I love photographing the world, specifically landscapes during the twilight hours. But damn, trekking around with travel photography equipment is challenging. It’s like a socialite packing six pairs of shoes for a one-week trip.
I traveled through Central America with a Canon 6D, Tamron SP 24-70mm Di VC, Manfrotto tripod, Apple iPad Air 2, 14” Alienware laptop, and a GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition, plus accessories. This list isn’t even exhaustive. I don’t enjoy lugging this stuff between towns and countries. And I barely used the GoPro. Stupid me. I should have reduced my travel photography equipment.
I wasn’t planning to travel long-term until 2016, when I will buy a new, thinner laptop. But the forces of wanderlust made me travel sooner. The Alienware laptop is bulky at 6.5 pounds. It’s a gaming laptop, but I use it for travel blogging and post-processing photos with Lightroom and Photoshop. Sometimes, I use Adobe Premiere and After Effects for video. I need Alienware’s performance to avoid Adobe programs from running slow or crashing. I wish I didn’t have to travel around with this heavy beast. I still plan to downgrade and buy a smaller laptop in the future.
I brought my iPad because I use it to study Spanish, write notes, and read before I go to bed. My laptop is uncomfortable to have on my bed right before I sleep. I’ve now given my iPad to my father – what a waste of space and money.
I wish I had a mirrorless, full-frame camera in order to reduce space and weight; but I already invested money into my Canon 6D, albeit a great camera.
The main problem with travel photography is the increased chance of having camera gear stolen. It’s a big financial loss in addition to potential injuries.
In Central America, where I spent most of my recent time traveling, robberies of travelers are common. Keeping a constant eye-out for the tools of your trade is unpleasant. It’s a gold mine for bandits. If my equipment is stolen, I want to lose the least amount possible in order to cut my losses. When I’m out in the field, I have to be selective and limit when to bring out my camera to shoot.
I already had my hat stolen in Granada. It’s not easy being a traveler. But heck, this isn’t going to stop me from my love of travel.
Unless you’re rolling with the Secret Service, you should only bring a lot of photography equipment for one or two-week trips for specific projects; hopefully, in a safer place to travel like Iceland. I understand on some long-term trips you have to bring all the goods.
On my next long-term trip, I’m going to travel with less equipment and clothes. Mobility is important. I wanted to leave the GoPro home but I need it for specific project. Its accessories take too much space. However, I’ll still bring a tripod for landscape photography.
I may eat my own words and still bring everything, except the camera manual, on my next adventure.
To my travel photographers, travel light and make photos.