Other Gear Considerations:
You will shoot WAY more images than you would ever expect on a photography tour. Because we are photographing almost the entire time and you will want to shoot A LOT to get the best images, have EXTRA CARDS! We will also be teaching you to shoot RAW mode, which is the highest quality but also uses the most memory. From experience, every trip, people do not bring enough memory cards and have to try and ﬁnd a store. We cannot stress enough the importance of having enough memory cards as there are no stores available out on the tour!
Do not try to shoot everything on a single big memory card. If that card goes bad and all your images are in one place, that would be a painful lesson to learn! We prefer to use several 64GB or 128GB cards over the duration of the trip.
To clean cards, it is best to format your cards in camera vs hitting delete. This entirely cleans the card and leaves no hidden memory. Make sure all cards , including new ones, are formatted and READY BEFORE arriving! Get 64gb cards 128gb cards
Downloading & Backup tips:
Download your cards each day to your laptop AND to an external drive OR download cards to a computer and save exposed memory cards as is. The key is to have your images in 2 places and packed separately from each other.
Your equipment can be replaced, however your memories and images cannot. You will want to back up EVERYTHING each day! Store your external drive in your suitcase and used memory cards in a waist belt.
Online backup can seem like a good option but can take too long to upload raw images in the field and where no Internet is available.
Batteries and Charger:
Make sure your batteries are all FULLY CHARGED before we go out to shoot! We recommend having at least 3 batteries with you.
Remember, travel with your batteries in your camera bag. They cannot be checked in luggage and do not keep them in the camera.
Due to FAA Regulations all lithium ion and lithium metal batteries must be carried in carry-on baggage only. When a carry-on bag is checked at the gate or at plane-side, all spare lithium batteries must be removed from the bag and kept with the passenger in the aircraft cabin. For this reason, we suggest having your batteries easily accessible to grab in a separated small container within your camera bag.
Bringing a head lamp so that you can work at night with your hands free is also invaluable. Be sure to have one that has the red lamp on it as well as this helps keep bring light down to a minimum while we are shooting.
This is a link to Toby’s recommended headlamp.
A tripod is a necessity for night time photography and long exposure images. Having a versatile lightweight BUT strong tripod is the key. EVERY tour, we deal with people having a very ﬂimsy tripod. You really need a sturdy tripod. By no means do you have to spend big bucks to get one, but a $39 video tripod from Best Buy or the loaner from your Uncle will not cut it. There is no sense taking images at night or late evening, if your camera is not still. If you need a tripod or are considering one, feel free to email us with questions regard it.
The MeFOTO Road Trip Tripod Kit (Titanium) is an excellent VERY REASONABLE priced tripod at about $139. It is lightweight and yet sturdy for most applications and good for most amateur photographers needs.
The MeFOTO Carbon Fiber Tripod is more expensive but incredibly well built!
iPhone Printer or Polaroid style camera:
This an amazing way to connect with others around the world. Locations that are more rural or less first world, especially love the amazing gift of a print handed to them instantly! We have seen smile after smile and amazing opportunities become available all because of the simple gesture of handing someone a small photograph.
Families, children and just about anyone will LOVE receiving from you an instant photograph. This is amazing way to bond with others regardless of the language barrier! Many people in these areas have never had a print of themselves or family! Instant printers can be purchased for use with your phone or you can purchase a small instant camera!
Buy an inexpensive plastic one, which should cost less than $10. You can also cut a hole in a shower cap from your hotel room for free!
Our friends at ThinkTank Photo have released a new new concept in weather protection, the Emergency Rain Cover. It can be quickly and easily deployed when outdoor conditions change. They will be a welcome small and lightweight addition to the kits of any photographer shooting out of doors.
Intervalometer: Night and Star Star Trail Photography. (Not applicable to all tours)
If your camera does not have what is known as an intervalometer, (google your camera model to see) be SURE to pick one up if you plan on doing star trail photography. This is a small device (built in to some of the latest camera models) that allows you to set a time that your camera takes a photograph every so many seconds in order to do time lapse as well as stacking of photographs for star trails.
An intervalometer is a device that plugs into a camera and controls how often, how long and how many shots are taken. Models vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but they all serve the same purpose.”A simple basic one will work just ﬁne.
When purchasing make sure you choose the connector for YOUR camera (Canon, Nikon, Sony etc
Please note that you can always use your self timer as well built into your camera for hands free shooting of stars. For Star trails, you will need an intervalomter either built into your camera or as shown above.