How much photography equipment should I take with me while travelling? This is something that has taken me a while to master. Even today I find reasons to bring equipment I know I probably won’t use. But the key to being a great travel photographer, or any type of photographer for that matter, is not about the gear you take and use, but the way in which you use the gear you have at your disposal.
Knowing how much to take and what to leave behind is a difficult task, one in which can take some practice, hard choices and sometimes even some compromises.
How much photography equipment should I take?
How I pack for an overseas trip
When I am packing for an overseas trip I want to be able to get the best quality images I possibly can with as little as possible. The items listed below are the bare minimum I need. I carry one DSLR body paired with my an all round 24-70mm lens. The only other lens I carry in my bag is a telephoto zoom lens but I don’t always take that. As well as my main body and two lenses I carry a GoPro, this allows me to take wider shots but also doubles up as a selfie camera and an underwater camera. I also carry a small G7x camera.
The only other essential item I need is a tripod. I have two and depending on where I am going and how long I am going for will decide if I take both or just one. The two tripods I own are a Manfrotto 190Xprob and a Joby Gorillapod. Both are handy for different situations.
The below items are the things I sometimes take but sometimes don’t. An intravelomtre or wireless triggers for taking long exposure shots and some filters. I may also take a Polaroid camera just for those fun little shots.
When preparing for a trip you should ask yourself four questions.
1. How long am I travelling?
Depending on how long you are travelling for will determine whether you will want to take a lot of stuff or a smaller amount. If you are going on an 8-month trip you probably don’t want to be lugging around 10 – 15 kilograms of photography equipment.
2. What kind of trip am I going on?
Are you going on a backpacking trip through South East Asia? Are you going on a luxurious 3 week holiday in Europe? Or are you going on a hiking expedition to Machu Pichu? Depending on the trip will also help you to understand what gear you are going to take with you.
3. What am I going to be photographing?
Are you going to be photographing the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand? Are you going to the Philippines to do underwater photography? Or are you going to be doing street photography in Tokyo? The things you want to take photos of will also help you to understand the types of lens and camera accessories you will need to bring along.
4. Will I use this enough to justify packing it?
This is possibly the most important question you have to ask yourself and the toughest to answer. You may think you need something just in case, then you go on your adventure and come back home without ever touching it. You need to be able to justify bringing everything in your bag, space is limited and the more you take with you the more you have to pay for baggage and the heavier your stuff is going to be. If you are only packing something just in case, then you probably don’t need to take it.
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The photography equipment you should always take
There are things you should always take, no matter what. The main two being your camera and your most useful lens, the lens that will be used at least 80% of the time. Next is your storage options, you should take several memory cards and extra batteries, these things aren’t heavy, they don’t take up much room in your luggage and they are very important. You should also carry a lens cloth or two to keep your lenses free from dust and fingerprints.
Thanks for reading How much photography equipment should I take with me while travelling. Let us know in the comment section your tips for packing, or not packing photography equipment.
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