What equipment should I take on holiday is a common question. The simple answer is what are you going on holiday to try to photograph. For example if going on safari you are going to need a long telephoto lens this will make sure you keep your distance from some potentially dangerous wild animals this will help you to get close up while keeping your distance.
A 24-70mm can be used for a multitude of situation they are also convenient and normally light weight so as not to add too much to you baggage allowance and cover virtually any situation you may come across. A tele converter can be useful and not as costly as a telephoto lenses.
If you don’t already own a battery grip this could save time and trouble especially in those isolated spots. Most battery grips now a days will take normal batteries of course, you’ll need to check your grips instructions. Because when traveling weight will play a crucial part of since you are limited by the airlines.
Make sure your camera bag is airline friendly and that you can carry it onto the plane, the last thing you want is to check in your camera bag, get to your destination to find you camera bag is somewhere else in the world. Make sure to pack an international travel plug adaptor so that you can charge batteries use your laptop or just charge the iPod.
Since most of us don’t have small laptops it may be worth taking a portable hard drive or one which has a viewer such as Multimedia Storage Viewers these can be quite expensive though. A circular polarising filter can be handy when shooting skies and helping reduce reflections on glass or water. These are light weight so won’t add too much to your final bag weight. Don’t forget a light tripod such as a gorilla pod you need this for sharp images when shooting in low light such as dawn or dusk or even after dark.
It may be worth using the bath scales to check your bags weight. Check your limits on the air carrier’s web sites as you don’t want to pay excess baggage as it can be quite expensive.
One of the main things to remember is pack only what you need. Read up on the location you are traveling to check out how to access hard to reach places what time is best suited to photographing. Google earth before you go is great for checking out routes and finding good viewpoints Once at your destination check out the local postcards they often show the normal tourist locations but often have locations of much lesser known places.
House swapping is now becoming more popular it’s a good way to stay somewhere cheap, if you have a house in a good location.
Most importantly have fun and enjoy the rest remember don’t take any work with you unless you’re a pro photograper.
John Hutchison has been a professional photographer on and off since 1981, he gained an LBIPP in 1990 from the British Institute of Professional Photographers so he has first hand experience! He worked for a newspaper for over 12 years dealing with flat copy and digital images.