Camera accessories ideal for travelling
There's no better way to record your holiday memories and tell your travel stories than through photographs. Whether it's facing extreme climates, journeying through diverse environments or immersing yourself in unpredictable situations, the right tools and accessories will make it a lot easier for you to capture those unique moments.
Keep it steady
If you like to use a tripod in your photography, there are a range of portable, pliable and lightweight options which allow you to steady your camera on an uneven surface, or even mount it to an object.
Regular tripods can weigh up to and above 3.5kg: Their size and weight can make them difficult to travel with. Travel tripods - made from lightweight material - can weigh as little as 1kg. They are also usually more compact, often coming with four or five adjustable sections in each leg and collapsing down to around 40cmi. At the same time, they allow you to have a standing height platform from which to shoot.
A mini tripod, or tabletop tripod, is an even more compact and lightweight option. Mini tripods can weigh in anywhere between 50g-500g depending on their size and the materials used, with some having bendable or flexible legs so you can attach them to posts, poles and tree trunks - perfect if you want to be in the shot but no one is available to take a photo for you!
Similarly to tripods, monopods steady the camera and allow you to shoot sharper images. Monopods are also good camera accessories to take travelling as they generally weigh less than tripods and pack easily. Unlike a tripod, a monopod still needs to be steadied by the photographer, but this is made easier because most of the camera weight is supported by the monopod. Monopods are ideal if you require some support, but still need the freedom to move about from spot-to-spot.
Use external light sources like a pro
An on-camera flash or on-camera lighting unit is particularly handy when shooting indoors, at night or in places where natural lighting is low. Flashes and lights can be mounted on your camera's hot-shoe, or with a range of special camera body mounts. If you know that you'll want to capture a lot of photos or video outdoors at night or in places with little lighting, an on-camera light could also be what you need. On-camera lights don't emit a flash but act as an external light-source. They commonly use Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) making them both light and able to last well on battery power. Although flash and lighting units can add to the bulk and weight of your camera pack, using them to illuminate a dark scene is worth it if you're serious about your photographyii.
Protect your camera from damage
Protecting your camera from the elements and keeping it dry is easy with a camera case. A soft camera case will be less heavy to carry, while a hard camera case might provide better protection if your camera is accidentally dropped. A wrist or neck strap will not only lower the risk of dropping your camera, but is also a more convenient option than carrying your camera in your hand all day.
For budding travel photographers who are taking plenty of gear such as external flash, travel tripods and a range of lenses, a larger camera bag or even a backpack can help you transport your camera and accessories safely. If you do take a larger pack, consider also taking a smaller, lightweight day pack for shorter excursionsii.
Don't forget the basics
When packing your travel photography kit, make sure you don't forget camera essentials like power and memory. Always carry spare batteries with you when you're out and about, keeping them in your camera case so that you can find them easily. It's also a good idea to store your camera charger in your bag so you can recharge the battery whenever you come across an available power outlet. Just remember to pack your adaptor, so that you can plug your charger in anywhereiii!
Your camera's memory card is essential for saving those happy memories. While there should be a memory card in your device, it doesn't hurt to carry an extra one in your camera case or wallet. Similarly, external storage devices, such as a tablet or laptop device, are ideal when you're on the go; they make it easier to back up and upload photos anywhereiv.
Don't forget some basic cleaning items like camera cloths and a lens cleaning pen. They're usually very compact and relatively inexpensive, so make an ideal tool to keep your camera in top condition while travelling.
Beware of camera theft
Exploring new destinations, discovering diverse cultures and interacting with locals and travellers alike is always exciting. However, your camera is a valuable object and may be a target for thieves. To keep it safe at all times, it's advised that you:
- Take your camera on board a flight as a carry-on. This way, it won't get lost or damaged in transit and you will know where it is at all times.
- Keep your camera strap attached to your hand or body to make it difficult for thieves.
- Never leave your camera, or any other valuables, unattended. When keeping them in your travel accommodation, place them in a safe or locker.
- Label your equipment so that it is easily identifiable when lost/recovered. Platforms such as Lenstag.com or Stolencamerafinder.com use EXIF (exchangeable image file format) data from your images, as well as serial numbers of your camera and lenses to identify stolen items.