Next to never buying a new camera the day before setting out to photograph the wilds of Alaska, if there is any other secret about travel photography it’s that using your equipment has to be instinctive so when an opportunity presents itself you may only have a few seconds to get a shot. When I saw a guy on a scooter coming toward me on Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets, I turned and clicked of three frames and this one was the best. There’s no time to think about what menu to use or how do I turn on continuous AF or what exposure mode am I in?
The Boy Scouts have it right, when it to comes to travel photograph you gotta “be prepared.” Just as important as knowing your equipment inside and out is what other “stuff” you need to bring along to make sure that the images from the trip are as vivid as your memories.
That’s why number one tip is to pack lots of memory cards. You may be not able to find an SD card or even a Wal-Mart in the mountains of Bhutan or may be surprised that the prices in Tokyo’s Akihabara are a lot higher than your friendly local camera store. Speed matters too. While there seems to be an ever-confusing array of memory cards available for digital cameras, so what size memory cards should you use?
The conventional wisdom I often hear espoused is that you’re better off with more, smaller capacity cards than fewer larger ones. That concept is based on the assumption that you’ll loose fewer images if you have a card failure. (Don’t laugh, it’s happened to me.) I have a different theory: I think you should use bigger cards. You won’t have as many to keep track of (or lose) or have to spend time changing cards. Either way, make sure you have enough of’em.
And speaking of memory cards, I just ordered a Kingston USB 3.0 memory card reader and Inateck 4 Port PCI-E to USB 3.0 Expansion Card for my Mac Pro. This is phase I of a plan to speed-up my imaging workflow. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.