I spent a few weeks away in Singapore and Malaysia in December with my man Chris and his family and, of course, I had to take some of my camera gear along with me! In case you’re a cameraphile like me, I actually made a little video showing what equipment I like to take with me when I travel – you can watch it right here. Panasonic were kind enough to send a Lumix TZ110 compact camera along with me, so I had a compact camera for the days I wanted to travel light and my big Nikon D800 for the moments when I knew I wanted to take full control of my photos.It was a jam-packed trip – we went to a wedding (congratulations Chien and Justinc!), stayed in 7 different hotels (and one aunty’s house!) and visited 6 different cites and towns in three weeks! I like to be Little Miss Prepared – not just when I travel, but all the time – so I wanted to share a few of the tips I use to get travel-ready, manage my photos on the go and get the best out of those memories we make on the road.
1. If your camera has a wifi transfer function where you can transfer photos to your phone anywhere and at any time, set it up and test it out at home before you go. If your camera is new, you’ll probably need to download the manufacturer’s app and use a QR code or password to link it to your phone the first time you use it, and if you get confused you might want to have wifi available to look up a manual or tutorial. If you’re on the go in a foreign country you might not have that luxury!
2. Use that wifi transfer function to send your favourite photos to your phone and edit them up while you’re going somewhere. If you’re on a plane, train or bus for a few hours, it’s a great chance to get a few photos (or a lot) ready to go so that when you reach wifi again you can post a few images up to social media right away. If you have business social media accounts like me it takes the pressure off when you know you’ll need to post something, but it’s also handy even if you’re just sharing your photos for your friends and family, and it will save you some of the overwhelm of going through ALL your photos at once when you get home.
3. Memory cards are small and easy to lose, so if you have more than one make sure you have a wallet or case to store them in so you don’t lose half of your trip memories by accident. Make sure they have your details written on them if possible, or stored in a file saved on the card (ie write your information down on paper and take a photo of it) so that if the card gets lost – or even your whole camera – the finder might be able to return it to you.
4. Make sure your memory card is big enough to last your whole trip, or that you have enough spare cards to get you all the way to the end. Higher megapixel counts and shooting in RAW mean bigger file sizes than less megapixels and jpeg files, and 4K video uses LOTS of space on your card too. If you have a laptop that you’ll be backing your photos up to, make sure it has enough space on it too – or if you’ll have plenty of internet access, a great cloud backup option like Dropbox or Google Drive set up and ready with lots of space. If you’ll be bringing an external hard drive, take very good care of it! Make sure it’s well cushioned to avoid damage, and consider carrying it separately to your memory cards and laptop so that you won’t lose all your memories if something gets lots, stolen or damaged.
5. Turn off your focus beep. Especially if you plan to visit quiet and reverent places like temples or churches, or if you’re interested in street photography. That beep before your shutter fires can really ruin the tranquility and disturb people who attend these places to worship, or in the case of street photography ruin your opportune moment when the casually strolling pedestrian hears the beep and turns to look at you. Turn it off. If your camera has a full silent mode, consider that for sensitive situations too.
6. Don’t be afraid to be IN your photos. If you’re the photographer of your travel party, get a great photo of someone else first – then show them exactly how you framed it – even hold the camera in exactly the right place if you need to – then slip into the shot and get them to take the same picture of you. I get Chris to do this for me all the time! Here’s a little of our team-effort handiwork:
7. Do something with your photos when you get back home. Don’t just stick them on Facebook and forget about them – load them onto an electric photo frame, make a slideshow or an album to show friends and family, and maybe even pop one or two on your walls. Keep that intention in mind while you’re taking pictures and you’ll find the story of your trip emerges much more fully that it would have if you were just snapping without a purpose.
I hope these tips help you have an easier, calmer and more fulfilling photo experience on your travels, and I hope you enjoy this little look through my most recent adventure! Let me know if the comments where you visited most recently – or where you’re planning to go next! And if you have any travel tips of your own, I’d love to hear them!