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Photography gear for tours

It’s not an uncommon situation, to finally got to the vacation destination and to find that some important gear has been forgotten in the preparation rush. It is true as for your personal belongings, as for photography gear, if one is planning to photograph during the trip. Unfortunately sometimes It is true, even if you grabbed everything that “might be helpful”.

To simplify your life we list the gear to consider for your trip. Choosing what to take, please keep in mind the following:

  • The duration of your trip. How often will you have an access to electricity to recharge your batteries, and download/backup photos from the camera(s)
  • Climate. Batteries have lower capacity on cold. Camera/flash can be overheated in hot conditions
  • Special conditions: high humidity, dust, dirt. You might need special protection and cleaning tools
  • Primary type of your photography: night (need flashlight, light lens, flash), macro (macro lens), landscape (wide lens, tripod), underwater (aqua case), etc.

So, please use the following list wise. We used stars to suggest the importance of a gear (3*** – very important)

List of gear for photography tours

Consider the entire photo gear for the volume of your future photo bag. Backpack style suits better for travelling with heavier load. It fees your hands, but it is not comfortable to get things in and out.

Good brands have a weather cover in the bottom pocket. It is not only helpful in rain, but also in windy dusty areas. Besides it protects your gear for additional few seconds, while you’re rescuing the backpack from the water.

(***) Wide lens is a need in a trip. Any zoom lens within 12мм to 50мм on crop, (or 24 – 70 on full frame) makes you flexible in most of situations, including: street photography, cityscape, landscape, or panoramic images.

(**) Telephoto lens (70мм+ full frame) is convenient to have to photograph sport, animals, insects (macro telephoto).

(*) Portrait lens (35-70мм, no zoom, wide aperture) is suitable if you plan to photograph city portraits with nicely washed out backgrounds. I rarely use this lens in my trips, as I like to include more unique background to my shots.

(*) Due to the weight considerations I’d rather leave at home lenses like: “fish eye”, tilt-shift, macro lens. Unless your trip is dedicated to photographing architecture, or insects.

With all my love to prime lenses, I prefer zoomed ones for trips. They fit to more situations on a single camera body. The negative side is that they are heavier and larger, so theyu attract more attention on the street.

Just a few important ones.

(***) Protective filter, or UV. It is your primary protection for an expensive lens from dust, water, scratches , and so on. Mulicoated UV (usually has letter D in its name) fades angle light ghosts.

(**) ND-filter, or Neutral Density (darkening) filter is helpful if you intent to photograph on rather open apertures in a bright light. It also useful for some long shutter speed effects.

(***) Polarized filter is a need in cityscape and landscape photography during the day.

Remember to match the brand(price) of your filter to the price of your lens. It is easy to loose all the advanced glass technologies of a lens with a cheap filter.

Only if you plan to photograph night events, like carnivals, or night portraits, or to photograph indoor with uncertain light.

Very important, especially for remote places, possibly without electricity.

Even if you own a humongous flash card, I recommend to have a few spare ones. Just in case of a physical damage etc. Choosing the volume consider the possibility to periodically copy/backup flash cards to an external hard drive.

It is important only if you’re going to photograph big spaces (cityscapes, landscapes, panoramas), or practice night photography. Other than that think twice whether to carry this heavy gear along.

It is a fun gear, but only indispensable when you’re going to practice underwater photography. If you anticipate water activities (fountains, water festivals, waterfalls), aqua case will allow to take some very unique shots. Alternatively, with some limitations,  it is possible to use a zip-lock bag for rain type photography.

You should minimum have a micro fiber cleaning rag. Good addition is the LensPen brush-cleaner. Finally, a blow rocket will save you from unnecessary catches on your filter, and dust on your sensor.

Take it to save your thoughts, inspirations, and exchange addresses with new friends. Take a lot more pens, if you go to India. Kids in villages will be happy to have this simple gift with foreign text on it.

It always good to have an additional level of security for your photos. Good practice to have at least one hard drive for the whole group.

This is just a major gear, which is difficult to survive without. Remember that each item in your bag is an additional weight to carry in heat on a daily basis.

You can also check the article about PERSONAL BELONGINGS FOR A TOUR.

As usually, I’ll be glad to answer your questions, or provide more clarification on the topic of this article:

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