Yesterday’s Topic: What’s A Good Camera For Me To Buy?
I’m going to throw out some ideas for the travel minded photographer. You certainly don’t need all or any of these contraptions. Some can help and some are just fun fluff if you have the income to spend. I have used, or use, all of these things and have found them handy at one time or another on the road.
Adapter – $11
Chances are your battery charger is universal, meaning it will work on Mars or in Morocco. Look for the power rating on the back. It should say something like “INPUT AC:100-240V 50/60Hz” This means it will work with just about any power source on our planet. Always double check to be sure, but that range is big. If your camera was made in the last 4 years, you’re probably ok. And then I tell you to be sure and check, again.
Adapter simply makes the plug on the end of your charger fit into the wall socket wherever you may be. You will need to lookup the country to know what they use.
After you find out the adapter type, I would suggest going with just a single, small unit, like this one. I’ve used the big clunky, ‘fancy’ units before that have a slider to switch between countries, but really, smaller is better. Grab one for each counrty you may visit. Why only one? Because you will also be getting a….
Powerstrip – $15
As mentioned in the previous post, a powerstrip is as handy on the road as it is at home. “But the ones at home are so big,” you say? Introducing the Monster Outlets To Go travel power strip! This one is made for USA sockets and has four connections. The 3′ cord wraps around the unit for easy travel. You will want one of these if you have more than one device demanding power. The Super Bonus? You can make friends in the airport if all the power sockets are being used. Plug one of these bad boys in and BOOM! you have instant friends…who instantly dive into Facebook to talk to their other friends. It’s ok, travel is often about short term relationships.
PS, plug the single adapter onto the end of the power strip so you don’t have to carry extra adapters.
Solar Panel $200-500
If you’re heading off the grid or are unsure of power availability, grab a foldable (or rollable) solar panel. They aren’t cheap, but they are useful when you have a number of items to charge. For short trips into the bush, you are better off just bringing extra batteries, really. But for a longer trip when juice might not be available and you are pretty sure there will be sunlight, a nice unit, like the PowerFilm 20W foldable version, works wonders. It can even power a portable fridge or be used to keep truck batteries topped off while 4x4ing and camped for a number of days.
Trek-Tech TrekPod GO! Pro – $200
Trek-Tech, a Portland-based company, has been a sponsor of my People, Places And Patterns Project from the word go. I liked their tripods because they fit a niche for me, specifically the TrekPod GO! Pro as it breaks down to 22″ long, just small enough to fit into carry-on luggage. Before taking them on as a sponsor, I gave the product a thorough testing on a trip to Africa. The review from that test, which sealed my decision to take them on as a sponsor, can be found on Digital Photography School.
LowePro PixelPak V2 – $12
Those little individual packets Compact Flash cards come in are handy for keeping the cards clean and dry but they are a pain to organize. Enter the memory wallet. These little gadgets come in a variety of sizes and shapes and at the time I bought mine, LowePro was the best I could find. It’s hard on the outside and all soft and fuzzy on the inside with spots to hold your favorite memory cards. The V2 model of the PixelPak holds four Compact Flash cards while the V1 version holds eight SD/MMC/etc… type of cards OR, it can transform, just like an Autobot, into a holder for four cards and one PCMCIA adapter, in case you still use one of those things.
Padded Quick Release Neck Strap – $20
The Op/Tech quick release neck strap has been my favorite strap for six years now. It is neoprene, for the most part, and that adds some bounce and give to the strap. The quick releases are handy when you want to remove most of the strap so it isn’t hanging in the wind while taking a tripod mounted shot. It also helps make your camera stand out a bit less as NIKON or CANON is not emblazoned across the back of your neck.
Those are just a few of the handier items I tend to take with me when I travel. I try to lessen the amount I carry with me, so other than a circular polarizer and a remote from my specific camera, this is all I tend to bring.
Do you have a favorite piece of travel photography gear? Feel free to list it in the comments section below.
31+ Days To Better Photography is a series written by professional photographer Peter West Carey on The Carey Adventures.Com. The series is designed to unravel the mysteries of photography so you can take better pictures. Subscribe here to receive all the updates and bonus material. Your comments are always welcome.