One for the Album: Capturing That Perfect Travel Shot

 

For the keen photographer, a trip away offers great opportunities to get some outstanding shots. You can stretch your skills by capturing nature, sports, scenery, and portraits in new and dramatic locations.

You can experiment with the different light conditions that you will find around the world. But all this experimenting and discovery means more equipment. It takes some canny packing to take the right stuff. Particularly if you are planning somewhere exciting like a trip to a Safari park in South Africa.

Camera

If you just have the one camera, it’s not difficult to decide which to take. If you have several, think about the weight. Good DSLRs are heavy pieces of kit, and you may not want to lug one around everywhere you go.

Even if you take one, there is a lot to be said for adding a lightweight alternative that you can slip in your pocket to keep your hands and neck free. The latest superzoom cameras are good for this purpose.

Lenses

If you are trying to save on the weight, an all-purpose zoom lens is an obvious candidate. On the other hand, you still get more quality for your money with prime lenses. It depends on your purpose. If you will be photographing animals in a South African game park, you will need to adjust your zoom constantly; if you will mostly be taking portraits and scenery, a prime lens may be all you need.

Tripod

It can be a bulky piece of kit, but a tripod of some sort will make all the difference to your photos. Fortunately, there are light tripods available that will fold down quite small. For something completely different and very light, you could try a GorillaPod. These flexible devices don’t stand on the ground but can be wrapped around railings and branches as well as placed on tables.

Accessories

Spare memory card. You may be confident that you will have space on your primary card, but you don’t want to run out of capacity at an awkward moment.

Tablet or phone. When you have had your visit to the game park and are relaxing at a local hotel like the Marriott Johannesburg Hotel, you will want to start pruning your collection of elephant portraits. It’s much easier to do this on a big screen, so equip your tablet with a card reader or an app that can communicate directly with your camera.

Spare battery and charger. You never want to go out without a fully charged battery, or a spare, or both. Most cameras charge the battery in the camera, but there is something to be said for charging one battery when you are using another. In any case remember that, if you are going overseas, you will probably need a travel adapter. South Africa has quite unusual sockets.

Enjoy Your Album

Wherever you travel, you will want great photos to record the trip. More than that, you never know when you are going to take that shot which will be your greatest ever. No traveler wants to carry too much, but leaving an essential at home could play havoc with your artistic hopes.

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