Stay Focused

Like us on Facebook

voi.ci - url shortening

Recent Posts

More Places to Go

Archives

Tags

How I Travel with a Camera

27th September 2012

…or improving my photographic memory
 
 
I’ve traveled by plane so often that the routine of traveling overseas has become old hat.

But for this trip, I am diligently recording the steps that I follow with the goal of creating a checklist that other travelers may find handy if they too want to have a photographic memory of their travels.
 
 

Choose your weapon
Sadly I have more photo equipment than I could ever use at one time. This trip I am taking a lightweight camera with an all-in-one (wide angle to telephoto) zoom lens.

My experience has taught me to take fewer pieces of equipment to save space and weight. Besides the camera, don’t forget the battery charger and extra memory cards. I almost always take a notebook computer to review and backup my photos.

Luggage rack
To save time and avoid the lost luggage syndrome, I rarely check my bags with the airlines. Instead I use a small roll-on-board suitcase and a backpack. My backpack is designed for photo equipment and has a well-padded compartment for my notebook computer. The tendency is to fill the backpack to capacity but you may have second thoughts as you’re rushing to make a tight connection from Gate A-1 to Gate F-99 with 40 pounds hanging from your shoulders while you drag your roll-on-board in tow.

Suggestion: lighten your load; your back will be forever grateful.

Reservations please
I enjoy taking photos from the airplane window. If you book your airline reservations far enough in advance you may be able to reserve a window seat. As I’m mostly traveling in the northern hemisphere I try to reserve a seat on the left side of the aircraft when traveling east or north and on the right side of the aircraft when traveling west or south. By doing this you’re avoiding the direct sun in the aircraft window.

At the Airport
Put your camera away at security – the TSA staff are all camera-shy.

After you’ve passed through security, snap a photo at your gate to record your flight and destination. Is there a window overlooking the tarmac? Take a shot of the aircraft that you’ll be flying. Are you traveling with others? You’ll want to capture their faces too. Are you traveling to or through an airport that is new to you? Take a picture of that barnstorm plane hanging from the ceiling or the museum pieces on display in the corridors. Many airports are filled with elegant artwork and designs. Take time to smell the roses as you’re passing through.

In the Air
Recording the progress of your flight may be difficult. If you happen to have a window seat you may be in luck. However, if the sun is shining brightly on your side of the aircraft, there will be a lot of flare. Or if the skies below are cloudy, you’ll have a very restricted view of the terrain. If you’re traveling overseas, you may be flying during the night.

Should you have a clear view, set your camera’s shutter speed to 1/250 second or faster to minimize blur. Remember that during takeoff and landing you’re closest to the detail on the ground. These are both good times to capture your flight.

Arrival and the Sites
Here’s where the real photographer in you blossoms. Get out there and snap, snap, snap.

Most likely, you already have a list of the landmarks and attractions that you want to photograph. The tendency is to step back and include everything in your photos. Try stepping forward a little to include less (but closer) detail. Instead of posing people, it’s interesting to catch people in action. To prove that you were there, is there someone who can take your picture too?

What about the local customs and curiosities of your destination that are different from home? The foods, architecture, landscape and transportation may all be unique to this area. Why not record these?

Backing up your photos
I mentioned earlier that I almost always travel with a notebook computer. I’ve also made it a habit to copy my photos from the memory card (SD or CF) to my notebook computer daily.

Additionally, I make a backup copy of these digital files to a thumb-drive. Afterwards, I keep the thumb-drive in a place separate from my notebook computer. This gives me two copies of my travel images.

Returning Home
Don’t relax just yet. The reverse flight home may give you a better opportunity for in-flight photos than the flight there.

On my return flight home, I had a connection at Newark (New York area). Having grown up in New York, I knew that the Statue of Liberty was sitting in New York Harbor to the south of Manhattan so I was prepared to snap a photo during arrival. Again, having a window seat was the key.

Following are some of my “photographic memories” from my travels to Germany and Switzerland that hopefully illustrate this article – arranged chronologically.








Happy travels.

 
 
Written by Arnie Lee
 
 


Post tags: , ,