Inside a travelling photographer’s Backpack

Author: Gaurav Birla August 29, 2010 No Comments

Travel photography requires versatility and mobility on the part of the photographer. Proper planning can ensure that the travel photographer has all the equipment and tools to get better shots. This photography packing list is broken down into three sections the basics, must have items and extras for those who have extra room.


travel-photography10 Basics

  1. Camera Back Pack – This will make hiking around with all that photography gear easier and protect the equipment.
  2. Camera Body – Preferably one that accepts different lenses.
  3. Three Zoom Lenses – 17-35mm (or something similar with a wide angle), 28-80 mm (or a similar mid-range zoom) and a 70-200 mm (or something that will give you a telephoto view).
  4. Filter Pack – Three filters a UV (Ultraviolet), ND (Neutral Density) and a polarizer.
  5. Batteries – Rechargeable batteries for the camera and batteries for the strobe unit.
  6. Battery Charger – Charger unit for the camera batteries and strobe batteries if applicable.
  7. Memory Cards – The larger the better. Bring a lot. They will come in handy.
  8. Strobe Cables – Off the camera cable for the strobe unit.
  9. Strobe Unit (Flash Unit)
  10. Light Meter – A good light meter will come in handy especially when you need to spot meter.

10 Must-Have Itemsdavidindouz

  1. Lens Cleaner – Needs to be said, many times it is left out because it is such a simple item. Keeping the lens clean will help cut down imaging time later.
  2. Reflector – At least one small white and silver folding reflector. They are light and pack easily. Reflectors are great sources of natural light in many situations.
  3. Swiss Army Knife – A whole toolbox for repairing jammed equipment and creating on-the-spot inventions to get the shot.
  4. Blower Brush – This will be needed to clean the sensor periodically.
  5. Mini Gray Card – Another small and light object that will come in handy and help cut down on imaging time.
  6. European AC Converter – This will be needed for all the charging equipment. (If traveling to Europe)
  7. Rain Parka – A must have for protection against the elements and this will also protect the camera equipment.
  8. Clothing Change and Toiletries – Just in case the luggage is lost or delayed.
  9. Sun block – Preferably one that will clip to the backpack.
  10. Camera Troubleshooting Guide – The one that came with the camera is small and will be necessary in case of camera malfunction.


10 Extras for Those with Extra Room

  1. Second Camera Body
  2. Second Strobe – This can be used as a remote for tough lighting situations in third world countries.
  3. Point and Shoot Camera – This can be used in those situations where a regular camera would be conspicuous.
  4. Tripod – A small and light tripod would be useful in some situations, but keep in mind, most countries in Europe do not allow the use of tripods near monuments and in other public places.
  5. Shutter Release Cable
  6. Laptop – Having a laptop will enable the travel photographer to clear a memory card and prep images for publication.
  7. Laptop Charger
  8. Digital Voice Recorder – For notes about images and locations.
  9. Card Reader – This will be needed to download the images from the camera.
  10. DVDs – These will be needed to burn the downloaded images.

gavin-gough-travel-photographer-005Other than this list a photographer should usually carry some more items, like,

  • Personal Items
  • Maps
  • Passport holder
  • Document Case
  • Registration papers on equipment for re-entry into the country. (Only where applicable)
  • Cell Phone

This packing prep can be tailored out to meet individual needs, but most items will be necessary for all travel assignments. Always remember when traveling to be aware of the local customs and religious observances. You are a guest in the places you travel so respect the people and the countryside and your trip will be filled with fun and adventure.

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