If you are one of those who travel often or who take photos mainly when you are on vacation, it is very possible that you want to lighten up your photo bag to go more relaxed. However, if your team is quite large, it is not an easy task to decide what to take and what to leave at home. Therefore, there are our recommendations to travel only with the right and necessary.
And it is that, when it comes to preparing the suitcase to travel, photographers always often stalk the same question, what to carry in the backpack or bag and what not to include, with the fear that this means losing an important photo. However, we will agree, that as soon as you start throwing things into the backpack it is easy for it to become too heavy a burden that reduces agility and leads to more fatigue (which can have consequences for your back).
So, for all those travel photographers or who usually go around the world with their photographic equipment, here are our tips to pack your suitcase properly …
Make a list
To get a global idea of the total amount of elements that make up our photographic equipment it is advisable to make a list that contains everything. Then, mark everything you consider essential and what is secondary and, from there, review each of the elements. Consider if you have really cataloged it well (as necessary or dispensable) and, above all, in what it can limit you; that is, what you are going to be able to do (or not) if you include it (or eliminate it) from your bag.
Choose your camera well
We are not going to tell you that you should put the smallest and lightest models ahead of them … But if you travel often, you should consider it . As we have been saying for a few years, modern cameras without mirrorshave helped photographers to have lighter equipment while maintaining (in general lines) the versatility and quality of SLRs.
Even if, for whatever reason, you are still addicted to DSLR, you think that there are more compact and lighter models than others, and that even in the same brand you can buy a lighter camera, even though inside you share such crucial elements as the sensor. . Also, think about your quality needs according to the type of photographs you make and their use. Keep in mind that larger models are usually for professional use, something you will rarely need.
Choose versatile lenses
This is one of the keys for many novice photographers, who think that “since they have it” they must take all their objectives with them. Well, unless you’re a professional travel photographer, you’re usually not going to need more than a couple of goals at the most. For example a good pair would be a standard zum with a distance of 28-70 mm plus a fixed target that would depend on the type of photos you want to make. If you like to take pictures in low light, a small and bright 50mm optic is a good choice; If you like large planes, an ultra-wide-angle lens of 14 or 18 mm; and if you feel a little paparazzi a telephoto lens of 200 mm or similar.
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Think that in principle you will not need overwhelming quality, which standard zoom lenses are usually enough, although it is always advisable to get a certain quality and brightness that usually comes in the camera kit. On the other hand, choosing fixed objectives is an excellent idea because, in addition to providing more quality and luminosity, they are usually smaller and lighter than those with variable focal length.
In any case, faced with the temptation to take everything “just in case”, use the list we talked about before and think about what is the percentage (approximately) of photos you make with each of your objectives. Once you have it choose to take only those that you actually use.
The essential accessories
In principle they are secondary, but there are a number of things that should never be missing in the backpack. The downside is that you can also have a tendency to throw too many things, and although they are usually small items is incredible what can weigh if we spend with all those little accessories. So, perhaps as an alternative to the list at the beginning, if we already have a backpack more or less prepared, it is advisable to take everything we think we carry in our bag and put it with her to get an idea of everything we have.
If we think it’s a lot, we can make the happy list or simply take out all the accessories and just include what is really essential as we tell you in this article. Namely: Memory cards and spare battery (s) (this is not missing), some filters that we really use, more tripod and external flash if we use them.
Tripod and Flash Yes or no?
This is one of the most delicate issues because they can involve significant weight gain or space. To decide, we have to be very clear if they are elements that we are really going to use, and if we are going to do it with certain frequency. Because if its use is going to be residual we can always resort to other things: The retractable flash incorporated in many cameras in the first case, and the different strategies that exist to shoot without a tripod in the second.
However, if they are really accessories that we are going to use often, then it is best to choose a model that occupies and weighs as little as possible. In the case of the flash we may not win much, but in the case of the tripod, being a rather bulky element, there is a lot of variety to choose from. So, our recommendation is that you buy a lightweight carbon tripod (for example like this one we tried recently), although an intermediate alternative can be a good mini-tripod designed for travelers.
Find the right bag
It is another aspect that may be secondary but that has a vital importance. And is that, in addition to helping us take care of our back, a suitable transport bag can allow us to carry more equipment without weighing us too much. Of course we should not fall into the temptation of buying a large backpack to be able to take all our equipment with more comfort, because in the long run it will end up weighing us.
It is best to choose a bag that fits our needs and not the other way around. That is, once you have decided what you want to take, regardless of the accessory (not the accessories), think what would be the backpack or bag that could fit that equipment and if it is comfortable and practical according to your form to photograph
Take only what is necessary
We have already said, but the key to everything is to forget “I’ll take it just in case” and opt for the “less is more”. As we have told on many occasions limiting your team is a good way to exploit your creativity because it will force you to try harder to get the photo you want.
This, obviously, will cost you a bit at first (going too loaded is a typical error of the novices) but with the experience of the years you will discover that there are things that really are very rare that you get to use and, therefore, you can do without them . Thus, you will surely travel lighter without limiting your chances of making good photographs.