It’s been my experience that, for the professional photographer, there is little difference between personal or business travel. This, one of my best selling stock photographs, and was made on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
Too many miles in too many airplane seats and too much time spent in too many airports has left me with a fondness for traveling with as few pieces of photo gear as possible.
This was brought home to me many years ago when I broke my “personal best” travel record by passing through twenty-eight different airports in one month. It was around this time that I started developing the flexible system for travel photography I want to share with you.
There is a noticeable difference between the amount of photo equipment I pack for personal travel compared to what I bring along when shooting stock travel images.
When traveling for pleasure, I prefer to only carry only one bag. My two-bag system is reserved for stock shoots or when traveling by car. What’s in my photo backpack?
When it comes to SLRs—check Gear for a look at my mirrorless gear too—I’m mostly a Canon shooter but Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax shooters can pack similar items into a similar backpack, so the system remains the same. My (now discontinued) Joe Farace Classic backpack is stuffed with a Canon EOS 5D and EOS 60D, both with battery grips. Although seldom used, expect for outdoor portraits, there’s also a 580EX II speedlite with Sto-Fen flash diffuser.
My goal in lens selection for travel photography is to provide a seamless selection of focal lengths and since there are very few secrets in photography, it should come as no surprise that the common denominator for my lens choices is zooms. Lenses include the affordable EF 28-135mm IS and an EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. I also have a third-party 2x and 1.4 extender and a Lensbaby packed because ‘ya never know. Memory cards are stored in a Lightware Flash Media Wallet. And one important accessory that’s in every camera bag I own— A LensPen to keep everything nice and clean.
My mirrorless camera travel bag is somewhat different, you can take a look at it here.