My Travel Photography Gear
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Without a doubt, whether on the blog here, or on Instagram my #1 most asked question is what travel photography gear do you use? People are always asking what Camera I shoot with, what lenses, what I edit with. Well, here it all is!
So without further ado, here are all my secrets as to what photography gear I haul around the world with me. and PS: This is my first YouTube Video!
A few years back I started becoming more and more interested in photography. Back when I was a dumbass teenager, who thought she was going to become a famous artist one day, I thought that photography was art for people too lazy to create with their own capabilities. Ie: painting, drawing, sculpting, etc….. Boy, was I wrong.
Fast forward a few years as I stand over my newly dropped Canon Powershot SX230 HS under the blazing morning Cambodian sun at Angkor Thom. It would turn on, but when I would try to take a photo it was a 80/20 to whether it was going to take a photo. The 80% is the number against me.
So I had our tuk-tuk driver who went by Spiderman quickly take us to a camera shop back in Siem Reap. This was the day, I had been promising myself I was going DSLR after the Powershot for some time.
I walked out with the Canon 600D/t3i, and that’s where it really started. I mean really, really started… the borderline obsession.
Then fast forward to 2016, here I am. Still always toting a camera around. And believe it or not, all this gear I’m about to show you (with the exception of my tripod that I hook onto the outside) fits in a pretty small backpack!
Remember though you don’t need a big fancy DSLR camera to take great photos. There are amazing photographers out there shooting with just a smart phone. To me composition is key, and proper editing is a must. Any camera is a good camera.
So here it is guys: the Travel Photography Gear behind this blog, behind my Instagram feed.
I have to admit, I still feel like this is waaaaaaay too much camera for me. I was perfectly happy with my Canon 600D. But as a gift, Grant bought me the Canon 5DS-R. And I’ll admit I’m totally and completely in love with this camera. It is a full frame camera and it comes with a hefty price tag of $3,899 USD. Yikes. I can’t believe I now own a camera that costs nearly as much as my first car did.
Of course I’m not saying that Canon is the way to go. My first digital point and shoot was a Kodak, then a Nikon. I stayed with Nikon for a while until I received my Canon Powershot SX230 HS as a college graduation gift. I ended up choosing to go with Canon on that fateful day I broke the Powershot only because my Mom (who works in a photo lab) suggested I stay with the same brand.
My cousin shoots with Nikon along with many friends of mine. I play with Nikon cameras from time to time and they are great.
I’d love to give one of those Sony A7II mirrorless cameras a try, but out of fear of liking it and having to completely switch over- I haven’t picked one up yet. It is tempting after seeing so many extremely successful photographers- such as Gary Arndt make the switch.
I still lug this body around with me. In the unfortunate event of needing a back up, I like to have it with me. It’s a good camera, its been through the abuse of me learning how to use it, how to shoot in manual, how to shoot the night sky. This is a great camera to get your photography footing on. It’s a crop sensor camera, so I also will use it to give me that extra zoom with my telephoto lens on occasion.
I only travel with three lenses. That’s it. Of course I have other’s at home- a variety of wide angles, even a macro lens… The beauty of two people obsessed with cameras living under the same roof.
This is my go-to standard lens. I shoot lots of landscape shots on this lens. It’s the lens you’ll find on my camera most of the time.
Fully manual and tricky to get the hang of, but this is my favorite lens of them all. It’s super wide angle- so it’s my go-to for my photos involving the night sky, especially with that f/2.8. Plus this lens has a wallet-friendly price tag for the quality it provides.
My telephoto and my newest purchase. I love what I have taken on this lens- which got it’s most use so far in the Galapagos.
Not truly a lens, more of a lens accessory. This bad boy doubles the zoom on lenses you use this in conjunction with. My 70-200mm turns into a 140-400mm using the 2x teleconverter.
It does come with some downsides- Autofocus can be spotty with it, photos do turn out darker than they should so to compensate knock your f/ down a couple stops, and fully zoomed in you do lose some sharpness. The win- it’s a whole hell of a lot cheaper than purchasing a lens with zoom capabilities to 400+mm. If I shout wildlife professionally I might be swayed to upgrade, but for the less than $200 USD I spent on this, it does the job.
More Associated Gear!
Not an absolute must, but it does come in handy when shooting in extreme cold. It holds two batteries in it. Check out battery grips here.
Neutral Density Filter
I’ll admit, I don’t have the best of the best, but this does the trick. I had my parents grab me a cheap set of filters off eBay a couple years ago as an Xmas gift. You can invest and buy high quality glass ND filters. Or another hack (not personally tested) is to get some welding glass sheets. I use these to take long exposure shots when the lighting is just too bright. Shop ND filters here.
Using Lens caps to hold your SD cards
An oldie but a goodie- people have been doing this for ages.
Gadgets I use in Conjunction with my travel photography gear.
iPad Mini, Clamcase, SD card reader for iPad.
My baby laptop! I have an iPad mini. The clamcase is a blue tooth keyboard that your iPad clicks into. Then adding the SD card reader– now you’ve got the ability to load your photos onto the Lightroom app and voila: Photo editing on the road without the bulk of bringing a laptop with you!
If you’re the type to wander off into the great outdoors- possibly for days on end with zero access to electricity, then a solar charger is a handy item to tote along with you. Don’t buy this one pictured (by Allpowers, it sucks! I know from personal experience). I’m back on the market for a new solar charger.
You got a couple options here: If traveling with a lap top and the ability to transfer files over, then an external hard drive is a great way to go. If not, well- plan to bring lots and lots of SD cards.
For Underwater and Filthy Places:
Without a doubt: The GoPro! What an easy to use durable camera.
Want to Travel and Shoot Drone footage?
So that is what comprises my travel photography gear.
I hope this answers all of your questions!
Do you have any hacks you use? What gear do you all use? I’m always open to new ideas!