instead, use that extra room for other things like pamphlets, maps, etc. When you get back for th day, you can sit down and upload your images to your computer which means that you can then format your SD/CF card and give you enough memory space for another day and night of shooting.

Pro Tip: While a cities architecture can surely be great subject matter, keep in mind that there are lots of great things happening only a couple of feet away from you. This image was shot in Nashville, TN.

Pro Tip: While a cities architecture can surely be great subject matter, keep in mind that there are lots of great things happening only a couple of feet away from you. This image was shot in Nashville, TN.

Research Photography Laws in the City That You’re Touring

Pro Tip: Some of the best times to shoot landscapes are during the Golden Hour and the Blue Hour. Don't start packing up until you need to crank your ISOs up.

Pro Tip: Some of the best times to shoot landscapes are during the Golden Hour and the Blue Hour. Don’t start packing up until you need to crank your ISOs up. This image was shot in Chinatown, NYC.

Lastly, we have to recommend that you always look up the laws on photography in the city that you’re going to. For example, in NYC you can photograph anything freely as long as you’re in public. If you take up more than six feet of space, you need a permit. Conversely, you can photograph anything in public in Berlin as long as there are more than five people in the image. If there are less, then you’ll need a model release.

Safe travels!

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