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My photography has developed, changed and evolved over my last two years of blogging. I used to walk around with a small Canon snap-and-shoot, taking pictures with wonky angles and using camera filters. It was all fun and games, and my first abroad experience in Europe shared many of these themes. Now, I can say my photography has developed to a brand new level. [View my photography page HERE.] It’s turning into a fun, exciting hobby that helps me capture beautiful moments on my travels and share them with others over the internet. Like you! Encouraging you. Empowering you to discover the world. Travel bloggers have shared post after post of favorite photography equipment, but each of us has a different perspective on this. This is because photography is an ART. It is subjective, with each of us creating something unique and beautiful.
In this post, I am going to layout for you my bare essential travel photography equipment. Now, I am not one of those National Geographic travel bloggers, lugging around bags of equipment ranging in the thousands. I keep my equipment simple, because it is even more important for me to enjoy the experiences when I am in the moment. Without being weighed down by excessive photography equipment. Here is my favorite photography equipment:
// CAMERA & EXCHANGEABLE LENSES
I personally shoot with a Canon T5 Rebel DSLR camera. When I bought this snazzy camera, I was just getting into photography, and I wanted to take my photography to the next level. This camera is considered a ‘beginner’s’ camera, but I have found it to provide the photographs I want, while still being lightweight. It is my belief, the photographer and a good quality lens is what makes the photograph. So, I shoot with an entry-level Canon Rebel, but I buy quality lenses. Favorites in my collection are: Canon 50mm and Canon 10-18mm. I am currently thinking of adding another prime lens to my collection [i.e. a prime lens/fixed lens does not zoom, offers a sharper picture and color]. A Canon 25mm or 40mm is on my radar. I’m choosing large wide-angle lenses, because I shoot in places like Italy, with close up buildings. I want to make sure I can get that entire building [or almost all of it] with one lens. I use my 50mm to grab those amazing close up shots or portraits. All encompassing, I love prime/fixed lenses. They provide fantastic quality, sharp images and encourage me to sit on the ground, turn over backwards or run far away to grab the perfect shot. The camera also provides great video for vlogging. Another camera that I have in my kit, the GoPro Hero. It’s perfect for all those adventure shots – skiing down the Alps, snorkeling in the Maldives and more.
// BAGS & TRIPODS
Every travel blogger has to have a snazzy bag that will [somehow] find its way into most of your Instagram pictures. You have incredible options on Amazon, but I suggest a bag that holds your camera and one or two lenses. This will keep you from buying to many ‘add-ons’ and complaining later when your shoulder hurts from a long day of walking. [We have all done it.] The second [big] plus to place inside your bag is a quality tripod. Again, Amazon is your friend. The Gorillapod tripod is particularly my favorite, because it twists and turns multiple ways. I can set it on multiple surfaces, and it easily fits in my backpack.
// CLEANING EQUIPMENT
Every photographer has to have basic cleaning equipment. This keeps your equipment in tip-top shape during travels [when anything can happen to your precious camera]. Make sure to include a dust blower for removing dust from the camera/lens, a camera cloth and small brush. For the blower, make sure to turn your DSLR camera on ‘cleaning mode’ before using. This will pop up the mirror, so you can have a deeper cleaning. Always keep the blower in a plastic bag, so dust doesn’t get captured inside. A good camera cleaning cloth will cost you $5-$10 American dollars. Only use your cleaning cloth for your camera, and never for your glasses or computer. The oil from your body will eventually deteriorate the lens. Also, don’t blow on your lens. [!!] These are all beginner, amateur mistakes I made. [Ha, ha] Learn from me!
// PHOTOGRAPHY EDITING
Always try your best to capture the perfect picture, before you take the photograph to the editing phase. Thinking in this way will encourage you to improve your photography as an art, and think of it as a developing skill. In the editing phase, I use ADOBE Lightroom App, LightZone, DropBox and Photoshop [sometimes]. Adobe Lightroom is extremely versatile and easy-to-use. The app is free, so I would start there. I use DropBox to store my images on the cloud, download them onto my iPad with the DropBox app and edit them using Lightroom. It works. LightZone is a free, user friendly application that is downloadable from the internet. It does many similar things as Lightroom, but it does not have as many filters. Download it. It’s free.
Travel photography can be an extremely expensive hobby, if you let it take off. You have countless options in multiple camera bags, additional lens, reflectors, flashes and remotes. Amazon is your friend! It has everything you need in equipment, and it is very reasonably priced. This post is intended to provide you with the very basics. Having more is always great, but remember you have to carry all of that. Everything that I mentioned in this post, I carry on all my travels abroad, so it is completely doable and lightweight. Okay, it is your turn. What do you consider a travel photographer’s ESSENTIALS that are absolutely needed?
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