Travel-friendly basic photography gear guide
Memories last a lifetime, but memories captured on film last for eternity. Whenever we travel, we seek to preserve some of the sights we experience– of mother nature’s boundless glory and customs and traditions completely foreign – through photography, whether it’s through the eyes of a professional, DLSR-wielding photographer or a backpacker with just an iPhone. Before you hit the road again, make sure you’ve covered packing ground by checking out our recommended basic travel photography gear guide.
A set of filters
Think polarizing, neutral density (ND) and UV filters – they weight basically nothing but can be a complete photo game changer. Filters are especially handy if you’re looking to do a spot of landscape photography, as they help with scenes featuring expansive blue skies or bodies of water or allowing you to achieve optimum exposure. This set by Hoya includes all 3 and comes with a handy pouch for easy packing and added protection.
Not sure what filters you need? Read our guide here.
A portable tripod
We all know too well how some tripods can be heavy and bulky – issues you definitely don’t want to be dealing with while traveling. Designed for professional camera rigs, we love the Joby GorillaPod Focus as it can hold up to 11.1 pounds of weight while being super lightweight at just 1.1 pounds. The unique design of its legs allow you to mount it onto uneven surfaces and even around trees, branches or signage, allowing you to experiment with some creative composition.
Here are our top tips to improving your composition.
A solid, plane-friendly suitcase
If you can’t avoid having to bring a ton of gear for say a work shoot, we love this roller suitcase for such trips! Featuring in-built locks, padded pockets for your 10-inch tablet and 15inch laptop and a reinforced handle, breeze through the airport without breaking a sweat. It fits up to 2 griped DLSRs (with lenses) and an additional 2-4 lenses and weighs less than 5kg. The bag even comes with a length of cable so you can attach it to something (like a sign post) and keep it safe while you’re out on the field.
A chic messenger bag
If you don’t have to bring that much gear, then opt for this stylish messenger gear bag created in collaboration with photographer Trey Ratcliff. Featuring a convenient MagLatch closure, a weatherproof and expandable outer shell, padded straps and extra compartments, this bag is equal parts form and function. We love how the dividers are customizable, meaning you can customize the bag to perfectly fit exactly what you need for different trips.
Film guard bags
If you shoot with film, you don’t want to risk damaging your rolls during the X-Ray inspection. You can request to have your film inspected separately, but with the hustle and bustle at most airports, this request is often denied. The next best thing you can do is to use lead-lined protection bags; just make sure to check you got the correct one for your film speed.
Ziploc bags and silica gel packets
If you’re traveling to cold countries or humid, rainy climates, your best line of defense against moisture is an old-fashioned Ziploc bag loaded with silica gel packets. If you’ve been shooting all day out in the cold, place your camera and lens in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag and only open it once it comes to room temperature. This prevents condensation, which can really damage your camera’s sensitive electrical components. We like lining our gear bags with extra silica gel packets too, because the climate difference between a dry plane and humid rainforest can also be a threat. They cost next to nothing, but could potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Shop them at any Daiso outlet.
A rugged hard disk
Added storage space is crucial, especially if, say, you’ve joined us for one of our 10 day expeditions. As you’ll most likely be shooting in RAW format, you’ll find that you’ll burn through your memory cards in no time. Plus, having a duplicate of all those amazing photos in a hardy, back up drive is always a good photography practice. We recommend The Silicon Power Armor A80, boasting a waterproof, rigid aluminum casing that has passed military-grade drop tests. It can even endure 500 pounds of force, while transferring your data at high speeds thanks to its USB 3 interface.