These travel essentials lessen the toll frequent flying takes on you, and ensure that you can get the job done once you get to your destination.
As the Editor in Chief for The Phoblographer, I regularly travel to cities across the United States or world to test the latest gear. There are months where I’ll find myself in four or five different cities. For our line of work, reporting remotely isn’t always simple. But we all have our own essentials for travel. Surge protectors have saved my life so many times in Europe. So while on the road, we use a slimmed-down version of what we have at home in the office.
The most important thing to me when traveling is lighting. We need to be able to have control. Something that comes with me is my Profoto B10. It does everything: high-speed sync, continuous light output, powerful flash output, stroboscopic, etc. It’s around the size of a 70-200mm f2.8 lens too. Overall, I can’t complain about it. Without it, we wouldn’t have very much control over the unpredictable lighting we can encounter while traveling.
You can pick up the Profoto B10 for around $1,695.
Gitzo Mini Traveler Tripod
Sometimes to get the shot that you want, particularly when you’re shooting long exposure or from extreme angles, a tripod isn’t so much a luxury as it is a necessity. Unfortunately, many public places have begun mandating permits to use a tripod, while others have banned them outright. In reality, most police don’t care unless you’re blocking a major path or intersection. The Gitzo Mini Traveler tripod’s diminutive form factor helps you keep a low profile. We’ve put it on hard to reach or space-restrictive locations such as banisters, railings, ledges, and very close to the ground for a unique perspective. Despite its small size, the Gitzo Mini Traveler is very sturdy when deployed, and we’ve never experienced stability issues when using it.
The Gitzo Mini Traveler Tripod is available from Adorama for $199.
Cecilia Gallery Card Case
Nothing spoils a trip quite like discovering that one of your memory cards have been damaged, and things go from bad to worse if you happen to have images on the damaged card that you need to deliver to a client. Made out of leather, the Cecilia Gallery Card wallet can store a number of cards. We keep one around often to hold CFExpress, XQD, and SD cards. The best thing is that they’ll fit easily into a pants pocket or your camera bag.
A Good Book
Coupled with headphones, I thoroughly enjoy reading on planes. They’re the best place for me to read. I can go about doing it with little to no distractions. In between activities on trips, there are also lots of reading opportunities, so I often bring one or two with me while traveling.
Swill makes wonderful thermoses. They’re often just the right size and keep drinks warm for a long time or cold for even longer. On trips, I usually have to go hiking or be away from the hotel for a while. In the morning, I’ll load a Swill thermos up with coffee. When I get home, I’ll give it a wash.
WANDRD PRVKE Pack 31
Whether I’m going from one shoot to another around the streets of New York, or flying out of town for an assignment, the WANRD PRVKE Pack has become my go-to case to haul my camera gear. The PRVKE series is super comfortable with all their straps and balancing system. Plus, there’s the accommodating roll-top feature. The bag will fit inside the overhead compartments of most domestic flights, and there’s plenty of room for your expensive camera gear. The interior is padded and laid out well, with enough room to fit a pair of camera bodies along with up to a trio of primes for each. In addition to your cameras and lenses, there’s also enough room to spare for speed lights/pocket strobes and other accessories.
VisibleDust Arctic Butterfly
Getting crap stuck on your lenses or sensor is one of the more annoying things we as photographers have to deal with regularly. The Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly includes a carrying case. In the event that dust or other foreign objects get stuck onto your lens elements or camera sensor while you’re location, the Butterfly will allow you to do a basic cleaning so you can get back to shooting.
Vi Vante Tiger Lambskin Camera Strap
Vi Vante has quickly become one of my favorite camera strap manufacturers. I adore their LambSkin one the most. This isn’t only because I like lamb, but also because it’s nearly perfect. It’s super strong, lightweight, pliable, and doesn’t feel heavy. Their straps are a bit pricey, but innovative.
SYRP Variable ND Filter
For years, we’ve been using SYRP Variable ND filters. They’re incredibly strong, well built, and do a great job. You won’t lose sharpness at all! And though they’re not color neutral, you can always adjust that in-camera.