We all want to take great photographs of our adventures to relive the experiences again and again. Just 5 years ago I went on safari and wanted to make sure I captured every photo opportunity. Looking as if I worked for National Geographic, I filled a camera case with a film SLR camera, a digital SLR camera, lenses, rolls of film, filters, extra batteries and chargers, power converter, extra memory cards, lens cleaners and camera manuals lugged it everywhere. The only thing missing was a tripod. Needless to say it was a lot of extra weight on a trip that already imposed weight limitations. After bringing all that gear to Africa, I found myself only shooting with my digital camera for 3 weeks. Lesson learned. Now I only bring my DSLR camera, its accessories and I’ve replaced my film camera with a compact digital point and shoot one.
Here are a few camera gear tips I’ve learned from my travels…
Cameras: Bring at least two in case one malfunctions, gets dropped or worst case, stolen. I find I get all my photo needs met sufficiently by bringing my Canon DSLR and my space saving Canon Powershot. It’s easy to ask a stranger to take my picture with a point and shoot rather than having to explain how the DSLR works. Plus, it has a video function. Also, my phone’s camera is an emergency backup.
Batteries: I use rechargeable batteries. I make sure to bring extra in case I’m in a remote part of the world where electricity is not readily available.
Memory Cards: Get a few of the highest storage capacity cards. This avoids having to delete photos further into the trip because the memory card is full. I take tons of pictures at the highest megapixel setting to ensure I get the best shot. That can fill up memory cards pretty quick. I do not bring a computer when I travel, so downloading doesn’t occur until I get home.
Accessories: Adventure travel usually means weight restrictions so bring only the necessary accessories. Depending on the destination I usually bring 1 to 2 lenses, 2 filters and a lens chamois cloth.
National Geographic photographer Bill Hatcher has some great adventure photography tips to help get that perfect shot. I’d like to add one tip- Really see your surroundings. Look and enjoy the area you’re about to photograph. Not only look at your surroundings through the lens, look at it with your eyes. Being in the moment of the trip should be first then capturing the moment digitally should be secondary.