Since I like photography I have done some photographic trips, both on foot and by car. In all of them I have made mistakes that have prevented me from either enjoying the trip on the one hand or not being able to make the picture I wanted because of not having the equipment and taking the necessary precautions.
In this article I am going to give you a series of tips to take a photo trip that I hope you can help.
All your team with you
The first thing you should be clear about in your photographic journey is that you have to take all your equipment behind, and more if you go by car. It may happen to you that you leave a certain objective at home and suddenly you find yourself in a situation that you need, if you do not wear it you will regret it.
I know that the teams are very heavy, so when you go out to do your photo shoot you do not have to take it all, but try to take it in the car, in case you need to be able to pick it up.
Buy a good backpack or bag
When we go out with our camera, we usually walk a lot, either in the city or in the countryside, so it is important to carry a good backpack, not only for our comfort, but also to protect the equipment.
Carry your tripod
I already said in the post “tips to make sharper photos”, the tripod is one of the most important elements to get a clear picture, especially in low light conditions. I emphasize this because the tripod is usually heavy, and even if you are not very used to it, you may be embarrassed to take it out. If you want to take good pictures, do not be lazy or embarrassing, take your tripod for a walk.
On the other hand, you see carefully where you plant your tripod, you can not put it anywhere. Obviously, if you are in the field you will not have any problem, but in the city if you can get problems, for example inside a museum, a metro stop, etc.
Although when I travel I usually go back to the hotel a couple of times and I can recharge the batteries. Sometimes this is not possible, so it is important to take batteries from your spare camera.
Another important thing is to have an external battery for your mobile, smartphones do not usually stand out for the duration of the batteries, so if you are going to be out of the hotel all day you will need it.
Clean the sensor of your camera
To me personally it seems very frustrating to have to clean up those dust spots that appear in our photographs when we see the photos on the computer, so I recommend you, if you are going to take a photo trip to make sure your sensor is clean. To know it you can take pictures of the blue sky and then on the computer zoom in and check all the areas to see that you do not have any stains.
Unless you know what you’re doing, the best thing you can do is take your camera to a specialized store where it’s cleaned, do not be a disgrace.
Investigate the place from home with your computer
Find the places where you want to go
When you are going to take a photo trip it is very important that you know the best places to take pictures before leaving. Once there you may realize that the sites you have chosen were not as good as you thought or the light conditions of that day are not good, even so it is important that you investigate from home.
Look at other people’s pictures
The first thing I do before going on a photo trip is to see photos and other people, pages like flickr or instagram can be a good option. Obviously I’m not telling you to try to copy a photo, just look for the most photogenic sites.
Investigate how to get there
If we are going to photograph landscapes to reach some places, maybe there are no paved roads and we have to drive the car along dirt roads or even walk along paths. It is very important to inform us of how we can get to these beautiful places.
To do this we can do a little research on Google Earth or see if there are hiking trails on Wikiloc. What I do when I can not drive is to take a route that leads to that site I want to photograph on Wikiloc and I put it on my GPS, a gadget that I certainly recommend, although you can also use your phone, in which case, take external charger.
The position of the sun
Knowing where the sun rises and goes is another of the things you should consider before taking a photo trip. You may see a very cool picture on the internet made in a certain place where the sun appears in the background. Well, maybe the time when you go the sun does not come out or hide out there, since depending on the time of year the position of the sun varies.
Both for Android and for the Iphone there are some very good applications that inform you of the time of sunrise and sunset, the golden or blue hour and where it goes out and sets. If you locate a site that you like, you should inform yourself well of all this to make a good photograph.
Ask other people who have been there
If you have family or friends who have been in the site you are going to visit, ask them what they recommend you visit, then you can search the Internet for information about that site and see if you are interested in visiting or not.
Another option you have is to contact a blogger or contact you have on the internet to ask if you can give some advice or recommend a site.
Other recommendations before leaving
Get in shape
I do not know about you, but when I stop doing sports every week I usually notice it a lot. Once I have gone on a photographic journey and after being 30 minutes with the team behind I am exhausted. The problem with these situations is that you will not enjoy your trip and you will not make good photos either, so it is important to stay in shape, do not be a good slope to take a picture of a beautiful landscape and when get up there do not have enough strength to hold the camera.
Your car must also be “fit”
Always when you travel you have to do a review of the car, but if we are going to take a photo trip, which surely means that we are going to get into the car on secondary roads and even unpaved roads there are still more reasons to make sure everything is in perfect state. Imagine that you are going by a county road after sunset and you have a breakdown in the car, it is not the same thing that happens to you here on a highway where there is usually coverage or SOS phones to notify the crane. So you know, if you do not want to have a scare or hit a good walk on a county road until you find a town or coverage, check your car well before leaving.
Hire travel insurance and your equipment
Well, if your equipment is very expensive I suppose you’ll already have it insured, if not, there are some companies that offer insurance for the photographic material. If for whatever reason you have an upset with your camera or objectives, you will always have the comfort of knowing that you have insurance that will cover the damages.
Regarding travel insurance if you go to a city or you’re not going to get lost in the bush, you may not need it, but if you are going to take pictures in areas that are a bit isolated, you may be interested in taking out travel insurance in case of flies, read the coverage well and hire the one that interests you the most.
Try to go out of season
When I make a photo trip I try to do it outside of the seasons in which people travel more, such as Easter or summer. I know this is impossible in many cases but if you can, avoid these two dates. The reason is very simple, if you want to take a picture in a nice medieval town or on a lake, if these are very touristy when you go, it will be full of people and maybe it’s not what you want.
If you have no choice but to go on these dates because you will not have another to get up early, although this should be done or there are no people.
In full photographic journey
Not only do you have to prepare before you leave, also in the middle of the photographic journey you have to have some clear things.
Protect yourself, especially in summer
If you are going to walk a lot it is important that you take sunscreen or other creams such as to avoid chafing (I am very sensitive). If you spend many days with your backpack on your back, you may have problems.
It is also very important that you wear comfortable clothes and good shoes.
These recommendations can also be applied by those who follow the path of Santiago, but there are times when you start walking with your backpack on your back and end up doing practically the same kilometers as they do at a stage, so it is very important that go well equipped and protected.
Take care of the environment
If you go through the mountains it is very important that you respect the environment, do not throw garbage in the field, take a bag where you can throw those empty water bottles or cigarette butts if you smoke among other things. Remember that if you love photography you must also love and take care of what you are photographing.
Food and drinks
If you are going to get away from the towns or cities take something to eat (energy bars for example) and something to drink. You can even bring a small fridge in the car if you travel in summer so it stays fresh.
Visit the site you want to photograph before
If you are going to photograph the sunset there is no problem because you can be there an hour before and look for the frame that you like for your photo, but if you go at dawn you can not do it, so try to go to the sites the day before the session to have it well studied and in this way you will not take a dislike.
It has happened to me once to be in a place doing a session and when the golden hour is over, to realize a place where I could have taken a more interesting photo than the ones I have made, if I had gone the previous day to investigate a little the ground would not have happened to me.
Connect with other people
Travel alone or accompanied I think it is very interesting that you have relationships with other people, that you explain what you are doing there. Whether the hotel staff, the restaurant or even a photographer that you find out there can advise you some hidden corner where to take fantastic photos.
Take care of your equipment
When you travel with your camera you must be very careful with your equipment, there are many photographers who have been hit by a tripod and camera by a wind blow and their lens has been broken. To prevent breakage of this type you can take a polarizing filter to protect your lens. With the rain you also have to be very careful, no matter how good your camera is, a good downpour could give you problems.
Actually these tips should be applied also when you go to photograph near your house, but I put it so that we have clear that when planting our tripod we have to keep it secure, if necessary hanging the backpack to increase the weight, and on the other hand we must take something that protects the camera from the rain, if you have a good backpack this will surely be waterproof.
Backup your photos and use low memory cards
Imagine that you are going five days of photo trip to Ibiza and you carry with you a 64Gb memory card. Well, you will not be the first or the last one who has broken the card and has run out of photographs. That’s why it’s important that your cards are of a smaller size, even if you carry more try to carry a case where they are well stored.
On the other hand make a backup of your cards when the day ends. For this you need either to take the laptop behind you or an external hard drive with a card reader.
Tips if you travel alone
The advantage of traveling alone is that you can go totally to your ball and do what you want. The disadvantage of traveling in this way is that you will have to carry your weight with your team, in addition, if you take pictures of landscapes, go alone has its risk.
If you are going to walk through the mountains or visit any area where there are no people inform before leaving if your mobile company has coverage on this site and reports family. If you do not have coverage, the best thing you can do is tell a family member what you are going to do and that at a certain time, when you think you will have coverage, you will send a message to let them know. This way if something happens your family member or friend will be able to notify.
Enjoy your trip, make good photos and live new experiences
It seems obvious, but this is very important, otherwise you’ll end up getting tired soon after making photo trips. Remember, as long as you are not a professional, what you are doing is to enjoy, travel without stress and without stress, if you can not visit all the places you wanted to see, then do not see them, but visit three sites and enjoy them making good pictures that ten fast and running without enjoying, in addition, surely this way you will not take good material home.