Welcome to the first of a multi-part series that will aimed at the advanced holiday photographer (you know who you are, you can’t leave the house without all your gear) or even someone that might be heading off for travel to take the winning shot in order to sell it to an advertising agency or hang it up in a gallery.

The topics I will cover will include:

*Destinations, their terrain, access and climate
*Researching your destination before you go
*Suggested packing tips
*Camera kit suggestions
*What time of day to shoot and how to organise the time
*Shooting techniques and related accessories
*Image storage and backup
*Displaying your images when you get home and editing the images that don’t make the cut

Part One

Destinations, their terrain, access and climate
Your tickets, hotels and transfers are booked, you have checked your travel insurance covers your gear and now its time to think about what it would be like at the destination, considering most of you are probably packing a fair amount of photo gear if you are anything like me. I’ll qualify myself by saying I’ve only been to the USA for 5 weeks and to Holland, Belgium and France for four weeks. But I think the train of thought should be similar no matter where you going.

If you are mainly going to places that are urban environments and cities, consider that the most valuable piece kit is going to be your shoes. You will thank me later, by getting some good quality walking shoes that are already worn in. If you were going a trekking style holiday, of course its a given to have a sturdy set of hiking shoes. Also look into the weather before you leave and model your clothing choice on the expected temperatures you will encounter. Have a look at the outdoor ware specialist (Anaconda, Kathmandu, The North Face) stores to find clothes that are light weight, but warm or super comfortable for long journeys.

One thing that surprised me on my trip to the USA, the most beautiful and unique landscapes for example, are difficult to access. Some spots require you to hike 8 hours and set up camp to get the morning light and then trek 8 hours back to any form of civilisation. Those sorts of surprises can be counteracted with thorough research into your destination and by utilising tourist information centers located at your hotel or at the destination. In some countries it may be frowned upon to bring a camera to Government sites or Holy grounds/buildings, it might be inappropriate to lug a massive camera bag around a local person’s shop or to even carry up a mountain. Some places like Indian Reservations in the USA require you to pay to even enter certain grounds, then you pay extra for a tour. All this leads me to my next topic: Researching your destination.

This image here is of Antelope Slot Canyon just out of Paige in Arizona USA. I knew in advance I wanted to go here, but I didn’t know they charged US$6 per head to just enter the car park, then a $25 fee per person for the tour. Steep, but it was worth it in the end.

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