Showing posts with label expedition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label expedition. Show all posts

Thursday, April 22, 2010

VACATION OR EXPEDITION?

Photographers, if they do it correctly, don't go on vacation.  They go on expedition.  While not part of the official dictionary definition, we must plan ahead for having adequate equipment, batteries, cards, chargers, laptops and backup drives.  Now think about packing the basic cameras, strobes and lenses.  Add to this, the additional equipment if you are an underwater photographer.  

If you are a pro, vacation was never in the picture. You need to think shot list, additional opportunities for marketing images, review what has been done before, plus think openly about new approaches, destination client and publisher expectations.

Then to deal with the gauntlet of our wonderful friends, the airlines. What fun the post 9/11 world has become.  Don't you wish you could go back to being a tourist carrying a point and shoot so gleefully and unrealistically described in the Airline ticket folders?  Devotees and Pros do not exist in their eyes.  Even the TSA is frequently taken aback by what we carry.

So packing is a challenge.  Taking stock of inventory and distributing weight is the order of the day.  A small camping scale with a max capacity of 50 lbs is a great help to travel with you for rebalancing when needed.

Backup equipment is recommended for everything.  You first learn something doesn’t work when you are USING it.  It depends on your budget, insistence on perfection, and personal neuroses for how you handle this.  Respectfully, you may be going to places where electricity is novel or different voltages.  Digital photography is electric intensive.

Digital backup capacity
Important consideration for not running short.  Think about how much you will shoot, and plan cards, hard drive capacity to last the trip.  It is not hard now to shoot 8 – 16 GB per day even with Point and Shoots and movie files.  Do the math and plan accordingly.  Plan on bringing back files on two devices or two media for safety.  Example is a Laptop Hard Drive and an external Hard Drive.  Relying on just one is risky.  PACK THESE SEPERATELY in case one bag is lost!

SLEEP NOTE: If you are diligent, the External Hard Drive will easily allow you to do backups each day due to the speed of the drive, especially if you use firewire.  If you are doing DVD, the discipline required at bedtime may cause you to skip the backups.  Buy more Cards as an alternative to the chore.


Ancillary items that complement the checklist:
o   Equipment Serial Number list for Customs and Insurance.  One for passport wallet, one in each major piece of luggage.
o   Camping Scale to balance out luggage - 50 pound capacity min.


Personalize the checklist
It is only of value if you ADD / DELETE / MODIFY items as they apply or don’t.

If you are an Underwater Photographer, I have two lists posted on Dive PhotoGuide:
Click here for the DSLR list.

Click here for the Point & Shoot list.

 
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COMPREHENSIVE LIST (For Customization)


CAMERAS
o   MAIN SLR BODY
o   Backup SLR BODY
o   Point and shoot Camera
o   SLR batteries (3 minimum)
o   Point & Shoot Batteries
o   SLR battery chargers
o   Point & Shoot Charger

o   Carry on bag
o   Camera Manual


LENSES
o   Wide Angles
o   Fisheye
o   Macro 1  (50 – 60?)
o   Macro 2   (100mm)
o   Normal fast (50 1.4)
o   General Purpose Zoom(s) for land  (eg. 18 – 200)
o   Wildlife Zoom(s) for Land (eg. 100 – 500 )


STROBE(S)
o   Strobe (s)
o   Strobe Batteries and spares
o   Sync Cord(s)?
o   Strobe charger(s)
o   Strobe Manual

TOOL KIT
o   Lens paper
o   Screwdriver with multiple tips
o   Duct tape, maybe three feet rolled up as a neat roll (just standard procedure- improvisation)
o   Electrical ties (just standard procedure - improvisation)
o   Multi-tool like a Leatherman or small vice grip
o   Sensor Blower bulb / kit



LAPTOP & BACKUP/ DVD GENERATING SUPPORT
OPTION A:  LAPTOP & External Hard Drive - Best option
o   Laptop
o   Card Reader & CABLE
o   USB / Firewire Cable for Hard Drive
o   External Hard Drive
o   Laptop charger
o   International Voltage Transformer (If needed)
o   International Plug adapters (If needed)
o   Power Strip / Surge protector
o   Three prong grounding adapter.
o   Combo Camera & Laptop bag (carry on in camera bag like Lowepro Laptop & Camera backpack)

OPTION B – Laptop & DVDS
o   Laptop
o   Card Reader
o   USB Cable
o   Laptop charger
o   International Voltage Transformer (If needed)
o   International Plug adapters (If needed)
o   Blank Disks
o   Container for burned discs or disc pages
o   Power Strip / Surge protector
o   Three prong grounding adapter.
o   Combo Camera & Laptop bag (carry on in camera bag like Lowepro Laptop & Camera backpack)