Travel Photography: How To Keep your Equipment Safe
If you're engaging in travel photography, keeping your camera and lenses safe and secure is one of the most pressing concerns. Whether you're traveling by land, sea or air, it's vital that you make sure your camera and equipment are packed properly and appropriately. The last thing you would want is to arrive at your destination and discover that your lens has cracked, or worse, your camera has been damaged along the way. To make sure that you keep your photography equipment safe, here are some tips in packing and preparing for your travel.
Step 1: Know Your Destination
Knowing the climate of your destination is vital in packing your equipment. If you're traveling to a warm and humid climate, you should probably stash silica gels in your bag for moisture control. If your destination is known for intermittent rains, know which protective casing to get for your camera. If it's freezing weather, take care of the bag you're packing it in. Knowing where you're going and what weather to expect can make or break your pictures.
Step 2: Separate Your Camera and Lens
When packing your equipment, do not keep your camera body and lens attached. If your bag gets kicked or dropped, there's a bigger chance of your camera breaking off at the lens mount. Some photographers would argue that they want to keep their cameras ready for photo opportunities. You might as well keep your camera around your neck then if this is the case. It's better to risk missing good photo opportunities, rather than unpacking a broken DSLR.
Step 3: Get a Good Bag
Do not simply pack in your camera in any kind or bag or backpack. Getting a good camera bag is crucial to keeping your equipment safe and in one piece. You can opt for a hard casing, or a padded bag. There are now a number of really good options on the market in terms of style, design and functionality. Go for one that suits your purpose. Do you want a shoulder bag, backpack or a simple duffel? Do you need a laptop compartment along with it, or a small one for the camera body and lens will do? Make sure that your camera bag is sturdy, and each compartment is well padded.
Step 4: Add Reinforcements
Add more padding when packing just to ensure that you will be able to protect all your equipment from impact. If taking a long trip, especially if you're forced to check in your equipment, it's best to wrap each camera part in bubble wrap. Make sure that each equipment piece is protected all around with padding and wrapping, and that no two pieces can collide with each other and break.
Step 5: Load and Protect
Do not overload your bag. This will only result in possible disaster. First, you run the risk of parts getting crushed or squeezed together. Also, overloading your bag will damage it. Last thing you want is the seams or zippers giving way, and having your camera plummet to the concrete. Also, considering bringing a weather protector for your bag; this will guard against heavy rains or snow.