Saturday, November 3, 2012

A photographer on vacation

What lenses should I take?

Should I take my tripod?

Do I take a DSLR or a point & shoot?

The first question should be: why am I taking my camera on holiday?  Is it to capture memories or to feature pictures in a magazine?

Most people take a camera on holiday to capture & share memories of their travels.

If you are heading into extreme climates you will need to consider specialist gear, but for most people going on vacation it's best to take less.

Many people who take tripods don't use them.  My advice is not to take it.  You will regret your decision either way, but at least if you don't take it you wont have any hassles.  If you really need one you could borrow one, take a small one or just rest the camera on a table.

A good quality point & shoot camera is a brilliant option.  You will get good quality photos, have good zoom & they are very compact.  Choose one that is better than your camera phone though.

If you decide you want better quality photos then the DSLR will be your weapon of choice.

Changing lenses is a real pain when on vacation & you generally want to avoid this, but this means making compromises.  On my next holiday I'm only going to take my 15-85mm Canon lens on my cropped sensor.  This is all I really needed.  Sure I couldn't zoom in on the hilltop castles but I just re-thought my shot & was happy with the results.

These are the things I learnt from my last trip:
1. Less is best - both in terms of gear & shots
2. Have enough memory cards - but you can always buy more later
3. Take the shot, then make the shot - Grab the picture when you can, but then try & get the shot you want
4. Delete quickly - try & only keep the shots you want to share otherwise the computer gets cluttered
5. Use a shoulder strap for comfort & conveience - rather than a neck or hand strap
6. Get the right size bag - not too big or too small - just right
7. Be a tourist in your own town - go out with your gear & test it before you go away
8. Keep the lens clean from dust & grime
9. Remember to enjoy the holiday - don't let your only view be through the viewfinder
10. If you don't get the perfect shot buy a postcard or painting
11. Get in the right spot for sunrises & sunsets - they create magic moments