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Wednesday, June 1, 2005

20 Top Travel Tips

Make the most of your next photographic vacation

11. Create Backups While Traveling
To ensure that you come home with all your photographs, back up your digital images using a laptop or portable storage device. If you take along a laptop, burn your images to recordable CDs or DVDs. Portable storage devices include a hard drive to which you can download your digital photographs directly from your memory card.

12. Keep A Written Or Audio Journal
Take a notebook or digital audio recorder with you to note your experiences and observations during the trip. In addition to providing you with valuable reference material, it also can complement your images when it comes time to produce a digital slideshow of your travels.

13. Bring Along A Tripod
Carry a tripod even if you don't think you might need it. Although you only may use it for a single shot, it could be the one photograph that's most important to you. A lightweight carbon-fiber or tabletop tripod will provide a solid platform for your camera that will take up minimal space in your luggage.
—B. Moose Peterson

14. Clean Your Digital Cameras In The Field
While it always has been important to keep your gear clean, it's even more crucial if you're using a digital SLR, where dust and debris easily can ruin your photographs. Use a cleaning tool such as Visible Dust's Sensor Brush (www.visibledust.com) to carefully clean your camera's CCD. Utilize a blower brush and microfiber cloth to clean your camera body and lenses at the end of each night, especially when you're shooting under harsh conditions.
—Daniel J. Cox

15. Read Up On Bonus Activities
Look for local cultural events that may be coinciding with your visit. Events such as fairs, exhibitions or historic reenactments may provide ideal opportunities for photography. These can be an especially resourceful way to spend your day between those golden moments of light at dawn and dusk.
—Greg Yahr

16. Travel With Two Camera Bags
Take a smaller camera bag along with the bigger one that holds all your gear; there may be times when you don't need everything. A smaller bag reduces your load while still providing you access to the tools you need. This can be especially important if you're going to be involved in a physically demanding effort, such as a lengthy hike.

17. Use A Reflector To Control Light
When traveling, many photo opportunities may occur during less than ideal lighting conditions. You can control the look of many of your photographs, however, by using a collapsible and portable reflector. It can be used effectively to fill in shadows on your subject's face or to brighten colors in the foreground of a landscape image.
—Connie Brainsilver

18. Utilize A Beanbag
A beanbag offers a less bulky alternative to a tripod when traveling. It can be placed virtually anywhere, and creates a stable platform for your camera when using long lenses or shooting at slow shutter speeds. Beanbags easily can be positioned in the crook of a tree or on a car hood and ensure a sharp image.
—Connie Brainsilver

19. Don't Forget Self-Portraits
Take the time to compose photographs that include yourself. Not only can you prove to your friends and family that you were actually at that exotic location, but you can use yourself as an interesting design element or to provide a sense of scale. Use your camera's self-timer to give yourself enough time to get in the frame.
—Greg Yahr

20. Have Your Gear Serviced Before You Leave
Making sure that your gear is in top working order is the best insurance against problems during that once-in-a-lifetime trip. Camera manufacturers will not only repair defects, but will make sure that your equipment is working to specifications and give it a thorough cleaning.


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