As the holiday season approaches, we flick through photos and reminisce about vacations long past. Cymon Brooks* tells us how to make this season just as memorable on film.
The holiday season is fast approaching. Month-long trips across Australia, or even other countries, are planned and you want to capture them. Aside from preparing your photography equipment, there are a variety of other steps that will ensure you’re prepared for the adventure of a lifetime.
Let’s start with the equipment. Bring a good functioning DSLR camera with at least three lenses—wide angle (12–24 mm), fixed focal (20 mm/35 mm) and telephoto (70–200 mm). I also throw in a fourth lens, a macro (105 mm), which is great for insects and capturing details.
It sounds simple, but remember to pack extra batteries, memory cards, charging equipment, filters, tripod, shutter release cable, wet weather gear, a flash unit and even some filters such as polarising and neutral density type. My preference is also to have a warming filter as this adds a deeper orange hue to smoky sunsets.
Whether you’re a photography newbie or a pro, remember to bring some camera cleaning equipment. This all sounds like a lot of gear, but you can store most of it in a camera bag which makes it accessible for big occasions or short treks outside.
If you’re just starting out or want to keep it simple, stick to these basic principles:
Focusing: Make sure you focus your camera on the subject and depress the camera shutter button firmly but not violently.
Fill the frame with your subject: Often when we take photos we get a lot of unnecessary foreground/background or other subject matter. Assess your environment for extra clutter or wait until you get home and crop the photo with software.
Regulations: When travelling anywhere, take the time to find out which sites are off limits to photography by doing an internet search or by contacting local embassies.
Environment: Take time to consider the weather and topography as this will tell you which type of equipment/clothing you will need and protective measures for your camera equipment.
Insurance: It’s often overlooked, but insuring your photography gear is essential when you travel. Nothing can cure the pain of theft, but knowing that you can replace it will bring some peace.
Finally, if you are looking for that tucked away spot, some local knowledge can help. Follow these steps and you’re all set to capture the holiday of a lifetime.
*A collection of Cymon Brooks’ images has been published in a devotional book, Vision, by Salvo Publishing. Available for $25 p.p. from www.salvationarmy.org.au/supplies.