What gear to pack and not to pack.

In the first part of this post I told you what I thought what you might not need on a trip. I found I didn’t need a flash or fast primes, but if you photograph lots of people you would certainly need these items. At the end of the day what not to pack is up to you, but I think in the interest of travelling lightly, lenses with overlapping focal lengths maybe useless and if sharpness and big printing is not a big concern, a swathe of lenses is not necessary, so just take a super zoom.
There is nothing worse when your thousands of miles from a camera store or from home, and you forgot to pack something. A checklist, whether it be a mental one or written down, is essential for making sure you have everything you need.

Some of my essentials consists of a range of filters (pictured above, Neutral Density Graduated and Dark Blue Storm Grad Cokin filters with filter holder and lens adapter rings http://www.cokin.com/, UV filters for all lenses and a quality circular polarizer for each lens. All this was stored in my bag in a Tamrac MX5388 filter wallet to protect them all).

The above photo shows some other essentials you should pack for holiday. The most used item was the micro-fibre cloth that folds into a little pouch. I even bought an extra one in B&H Photo in New York http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ to add to the other bag I took. Also in there is a Giottos Rocket Blower, which is absolutely essential as the cloth to blow out any dust or fibres in the mirror cavity of your camera body www.giottos.com/Rocket-air.htm a shower cap swiped from a hotel room just in case you really need to have your camera out in the rain (it’s not as good as the one you buy, but its free), a felt tip pens so you can right on anything, a notepad for recording details like notes from the destination, thoughts etc, business cards in case anyone asks if you are a professional and have a website (it happens), a model release if you plan to take pictures of people for sale to stock image websites or image libraries, and lastly the handiest thing I had was a torch. My first torch was a basic bulb type that fell to bits when I dropped it at the Grand Canyon while setting up for a sunrise shoot. I later then bought a LED torch from a convenience store near Monument Valley in Utah and paid a massive US$10 for it.

Other bits and pieces I would suggest taking would be spare batteries for just about anything. Imagine the prices they charge at gas stations in the middle of the desert and if they are still any good. Even take spares of the proprietary batteries your camera takes, because buying overseas you maybe paying very high prices in tourist areas and its valuable spending money too. Other things I pack in the bag is a couple of elastic bands, band-aids and tissues for that just in case moment.

That’s all for today, but tune in next time as I will be talking about when to shoot and how to organise your time.

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