In additional to a pair of digital SLRs and a few select, mostly zoom, lenses, I always carry a digital point and shoot camera when traveling. Sometimes at the end of the day when I’m dog-boned tired and don’t feel like carrying an SLR, I’ll slip that digital point-an-shoot in my pocket and take a walk. Or take it with me when heading out to dinner, which is where I made the above shot.
Having a camera with you at all times while traveling is a good idea because you never know what you will encounter. I would have never made that photograph of the Acapulco harbor if I hadn’t slipped the Leica D-Lux in my pocket on the way out to dinner. I set the camera on the ledge next to my table, put the camera in “Starry Night” mode—which produced a 15-second exposure—and used the self timer to trip the shutter. Voila!
Most point-and-shoots have a built-in flash. Be sure to use it outdoors for fill and even at night when making portraits. One of the best features built into all cameras these days is the Night Scene mode that balance flash with ambient light to make this kind of portrait photography a snap!