Photography, how to pack?

The time of departure is come and you finally made up your mind to take great photos for this stay that will certainly be one that you remember forever. After making your camera choice, you wonder if it would not be useful to supplement your purchase with some practical accessories. The truth with photography is that the choice is vast and is constantly expanding. All ancillary gears are certainly useful. However, you cannot carry a load that is heavier than mules are made to bear.

Here are some tips to carry the bare minimum that match your photographic needs.

 

The lenses

There is no perfect lens, and unfortunately, a versatile, luminous, compact and cheap lens does not exist.

The very first question you need to ask yourself relates to the dimensions of the lens. "Can I take two or even three lenses? Do I have time to switch the lens and still capture the moment? " If you plan to head off on a photo safari, a powerful zoom lens will be essential. However, if you practice classic street or landscape photography, a wide angle or a standard zoom lens (24-70mm in 35mm equivalent format) will perfectly play its part.

Generally speaking, a fixed focal length lens offers superior image quality. The classic 35mm will therefore be an excellent choice. Hardly encumbering, it is easy to pack in any bag and allow the photographer to shoot discreetly without drawing attention. Contrary to common beliefs, it is easy to get used in the absence of zoom which forces you to constantly move and find the best perspective.

The 24-135mm (equivalent in 35mm format) zoom lens is also a good alternative. Its main disadvantage is that versatility comes at the expense of image rendering. Please note that wide angle lenses which are a “must have” for nature photography, will not be suitable if you also plan to do portraits.

The filters

Filters are useful but you can live without it in most cases. Lenses are now treated to resist UV. You can however use a filter to avoid any risk of shock and damage on your lens.

The polarizing filter provides substantial improvements to the image rendering in situations of high brightness or if you plan to photograph high reflective landscapes.

The neutral gray filter is a must have if you plan to photograph natural landscapes. The variable neutral gray filter (ND2-ND400) is versatile and allows you to realize long exposures of cascade, fountain or river.

Generally speaking, if you can afford it, do not choose the cheapest filter as image rendering may be impaired. What a pity if you had acquired a high-end and prohibitively expensive lens..

 

The tripod

You should not hesitate to carry a tripod if you still can pack your bag with it. During daytime and in high brightness the latter will not necessarily be essential. On the other hand, as soon as you go out in the morning, or in the evening in darker conditions it will become a "must have". All depends on the period during which you plan to make your pictures. Any photographer will however tell you that the most beautiful light is to be found at dawn or sunset.

 

The flash

Your camera is probably already equipped with a small built-in flash. The cobra flash is very useful if you want to compensate a backlight or make quality indoor photos. On the other hand, if you mainly realize outside shots or do not intend to practice the interior portrait, you can leave it at home.

 

The wired or bluetooth remote control 

Using the remote control will avoid inadvertent movements and vibrations while pressing the capture button (i.e. long exposure). Such an accessory can in most cases be replaced by the self-timer. It is also often possible to configure your camera to dedicate a quick access key to this function. Unless you need to be hidden (animal photography for example) or you think the self-timer would spoil the moment, you can live without it. 

 

The cleaning kit

Quite useful. At a minimum, we recommend taking a small cleaning cloth with you and putting a small dust pump in your luggage to clean the sensor in case you switch your lenses on a regular basis. 

There are a multitude of other accessories to clean your equipment. It's up to you to see what you prefer to use. You should also know that professionals perfectly clean the sensors for a reasonable price.

 

Conclusion

It all depends on your needs, your ambitions and your budget. Do not take too much. The more versatile and light your equipment is, the more you'll be able to take it with you at all time. The most beautiful photos are often the most unexpected. 

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