Travel photography: what to pack


Travel photography: what to pack

Travel photography: what to pack

Travel photography: what photo equipment to pack


I’m going on a two month trips to many countries around the world and this time I’m trying with no suitcase – mostly and hand carry and a backpack to be flexible and fast on my travels (and i hate lines waiting for my suitcase)
Having to pare down my camera equipment to a back pack is an extremely difficult task and at the same time liberating. You really have to work with basics and have equipment that you can use daily with not too many lenses and accessories. But for general travel touring purposes you really can stick to a few basic equipment that can be used for a broad range of photo needs.


So what I include in my back pack you may ask, here are my photo equipment and accessories



Travel packing and cameras - zip lock bags are easy and multi-purpose

Travel packing and cameras – zip lock bags are easy and multi-purpose


1 . Extra small carry-on case for day trips to carry camera, accessories and snacks.
2. A small carry case for my CF Cards and a card reader.
3. A zip lock bag with all my other electronic accessories, cables, chargers, power adapters, batteries, filters, etc
4. A zip lock for my cleaning equipment of rags, blower, and q-tips.
5. Two external hard drives up to 1 terabyte.
6. Lap top computer.
7. Travel Monopod – this is more compact and easier for me to travel with for hand carry luggage on a plane.
8. Zip lock bags – (different sizes) are for many uses for more storage, snacks, dirty laundry, brochures and cards.
9. LED light useful for dark areas that need spot lighting including dark restaurants or long

exposure experiments.
10. A nice 8×10 lined journal for notes and ideas to jot down at any time along with a slew of pens




Camera bodies and lenses: love my Canon bodies and lenses

Camera bodies and lenses: love my Canon bodies and lenses

Cameras and lenses

Choosing your cameras and lenses are a personal choice on how much you want to carry and what you really need. I typically carry two DSLR bodies and two lenses 50 f1.8 and 18-135 f3.5, or my 24-70 f2.8. Also, I carry my I-phone and a tablet for back ups and instant photos that I can take on the go.  So this is what I would be taking for most of my personal travel situations unless I’m on assignment, then it’s really up for grabs. How about you, would you take more or less than what I have prescribed?



If you enjoyed this post on Travel photography: what to pack tips, you may be interested in checking out my other tips below:

Capturing street images, tips and techniques

Food photography – making your images pop

Photographing people, tips and techniques

Flower and nature photography, how to make your photos pop

Photo tips for travel photography


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10 Responses to Travel photography: what to pack

  1. Pete February 11, 2017 at 11:35 am #

    I find that airlines impose a limit on hand luggage of about seven kilos, and there’s not a lot that fits that limit! Batteries are no longer allowed in checked luggage, and I for sure don’t want to put anything delicate in the hold.

    My tripods go in there – a cheapie Manfrotto and a Gorillapod.

    Everything else goes in a light pack – laptop, batteries, cables and two Olympus bodies. Pen-F and EM with 17mm ƒ1.8 and 12-40 ƒ2.8 respectively. I take my only remaining Canon gear – an Eos M3 with a 22mm ƒ2 pancake – in a belt pouch, and the other two lenses, 18-55 and 55-200 in my ipad manbag. Everything else is pretty much cables!

  2. Anders January 7, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Great post, personally I went from DSLR to mirrorless a year ago to get smaller & lighter houses (Sony a7). To top that I even went away from zoom lenses (fixed 14mm, 35mm & 55mm. My bag is so much lighter and I even have room for a tripod (carbon) now..

  3. jesh StG September 14, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    Nice to see you’re a Canon fan:) Hubby has a backpack specifically for (one) camera – although you could get two in it. Have an enjoyable trip and that traveling may go smooth!

  4. Mary Calculated Traveller September 10, 2014 at 3:58 am #

    Any monopod suggestions??

    • Noel September 10, 2014 at 4:08 am #

      I love Manfrotto, I have the 680B and its under $50, also use it for a hiking stick!

  5. Corinne September 9, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    This is a good list, Noel. Do not bring a tripod?

    • Noel September 10, 2014 at 4:01 am #

      I would prefer to have a tripod, but in terms of quick travel with no luggage on flights I will bring a monopod at a minimum

  6. Marilyn Armstrong September 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Because I use compact (4/3 format) cameras, I usually take three bodies, each with a different lens. I find it easier, faster, and safer to switch cameras than lenses. And I carry one of my superzoom Panasonics since I have typically have primes on the 3 Olympus bodies. I always want to take everything. Fortunately, all my cameras together weigh less than your two full size DSLRs. And I always take a laptop, extra SD chips, spare batteries and chargers. I think most of my luggage these days are electronics. Clothing? I can get by on a minimum, but between the camera equipment, the computer, the kindle(s) … even the electric toothbrush … that’s a lot of stuff. And heavy, too. I’ve been thinking of getting a monopod, but I already have a good little tripod — and never use it. I’m trying to decide if I would use a monopod more — or like the tripod, not at all.

    • Noel September 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      I love the monopod as a walking stick and also for security in dark areas 🙂

  7. Tam Warner Minton September 9, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    Amazing you can do this!

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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