6 Gear Essentials for Travel Photographers

Capturing the moment is part of the adventure.

But also the challenge.

Photos allow you to relive the journey and keep great memories alive. Our spunky photographer, Mary Murphy, came back home from our recent trip more inspired than ever. She spent three months bouncing from Lisbon, Valencia and Marrakesh. Having the right equipment was necessary.

And she wants to share the experience.

So we sat down together while she dished out her photo tips and essential equipment.

Before diving into the gear - can you tell us a bit about your trip?

Mary Murphy: Of course! I found myself getting lost on the colorful streets of Lisbon. I put down my gps and let the adventure take hold. Once out of my comfort zone, the photos told a whole new narrative. Every street has a story, every wall of graffiti has someone’s soul embedded into it. I was a fly on the wall in a vibrant town. The most beautiful moments were the natural ones. Nothing forced. Nothing posed. Everything was real. The city came alive right before my eyes.

And how’d you capture it?

MM: The key is to purchase travel-friendly gear. You want lightweight and easy-to-use. It’s finding the healthy medium between high-quality and accessibility. Here’s what I recommend:

CAMERA:

Sony a7sii - Lightweight, GREAT for low light situations, so you don't need to bring a bulky toplight. But this is a professional DSLR (photography and video) camera. I recommend this camera for someone who gets paid to take pictures/videos. It’s pretty pricey.

Canon Powershot SX700- For the traveler that wants to get quality photos/videos without breaking the bank. You can even upload pictures to Facebook without connecting to a computer.

LENSES:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II: Definitely for the professionals. But - you want a lens with a good range. When traveling, the more range - the better. There's nothing more annoying than visiting a new location and constantly swapping lenses to get the ideal shot. It's a waste of precious exploring time. Plus - trying to change lenses in the middle of a busy street can damage gear or invite theft. It’s smart to spend more on a lens that can shoot close up/far away rather than buying two cheaper lenses - one for close range one for long. Remember- Your backpack can only hold so much.  

TRIPOD:

Manfrotto Befree Tripod: Lightweight, very compact, with a quick release camera plate so you can quickly remove your camera and get a shot without lugging your tripod along. This tripod fits comfortably inside my backpack alongside my camera.

GEAR BACKPACKS:

Think Tank Photo Perception Backpack: Simple design, cushions gear, adapts to a laptop. Fits a tablet, a camera, and two lenses.  Tons of storage space and pockets. I used this backpack and loved it. I recommend purchasing the bigger option - if you want to bring along a tripod.

Loctote: Not necessarily a camera backpack, but it's still a badass. Locks up so nobody can break into it. Ideal for laptops and Canon PowerShot camera.

+++++

Find what options work best for you. Tell your stories through the moments you capture.

Photography suggestions or tips? Please share in the comments below!

Stay Adventurous,

Katy