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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Going On A Photo Road Trip

Be ready for anything by packing for a journey with the essentials

Labels: How-ToGear

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Getting off the beaten path can inspire your photography with new subjects, unexplored environments and pictorial challenges. The farther you travel, the more secluded the locations, the more scenic the vistas and the more unspoiled nature can be. The difficulty with extended expeditions is that you’re often far removed from your home base, and that can be limiting.

Prepare in advance, however, and these challenges can be easily overcome. From navigating a safe course to carrying all of your gear to making sure you have steady support for sharp shots, bringing along these indispensable tools of the trade will keep your load light while filling your photo adventure with remarkable experiences and wonderful imagery.

On an extended road trip, your vehicle will carry your gear between parking areas. From the parking area to the shooting location, however, you’ll have to carry the equipment yourself. When a minimal amount of gear is needed, Tamrac’s compact Expedition 3 photo backpack (9x6.25x13 inches, two pounds) will hold a D-SLR with up to a seven-inch lens and three to four additional lenses, plus accessories. The pack is fully padded and has a giant rain flap to protect the main compartment in case you get caught in bad weather. Other features include a QuickClip tripod attachment system, Tamrac’s signature Memory & Battery Pack Management System and a padded backpack harness for enhanced comfort. Estimated Street Price: $60.

Pelican 0500
Lowepro’s Primus Minimus AW backpack can hold a D-SLR with a medium-zoom lens, one to two additional lenses, a tripod, a variety of accessories and personal gear, yet it measures just 14.4x11.5x23.5 inches. Its dual-compartment design features a protective camera section with adjustable dividers and an upper area with organizational pockets. An outside “hatch” provides space for a jacket or hydration system, while an eight-point harness system distributes weight evenly. The All Weather Cover also provides protection from the elements. Estimated Street Price: $179.

Lowepro Primus Minimus AW

Tamrac Expedition 3
You don’t want your expensive gear rolling around loosely in your vehicle, so you’ll want a good transport case, too. The Pelican 0500 is water-, crush- and dustproof, and the interior dimensions are a generous 34.95x18.45x22.85 inches. The lid is completely removable for easy access. Double wide-grip, fold-down handles make lifting easy. Estimated Street Price: $549 (with foam).

Gitzo GH2781QR Center Ballhead
Thanks to new manufacturing processes and materials, tripods are lighter than ever before, so there’s no excuse to leave yours at home. Perfect exposures require perfect sharpness, and you just can’t get sharpness without a good tripod. Gitzo’s great-looking GT2840C basalt tripod is a compact, four-section model that can support a D-SLR with up to a 300mm lens (up to 22 pounds), but only weighs three pounds itself. Its radical aerospace-technology, basalt-fiber tubes provide strength, high thermal and dimensional stability, and good vibration absorption. The G-Lock legs also allow for ground-level shooting at a mere 8.3 inches. Estimated Street Price: TBA.

An ideal mate for the GT2840C basalt-fiber tripod is the Gitzo GH2781QR center ballhead. The head features Gitzo’s Bubble Ball technology. A leveling bubble is included for framing shots evenly, and the double quick-release safety system keeps your camera secure while also being easily accessible. Estimated Street Price: TBA.


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