Saturday, January 11, 2014

Traveling With Camera Gear (by guest blogger Bob McCaffrey)

When traveling, the question always is: “How much gear should I carry, and which gear?”  A lot depends on the method of travel.  Generally if traveling by car, you can throw in just about everything, including the kitchen sink.  But if traveling by air, or other public means, it’s not always convenient or even possible to take that much stuff. 

A lot depends on the purpose of the trip.  For a photo workshop, skimp on clothes and go heavy on equipment.  But for a vacation when photography will not be the main purpose, you should carefully choose equipment that will provide maximum flexibility at reasonable size and weight.

When traveling by air for vacation or personal visits, I recommend taking, at a minimum, your primary camera body, a long range zoom and possibly a wide angle lens, and a backup camera of some sort. Of course pack extra batteries, battery charger and plenty of memory cards.  A small portable but sturdy tripod can also come in handy.  It is important to know the capabilities of your equipment, so you know what it can and cannot do.

Last summer my wife and I visited family in England.  For this trip I carried my D800 Body, 28-300 zoom and 20-35 wide angle zoom.  A Canon Power Shot G12 was my back up.  The image above was made in the family garden in England.  I used a Nikon 28-300 Zoom on a D800 Body.  While I certainly would have preferred my 105mm macro, there just wasn’t room to carry it for the limited use I would have expected. I knew that the 28-300 had good close up abilities at the moderate telephoto range.

[Editor’s note: Bob and his wife are highly experienced and frequent travelers, and have mastered the fine art of traveling light while still having all the camera gear they need.]

Shutter Speed 1/60 sec.  Aperture f10.  ISO 200.  Manual Mode.
Lens: Nikkor 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 set to 170 mm.  Camera: Nikon D800
Tripod: Gitzo Traveler  GT1541T, Really Right Stuff Ball Head BH-40

TODAY’S QUOTE: “Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.”  --George S. Clason

Bob McCaffrey bio:
Bob got his first camera at age 6 and has been taking pictures ever since.  He began black & white developing and printing at about age 10, and served as student yearbook photographer in high school.  After college and a stint in the Army, Bob enjoyed a career in the Railway Supply Industry, specializing in locomotives and locomotive components.  During that time he has been an active amateur photographer, and has had a few images published in special interest publications.
Bob got his first SLR upon graduation from college and has primarily been using Nikon equipment.  He switched to digital in 2006.  Since retiring, Bob and his wife Cindy, also an avid photographer, have attended several Awake the Light Workshops as well as a few others, and have travelled extensively.  In 2009 Bob joined the Delaware Photographic Society where he now serves as President.