Must-have camera equipment every photographer needs
Photography advice from TID travel photographer and filmmaker, Eddie Hobson
After nearly 4 years on the road – exploring deserts, rain forests, beaches, mountains, snow caps and cities – my camera has seen a thing or two and has been in some interesting situations. If you’re taking a quality camera on your trip, here is a list of my must-have camera equipment that will ensure you’re prepared for every occasion.
Equipment all travel photographers need
A small, light tripod
It seems obvious, but having a small and light tripod with you is absolutely worth having while you travel. It will help you get the best night time shots and better framed up selfies. It’s also worth spending just a little bit more for a better quality one. Buying a cheap tripod will just cost you more time and effort in the long run.
I use, and love, the Sirui T-1005X. It’s a tiny little tripod, and has been all around the world with me over the past year and is still in great shape.
Shouldn’t need too much explanation with this one. When you get your camera, definitely get a few extra batteries. No one wants to miss the perfect shot because a battery ran out of juice.
You certainly want to make sure you have enough space for all your photos, so buy a few memory cards for your travels. But memory cards aren’t fail safe, and things get lost sometimes, so while it may sound convenient to just buy one BIG card (64 gb+) for your camera, unless you are backing up your photos daily while you’re on holiday, I would recommend using a bunch of smaller cards (8, 16, 32gb).
Memory Card Hard Case.
Memory cards are tiny little things and they certainly are easy to misplace. I carry around a hard memory card case to keep them all organised. They’re awesome, shock proof and water resistant. Your cards will be well protected.
I use the Pelican 0915 Memory Card Case. It has room for 12 memory cards (which is kind of overkill) but you get the picture.
Portable Hard Drive/Storage Options
Ideally, you should back up all your shots while on holiday. Your photos one of the only things travel insurance doesn’t cover. So, really, you should try and double back up your shots. Easiest way to do this is – Copy photos onto your computer and also onto a hard drive. If you can afford it, I recommend a Lacie rugged hard drive – shock and water resistant, and apparently you can drive over it with a car and it will be fine. Although, I’m not going to test that out! There are plenty of options regarding size, too.
Another alternative is to think about getting an extra couple memory cards instead, and just don’t wipe your memory card until you get home.
Don’t forget to look into cloud backup systems too. And of course, if you don’t like taking your computer with you while you travel, there are also some good attachments you can plug into your tablet to download your photos.
Everyone has a backpack, but it’s certainly worth investing in a bag or small case just for your camera – something to protect your gear just a little bit more.
I would say, buy a bag made by an established Camera company. It might not be the most stylish, but anything made by Lowepro, HPRC or Manfrotto are going to keep your gear safe. Most professional bags are well padded and water resistant so your camera will be well protected.
If you have a DSLR camera, it probably came with a pretty uncomfortable strap. If you never want to miss a shot, then your camera might be hanging around your neck for hours upon hours, so I would look into getting a strap from Black Rapid (a personal favourite)
Rain happens. Look into one of these to help keep your camera safe and sound from the rain.
There are a plenty of options out there, and it all depends on your budget. There are some expensive options like the Manfrotto E-702 PL and Think Tank Photo Hydrophobia, or you can just invest in a cheap umbrella to hold over the camera when you get shots, or the thrifty approach, a zip-lock bag with a hole to stick the lens out of. I’m a fan of DIY options!
I recommend spending the extra cash on quality filters, starting with a UV filter. It’s not so much about reducing the UV light from your image, but protecting your lens from getting a big scratch on the front, or even breaking. Better to throw away a filter than a lens.
I would also recommend getting a Neutral Density (ND) filter. These are like tinted windows for your lens. Letting in less light, meaning you can slow down your shutter speed. You can see below the difference a slow shutter can make…
These kind of filters are perfect if you’re somewhere particularly crowded and want everyone to be blurred out in your photos. It also gives a beautiful etherial look to any photos where there is water, as it blurs the water, instead of freezing it in time. But remember, if you’re going to use an ND filter, you’re going to need a tripod. I use filters produced buy B+W.