Tips for Traveling with a Digital Camera

Meandering through the Naturescapes.net website mentioned in my previous post, Amazing New Shadow/Highlight Tool in Photoshop CS, I came across Lessons from the Field: Avoiding Some of the Perils of Digital Photography, by Ellen Anon, an insightful article about venturing out or traveling with a digital camera. You’ll find five invaluable tips to help you avoid problems with downloading images to your laptop, CompactFlash card readers, external hard drives, batteries and external power sources, and more. Her helpful tips can help you eliminate potential problems, especially when you’re away from your computer traveling.

[Canon PowerShot G3 4MP Digital Camera w/ 4x Optical Zoom]

Many of us enjoy taking photos while out and about or on vacation, and digital cameras are increasingly more common. Whether I’m taking off for the day or vacationing, I want to travel lightly, take photos when I feel like it, I don’t want to spend time hassling with photo-related equipment, and I want to ensure that I don’t lose the photos that I take.

Here’s what I typically do to keep things easy, light, and hassle-free. For backup safeguarding while traveling, I can upload the raw images from my camera via my laptop to a private spot on my ISP’s server, in addition to storing them on my laptop and CompactFlash cards until I get home. [VELBON MAXi 343E Lightweight Photographic Tripod] Also on my take-along list is a digital camera charger, a car charger, extra CompactFlash cards, and a lightweight tripod. I can leave the tripod in my car’s trunk to use whenever needed. A portable external hard drive may eventually be needed, too, although I like the idea of uploading photos privately somewhere so there’s a copy back home in the off-chance that equipment gets lost or stolen somehow. So, that’s an easy approach that works fine for my amateur photography needs. I don’t usually take along my laptop for day trips, but if I’m going somewhere for more than one night I’ll take it along to upload my photos, check email, or use the Web.

Do you have some tips for what to take along with you for taking photos with a digital camera? Feel free to share with some comments below.

08:19 pm, pdt10 August, 2004 Comments, Trackbacks (5) ·';}?>

Categories: Photography, Photoshop


Comments, Trackbacks: 5 so far. Add yours!

  1. Shirley:

    Back when I was doing radio for WTKI-AM here in Huntsville for UAH Charger hockey, our third man spent half of his time as a cameraman with my little POS Sony digicam. We quickly learned that it was also very good to burn photos off onto a CD-R. We sometimes gave someone local that we knew, usually the Sports Information Director, a copy of the CD-R so that, if anything unforseen happened, someone else had a copy. That’s the only thing that I can add.

    That poor little camera shot over 10k shots that season.

    08:40 pm, pdt10 August, 2004Comment by Geof

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  2. Hi, Geof,
    That’s quite a story about that Sony digicam! And yes, I agree that burning a CD of the photos can be helpful, too. Good idea.

    Thanks for your comment, Geof.

    12:50 am, pdt11 August, 2004Comment by Shirley Kaiser

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  3. I’ve recently upgraded from an Canon A80 to a Canon Digital Rebel and I’ve had to think quite carefully about equipment to take with my when I’m out and about taking photographs.

    I’ve invested in a few 512mb CF Cards as I found that I kept leaving my card in the reader and forget to put it back on the D-Reb, going out and not being able to take photographs! And whereas I was happily snapping away with a 32mb card in my A80 a 512mb card holds roughly 70 RAW shots in my D-Rebel.

    I purchased a good sized bag with enough room to comfortably hold my D-Reb and three lenses, extra pockets for filters and a special mobile phone pocket and it’s reasonably water proof. I can wear it going from one shoulder across my body so it’s more comfortable.

    I’ve also got a nice light weight tripod but haven’t used it yet but I’m considering a monopod for even faster use when out and about.

    Next on my list will be ways of storing photographs on the move. At the moment I upload untouched images to my hard-drive via a card reader and then back them up on a CD once a week. I’ve also got extra folders with manipulated and improved photographs which get backed up as well.

    Dpreview.com 300d forum has some great tips on managing workflow.

    12:36 pm, pdt12 August, 2004Comment by Sian

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  4. As Sian, I had a Canon PowerShot before I bought the Canon EOS 300D. (It’s called Digital Rebel in the USA)

    Well, with an SLR, you have much more problems with handling your camera. Especially if you want to change lenses on the field, and if you have at least two, you will.

    When I want to take photos in low light, I always bring my tripod. If you want to stay mobile, you can close it’s legs, and leave only one extended... like a monopod. No reason to buy another big gadget to the same work.

    I have the following stuff in my bag:
    Duct tape: Never know when U have to use it. :)
    Flashlight: If you want to see the camera controls in dim light, or at night. The backlight of the LCD is not enough for some purposes.
    Chemical light stick: Boy, I love this one. It’s about 4 centimeters long, and if you brake it, it can glow for about 7-9 hours. Very good for marking places and illuminating things. It’s chap. Bought in a fishing store.

    Be creative. There are a lot of things that can make your life easier in the field.

    10:46 am, pdt11 September, 2004Comment by Heckler2

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  5. Although this is basic and obvious, I always take a spare battery. You always run out when you really need it, and for rechargable batteries it’ll make them last longer to fully use them before charging. For an SLR lens tissue and a cable release are also lightweight essentials.

    06:35 pm, pdt 9 October, 2004Comment by Oli

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This discussion has been closed. Thanks to all who participated.


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