Most of us enjoy traveling. When we speak about travel photography, usually people carry every camera gear that they have and it’s hard to travel light. At the same time there are people who go out just with their kit lens or a 50mm prime lens, and later feel something like – I wish I had the other lens in my bag. In this article I will let you know what kind of lens you need to carry and what not to carry.
Problem with Travel photography
This happened to me when I had been on a Himalayan trip and had a 50mm prime lens f1.4 (my first lens), a 14-24mm lens, and a full-frame body. But did not have a telephoto/zoom lens at that time and felt that I had missed many shots.
When it comes to travel photography the safety of gear is the most important thing that is to be considered. You go to an unknown place and you are surrounded by lots of strangers. The case is different when you are traveling in groups but when on solo travel, it is better to carry something simple unless you have insurance.
If you are on an assignment or any kind of professional work then carrying those expensive gadgets makes sense, but if it is for a blog and for social media and YouTube then there are many inexpensive gadgets that you carry and still manage to get some amazing photos while going travel photography.
Some examples of travel photography
The place and landscape
The above photo was captured at Dal lake in Kashmir, India just after sunset. This was using a full-frame camera with a 14-24mm f2.8 lens mounted on a tripod. The same shot using an average lens with an aperture of more than f4.5-5.6 wouldn’t have been sharp. With a point-and-shoot camera, it would have been even blurred.
The emotional story
Travel photography is not just about travel and capturing photos but is about understanding the culture, people, place, etc, and the story behind it. Here, in this post, I will be writing only about the gear for travel photography. The below image is from the Kashmir Great Lakes trek where we took a break in their camp when it was raining outside. The image is of a shy kid who was not used to these many strangers or trekkers in their tent and his mother preparing him some food. The image is not just a random photo but also shows the bonding and local between a mother and a child.
Including people, pet animals, children can make your travel photography images look more interesting. Note that you need to have model release for these pics if you want to see the image.
The gear for travel photography
For maximum versatility, it’s better to use a telephoto/zoom lens, covering a range of 24 to 300 mm. It may not be possible to find a single lens that has all the zoom range and hence you might need to carry multiple lenses. Usually, a zoom lens with wider ranges is slow (f4.5+), large and heavy to carry. But with a non-interchangeable lens, we get the advantage of not changing the lens frequently and hence low dust.
Other accessories include filters, memory cards, batteries, backup storage, external flash, and a lightweight tripod preferably the one made of carbon fiber. When we consider travel photography, there are other things that you might want to consider like your gear insurance and a good quality camera bag.
Travel photography gear for professional use
When I speak about travel photography, people ask me about the camera gear that I carry. Following are the camera equipment that I pack when I think about travel photography – A full-frame camera – Nikon D610, Nikkor 50mm f1.4D, Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8, Nikkor 70-300 f4.5, Nikon SB910, Manfrotto Tripod, Lowepro camera bag, 2 extra batteries, and a cleaning kit.
This travel photography gear that I have mentioned here is the one that I usually carry and is of this writing. I might consider replacing the Nikkor 70-300 f4.5 with a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII or an 80-400mm soon. I have mentioned only the Nikon camera and accessories as I’m a Nikon user. The same applies to all cameras and lenses irrespective of the camera brand.
Travel photography and vlogging kit
Update: These days I have been carrying I have been doing more of Vlogging and I have been carrying lighter gear, inexpensive and something super light you might want to check the video below. These days mirrorless cameras are available, adventure cameras can be used for vlogging as it has 3 to 4 built-in mics in it and the video quality is even better.
Let me know what other gears do you use in addition to the one that is mentioned above and why? Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter. Consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.