Must have gears for travel photography or videography– shoot like a pro
You booked your flight, and you’re fueled. You’re finally taking that trip that you have been dreaming of for a long time. It is a “dream come true” moment. Shouldn’t you capture them so that you can see them later?
Like most people who travel, you want to be able to capture memories from your trip. But you want to go beyond that, you want to really tell a visual story with your photographs or your videos.
But the hardest part is, you are not a professional photographer (like me 😊), you are not planning to make money out of your photos or videos, and on the other hand you do not have the budget to buy those expensive gears, on top of your travel expenses.
In this article, I will cover the most essential photography and videography gears you need when you travel which help you capture your memorable experiences in the best way possible.
The best camera for travel photography – the one you always carry
The main concern on travel photography is to bring the best lightweight gears which can be stuffed into a hand luggage or an average size camera bag.
I personally shoot on a crop sensor Canon DSLR camera, which is bit heavy and bulky, I would suggest you bring a mirrorless camera, which is small in size and lightweight.
Well if you are not rich enough to afford an extra camera, then simply go ahead with what you have.
Camera lenses – which fits your bag and the budget
Camera lenses are pretty heavy in general, and you will be needing three types of lenses to shoot when you travel.
Wide angle lens
Macro or Prime lens
So, three lenses with the body and other accessories will definitely be going to break your back and your bank. Which I used to carry for few of my travels, Then I switched to max two lenses.
Personally, I suggest you carry a zoom lens ranging 18 – 135 and a wide angle lens. With some mobile phone lenses. Which comes handy sometimes.
Camera bag – lightweight and has more storage
No tourist bags here. When you are travelling for a photographic mission or just to take pictures while you enjoy your travel, you need to protect your gear with something durable, water resistant and ergonomic. After all, you are carrying some expensive stuff with you. Could be years of savings.
I bring two bags, an all in one bag, which accommodate all my gears with the laptop. And a shooter bag, a bag large enough to hold the essentials. I suggest a sling bag that is padded enough for an extra lens, and large enough to hold memory cards, wallet, passport and map. This is the perfect solution for travelling around large crowds when a normal camera bag will not suite.
Action camera and its accessories – not just shoot, record
Why not shoot a video while you shoot a photo, or why not shoot every adventure you do on your travel? a good way to share your travel experience with family and friends. Or even put it on YouTube.
The best action camera I would suggest is a GoPro, which is expensive but eventually this is the only action cam which is durable has multiple accessories and serves the purpose.
I suggest GoPro Hero 5, and head strap and a chest mount. I personally will not recommend selfie stick or a stabilizer (gimble) while you travel. It is just an added headache.
Tripod, Monopod, Gorilla pod – Use a multipurpose travel tripod
There are many types of tripods and mounting gears, the best option is to get an all in one gear, there are tripod you can use as a monopod and also can be adjusted to shoot in many angles.
Sometimes I carry a selfie stick and tripod stand which can be attached to it. And a camera holder. It comes handy on doing timelapse videos or even to shoot hood videos.
Other essentials accessories for travel photography
The above list covers the basics of what any travel photographer will need but of course, there are other things that you can add over time that will become incredibly useful in some situations.
Your cameras literally eat your batteries, do not forget to add extra batteries and the charger.
Memory cards & External Hard drives
Always, always bring extra memory. You should never be deleting photos in-camera while on location. Just copy to the external hard drive. There are some good brands with WIFI capabilities where you can transfer your photos from the camera to the hard drive, or just plug the memory card to the hard drive and it will take backup.
Camera cleaning equipment
Lens cloths are critical for dust, sand, and dirt that appear on your lenses. A “puffer” will keep your mirrors and sensor spotless.
ND Filters and UV Filters
If you have extra space in your bag, you can dump some ND & UV filters, you may need to shoot some breathtaking long exposure shot at a beautiful waterfall.
Get a nonbranded camera strap, to hold your camera. So you will not drop it when you enjoy your roller-coaster ride.
Bonus – Mobile App for Travel Photography
Star Walk 2 is an impressively good looking app for astronomy stargazing at any time and place, observing planets, constellations and stars in real time.
Identify stars in the night sky map live!
Star Walk 2 Night Sky Guide: Stars & Planets Finder is a perfect constellation, stars and planets finder and tracker which can be used by both adults and children, space amateurs and serious stargazers to learn astronomy by themselves. It is also a great educational tool for teachers to use during the natural science lessons.
Thanks to the simple and fast Material Design interface you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
This app does NOT shoot photos, it’s a set of tools for your DSLR camera!
Photography needs practice but it gets easier with a good partner. How?
- Choose the Golden Hour for shooting perfect photos.
- Do you need better depth of field? Calculate the hyperfocal distance
- For a fantastic blur effect with your ND filter or for shooting the Milky Way without star trails calculate the correct shutter speed
- Use your smartphone as a camera remote controller*.
- You can also use it for Bulb or Timelapsemode!
Don’t ruin your night photography sessions: select the dark theme!
Contact me for suggestions, problems or any type of information.
*The remote controller function is available only on Samsung, HTC and LG devices which have an IR port and works with compatible Canon, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony cameras.