Monday, March 31, 2014

Travelling Safely with Camera Gear in Remote Areas

Tourist in Croatia with camera
Image by Njaminjami
There's nothing like the rush of capturing the perfect travel photograph, when the elements of composition, lighting, and exotic subjects all come together in your frame. It may be difficult to imagine travelling abroad without your camera, but there are some risks involved. Bringing expensive equipment overseas can lead to damage or theft if you're not careful. Protect your camera gear when you're travelling off the beaten path with the following tips.

Only Take What You Need The more gear you bring along, the more likely you will be to lose or break something. A simple rule of thumb is to pack lightly whenever possible particularly if you'll be doing any trekking. Scale down your lens size and gear or consider taking an all-in-one lens if possible. If you don't want to bring a laptop to back up your photos, think about using something smaller like a tablet or even just upload them to cloud storage. 

Take Care at Airports Before you've even arrived at your destination, you'll need to make sure your gear gets there safely. Most of us have experienced the stress of a lost bag when flying, but the stress grows exponentially when it's expensive camera gear that's gone missing rather than just your bikini! Protect your camera by bringing it on board the airplane in your carry-on whenever possible. Keep a sharp eye on your camera at airport screening stations as well. Unfortunately, high-priced items have a way of going missing during a hand check. 

Airport Munich innen 2009 PD 20090404 025
Image by Politikaner
Swap Cards Frequently You can protect your photos by swapping memory cards from time to time, keeping them in a separate place from your main camera. Keep your memory card safe in a money belt or in your sock, and you won't have to worry about losing your work. 

Back Up your Files Another way to avoid misplacing your files as you venture to remote destinations is to back up your work frequently. Consider bringing along a portable hard drive or uploading your photos to an internet account as you work. 

Prepare for Extreme Temperatures Some of the most stunning travel photographs are taken in the remote wilderness. If you're travelling to the desert or up the side of a mountain, think about the effect that extreme temperatures could have on your equipment. Cameras can easily get overheated in direct sunlight, particularly if they have sensitive electronic equipment. Avoid shooting at midday when the sun's at its strongest. 

Store Equipment Properly If you're travelling around by car or motorcycle, be sure to choose a vehicle with plenty of secure storage. A motorcycle journey can provide plenty of inspiration for travel photographers, but you'll want to look at resources like Bikesales to select a bike with ample room for your equipment. Travelling outdoors can also expose your camera to dust and sand on the road, so be sure to wrap it up in cloth when not in use. Use UV filters over the lens if necessary; and avoid changing lenses outdoors. 

Finally, be sure to write down all of your equipment's serial numbers so that you have these handy if you need to report anything lost or stolen. Traveling with all of your photography gear can produce anxiety, but with a bit of extra caution you'll most likely return home with everything intact and a memory card full of high quality travel photos.


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