You’ve purchased a pricy DSLR camera that you absolutely love, but now you’re going to be traveling abroad and it has dawned on you that this isn’t exactly a compact device that you can zip into your windbreaker pocket! The following are a few tips designed specifically for the amateur photographer who wants to use his or her DSLR to take the gorgeous shots that will truly do justice to the images that are seen throughout the travels.
- Practice before you go. Become very familiar with the functions and use of your DSLR and with taking great photos before you leave. If you wait until you’re already abroad to start learning, you’ll miss great shots and will take away from what you’re actually experiencing.
- Review composition basics. If you find that the beautiful vision you see doesn’t always translate to the pictures you take, a review of basic photographic composition may help. These days, you can access free online tutorials of impressive quality that you can pause and replay as needed. Local camera clubs and photography stores are also a low-cost source of helpful instruction.
- Learn how to use your DSLR camera while it’s in “Manual” mode. Automatic settings on today’s modern cameras are so effective that you may be tempted to rely upon them all the time—and you can. But there may be times, such as low-light situations or other special lighting scenarios that the only way to truly harness the versatility of your DSLR is to operate it using manual settings that allow you to adjust controls. Another alternative to manual is taking advantage of “scene” modes, such as night portrait, or fireworks settings that may be built into your camera. If all else fails,
- Bring lots of memory. Bring a larger number of memory cards with you than you think you’ll ever need. Not only do you want to be ready for anything, but in the rare case that you may have memory card failure, loss, or even theft, having more cards with a moderate amount of memory on each may be better than having only a few with a high amount of memory.
- Stay charged up. Plan on having one extra charged battery at all times. And if you can afford it, a third battery or set is even better. Don’t forget your chargers, and make sure that you do your homework and are prepared with a travel adaptor that is compatible with your destination’s outlets. Today’s electronics are often compatible for multiple voltages, but be sure to check. You may find you need a converter, as well.
- Bring only the lenses you need. You may be tempted to haul many lenses with you, just in case. But when it all comes down to it, you should bring nothing more than one zoom and a lightweight normal. Anything else is adding weight and bulk but won’t add much to your shots.
- Bring a small lens cleaning kit. If you assume your lens won’t get dirty, it almost certainly will. Don’t tempt fate and pack a cleaning kit.
- Consider a good quality messenger bag. Instead of wearing a camera bag that tells the world that you’re carrying expensive equipment, use a good quality messenger bag without an obvious brand label that will help to keep your equipment safe, hidden, and that will be hard to take off you by anyone you pass. Some major camera bag manufacturers are beginning to make camera bags such as this, too. The bottom line is that you want to feel safe and secure and not let anything keep you from getting the shots you like.
- Use a strong, generic neck strap. This way, you won’t be telling anyone what brand device you’re carrying, in case someone might be thinking of trying to swipe it. It’s also a good idea to put a piece of opaque tape over the brand on the body of the camera.
- Buy insurance. Nobody wants their beloved, expensive DSLR to go missing, break, or get stolen, but a lot can happen when you’re travelling abroad. Even when you’ve taken the precautions of bringing it in your carry-on and keeping it with you everywhere you go, the worst could still happen. At least if you’re insured, you’ll be able to replace that gorgeous camera.
When you return home from your trip, you’re going to want to share your terrific shots with your friends and loved ones. Social media on the Internet offers numerous ways to post your shots online, but also consider creating a true heirloom of your adventure with framing. Photography of nearly any style looks great in a classic black frame, and it’s a cost-effective option that will help you keep the memories of your journey alive for years to come.
This is a guest post written by Am Frame.