TIPS: Travel Easily With Your Photography Equipment
Published 22nd October 2012
Going on a trip with all your photography gear can be quite complicated and can cause trouble sometimes, but doing otherwise is not an option for anyone dedicated to photography. So what’s a passionate photographer to do? There’s no need to panic. Here are some tips you can carry with you in your trip so you’ll have a smooth and productive traveling experience.
1. If you’re traveling by plane, keep your camera on board with you to ensure that it’s in good condition and safe from damages. Part of the process is going through metal detectors. Ask the attendant to hand-screen your film instead. To make it faster and more convenient, carry it in clear canisters or plastic bags. If you’re sure that your destination will have some place where you can buy film, you might want to consider purchasing it once you arrive instead. That is to take the stress out of going through screening devices. It’s not advisable to pack unprocessed film in checked luggage as the scanner they use for that is stronger and may cause fogging in your film. You might also want to check the airline’s website to learn about their policies regarding luggages. Some might not allow you to bring your luggage on the plane with you. Lastly, keep in mind that magnetic devices can harm digital media as opposed to x-rays. The motors of the conveyer belts might have powerful magnets so it is best to place your camera at a good distance from the beginning of the belt.
2. If you’re driving, place your camera inside to keep it cool. And when you leave the car, bring it with you because of the simple reason that it can be easily stolen if left in the car.
3. NEVER leave your equipments out of your sight. Constant vigilance is a must. In a blink of an eye, anyone can grab your camera bag if left unattended. Keeping your camera close to you. Dangling your cameras around your neck is not exactly a good idea either as a sharp knife can easily cut the straps.
4. Before you go on your trip, think about how you will store the digital images you’ll take. You may opt to bring memory cards as they are more convenient to carry than computers or portable storage devices. You can also go to a one-hour lab to download the images to a CD or to a cyber café and transfer the images to an online image bank. You can easily buy more memory cards if one isn’t enough. But if you’re not confident you’ll be able to buy extras, bring plenty. Since memory cards are small there is always room for extras.
5. A lot of things can happen while you’re traveling. In case of theft or damage, make sure to insure your equipment. Contact your insurance company and inquire about their policies that will cover your equipments. This is particularly important if you go around carrying thousands of dollars worth of camera gear.
6. If you haven’t completely mastered how to work your camera, bring your manual with you and put it in your luggage. Better safe than sorry.
7. Remind yourself to pack all your cords and battery chargers. If you think it’s necessary, you can bring an electric plug adapter with you especially if you’re traveling overseas. Or if you think you’ll be shooting in the field most of the time, bring one for your car as well.
8. The weather can be unpredictable. So make sure you bring necessary protection just in case you have to shoot in bad weather.
9. Avoid exposing your equipments to extreme heat.
10. If it rains suddenly and your camera doesn’t have any protection, put it under an item of clothing and shield it the best way you can. Find some cover and get out of the rain.
11. In cold temperatures, use your body heat to warm your camera in order to avoid condensation. If you fail to prevent that, just empty the battery and memory compartments and keep them open to dry them up. Taking them outside with condensation might cause them to freeze.
12. Protect your lens with UV filters. This can protect the lens from getting scratched and getting damaged. It is a lot cheaper to replace a filter than getting the lens fixed.
13. If you have to choose which equipment you should bring, go with the one you’re familiar with. Your trip isn’t the ideal time to experiment with your new equipment. This helps avoid any trouble and to ensure you’ll be getting great results.
14. Travel light with a trusty bag. While it’s good to be prepared, you don’t need to bring every lens and body you have. That way, you’ll be more resourceful and see things in a different light.
15. If you’re traveling overseas, you can avoid unnecessary trouble by declaring all your equipments to customs officials at the airport before your departure so you won’t have to prove ownership when you come back.
See? Traveling with your photo equipments isn’t as complicated as you think. You just have to keep those pointers in mind and everything will turn out fine.
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