Adventure Photography Workshop & Photo Adventure
Packing List and Other Important Information
Before you embark on any photographic adventure it’s a good idea to investigate the area that we will be photographing. Please also be aware of the particular customs and or laws of that area especially if we are traveling to another country. We may live in the land of the free, but other countries do not necessarily share our customs and laws. Some great books and information can be found through the leading travel publishers such as THE LONELY PLANET, FODOR’S TRAVEL GUIDE, and FROMMER’S TRAVEL GUIDE
If you're going on an Adventure or Workshop, it's a good idea to read the complete description as we try to make sure you're aware of special things to bring along. The following list is not only for photographic gear, but also for items related to other factors, such as change in temperature - very cool mornings then hot days, or night versus day shooting assignments. The list is pretty comprehensive and many items are not needed for some tours and workshops. We just tried to think of everything we'd love to be able to bring along.
We feel it is better to have the basics and not be weighed down with too much.
“If You Can’t Carry It Five Miles Leave It Home!”…
REMEMBER it’s not the ARROW it’s the INDIAN!
Our photo excursions are about the Adventure so pick your preferred image capturing equipment! You are welcome to bring anything, a dSLR, Point & Shoot or Phone Camera.
Good Camera Bag - to haul around all of your stuff. Backpack styles are the most comfortable for tours that require a bit of walking or even getting around the airport. Read reviews or check measurements so you know it's not too big to carry on a plane. Generally, the size is defined by linear inches - add the height, width, and depth - and most airlines permit from 45 to 51 linear inches and 25 to 40 pounds (a bag of 22"x14"x9" would be 45 linear inches & 40lbs max). International flights can be very different, so check the airline websites. Also, if you put some valuable equipment in your checked baggage, make sure the camera equipment is on their list of approved checked baggage. If so, you can declare an Excess Baggage Value amount when you check-in. A small fee will apply, but then you're covered if they lose it. Another option is for an additional smaller day-bag where you can carry a selection of lenses, memory cards, etc. - Crumplers and Sling Bags and are good for this and can be taken along in the checked luggage.
Typically I have mainly (3) three interchangeable lenses with me A wide-angle zoom (12-24mm) mid-range zoom (24-120mm) and a telephoto zoom (70-200mm). Macro lenses are also fun to have along as an additional lens or possibly a 1.4 or 2.0 teleconverter. If you have attended any of my other walks, tours or if you are a member of our photo walk club you know how I feel about birding so I doubt you will need anything longer than 300mm.
A circular polarizer and ND filters (either full ND or graduated ND) are about the only essential filters that you might want to have on hand.
Remote shutter release or Intervalometer
Remote shutter release or an intervalometer for the nighttime shoots or long exposures (or use self-timer mode).
Adjustable head on-camera flash units will give you more options for fill flash, bouncing light or light painting.
Even if you think that you're just a Point & Shoot type, a tripod can really make a difference, and it is a must for many low-light and nighttime shootings. There are many models that are quite light and stiff, and with only one leg extended they can be used as a monopod for when you're in a crowd or have moving subjects. A sturdy and lightweight tripod is always best but anything is better than nothing.
We do occasionally experience some weather out in the field so I would suggest bringing some LARGE 2- gallon zip-lock bags for your camera, lenses or other equipment to keep them dry if we encounter rain. Also, you might want to have a lens cleaning cloths and a hand towel in your bag.
Don’t forget to fully charge your batteries and bring your charger with you in the car (and possibly an inverter to utilize the car charger).
We are usually on the go or in need of a little mid-day rest on our adventures but as a precaution, my workflow is to download my images after every shoot so you may want to have a laptop or some other means to download and store your images during the length of our adventure. You might also want to bring a portable back-up drive.
I prefer to have multiple cards of smaller storage units to lessen the chances of losing images. The megapixels of your particular camera will determine the number and size of memory cards that you will need, but a couple of cards that will allow you to capture a few hundred images per outing should be sufficient. Remember that memory is cheaper nowadays so don’t skimp.
Depending on the adventure and time of year will determine what clothing that you might need to bring so check the weather forecast prior to packing. Be prepared for various temperatures during the early morning and late evenings as well as daytime so multiple lighter layers usually work best. Be prepared for the sun and wet weather too, so a light rain jacket or lightweight rain poncho, a hat, and sunscreen might do well. If cold temperatures are in store, gloves and hand warmers are good to have on hand too!
Comfortable footwear is essential for an enjoyable walking adventure. Safety is also a great concern so having something slip-resistant and/or water repellent in wet conditions is a good idea water boots are good too!
We quite possibly will find ourselves in areas and times of day that bugs and other critters like to live so bug repellent is a must. Because of individual allergies etc. these items are best to have your own.
We typically schedule outings with meal stops in mind but there are times when the light is right! Photography is primary and eating is secondary so having energy/snack bars and water with you is not only suggested but strongly advised.
Compact flashlight - so important for sunrise/sunset and night shooting.
Make up an inventory list (and a couple of copies) of your equipment with serial numbers in case they are lost or "borrowed". Groups rarely have this problem, but this also helps with some faraway places that might want you to leave with the same stuff your came in with and show that you're not a taxable commercial dealer.
DON’T FORGET! International electric plug adapters for overseas tours.
For overseas, make sure your Passport is up to date. Some countries require that a passport expiration date is at least a certain number of months after a visa valid-to date.
Credit Cards are the way to go, but internationally, you will need a Pin in many countries. Call your credit card company and request a pin number and don't forget it - it's four digits, so add it to a made-up phone number & name in your wallet for memory convenience. Also, your bank's check-card may not work overseas at an ATM card, so bring an actual credit card just in case.
Travelers Checks are difficult to cash, especially since many overseas banking hours are not convenient for the tour schedules. ATM's are everywhere!
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