Traveling gives you the opportunity to see and experience all of the beautiful, one-of-a-kind scenery that is unique to any particular location. Whether you’re planning a photography road trip or an overseas photography tour of some of the world’s most exotic destinations, you’ll want to be equipped with the right gear to capture the majestic beauty of each destination in the exact same way you viewed and experienced it.
Be prepared by bringing a comprehensive travel photography kit of all the essential items you will need to take stunning photographs.
Here are six of the most essential gear for travel photography.
Mirrorless or DSLR camera
Packing light is a must when it comes to travel. But since photography gear can significantly add weight to your luggage, it’s important to choose items that are compact and lightweight.
Pick a travel-friendly camera that will allow you to plenty of creative freedom to capture the photos you want to take. You can go with either a mirrorless camera or a DSLR—just keep in mind that it should be something that you can comfortably carry around with you during those long walks and hikes.
If you prefer the flexibility that the interchangeable lens capability of a DSLR can give you, then by all means, choose that option. However, most DSLR cameras can be bulky, so make sure to choose a model that is relatively lightweight and easy-to-use, like the Canon EOS 200D which weighs around 453 to 456 grams, and will be launched a few weeks from now as of writing. If you want something more compact that gives you all the functionality of a DSLR, consider a mirrorless camera instead.
Here’s another tip: if you’re planning on traveling to multiple countries, from extremely cold to extremely hot weather, choose a camera that’s weatherproof as well.
Most experts would suggest that you take a variety of high-quality lenses with you when you travel: a zoom lens and a prime lens. When choosing a zoom lens for travel, make sure it covers a wide range of focal lengths while still being relatively lightweight. A zoom lens is a great tool for helping you take sharp, high-quality photos from afar, during those instances when it is virtually impossible to get up close to your subject.
For shooting majestic landscapes, you will definitely need a wide angle lens. This will allow you to include more of the scene in the photo, which is important when capturing an expansive, almost panoramic view of the scenery
As for the prime lens, make sure to choose one that is fast and compact enough to use as a walkaround lens. This will be a great companion for shooting portraits of the locals, capturing the eclectic charm of the night markets, and other street photography applications. Having a prime lens with a fast aperture allows you to capture subjects in low light, and allows you to get a shallower depth of field which results in a more dramatic image with stunning background blur.
Travel photography relies mostly on natural light, and as you may I already know, the color and intensity of natural light can be unpredictable. To somehow have control over this, you need to use lens filters for your shots. Here are the kinds of filters you must have in your travel photography arsenal:
- Polarizing filter – selectively filters polarized light; it is ideal for shooting subjects with expansive blue skies or bodies of water as it minimizes glare and reflections, increases contrast, and makes the colors in the image more vibrant.
- UV filter – reduces the UV light passing through the lens and also doubles as protection for the front lens element.
- Color filter – tweaks the white balance of a scene for creative or corrective purposes.
- Neutral Density filter – reduces the natural light that enters the lens, which helps you achieve optimum exposure for your photos.
A lightweight and collapsible tripod is a must, especially if you intend to take photos at night when there are limited light sources available, or for shooting panoramic images while using slow shutter speeds. Night photography requires that you slow down the shutter speed so you can still take pictures with good exposure, and a tripod helps you achieve that by providing maximum stability and reducing camera shake.
If you prefer something lighter and more compact, a monopod is a good option too.
Universal Power Adapter
All cameras run on battery power, so you will obviously need a convenient and effective means to charge yours at any given time. However, it can be difficult to find a compatible power outlet when traveling, so having a universal power adapter with you at all times is a must. This will allow you to charge your camera, batteries, and other gadgets you may need for shooting without hassle.
Additionally, make sure to bring some extra batteries to ensure a full day of shooting.
Extra Memory Cards and External Hard Drive
More often than not, travel photography will require you to be outside all day, with no time to sit down and transfer your RAW files to your laptop in the event that your memory card runs out of storage. Therefore, it is extremely important to have some extra memory cards on hand to avoid running out of storage while you shoot.
Once you get back to your hotel room, you’re probably going to want to back everything up to avoid losing all those photos you took. But RAW files are quite large, so make sure to bring an external hard drive for extra disk space.
And there you go—the most essential travel photography gear that you will need to help you capture the best images possible, even on the go.
Now, you’ll always be ready to capture the fleeting sights and memorable moments you encounter during travel.
Over to you!
What photography gear can’t you leave home without?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.