Camera tips


Here are 10 top tips that – whether you are a budding Frans Lanting or just a casual holiday snapper – round-the-world photographers of all levels might want to bear in mind.


1. Invest in the best camera you can afford for your RTW. This is going to be the trip of a lifetime and you will be expecting some fantastic images out of the amazing experiences that lie ahead.


2. Don’t take more photographic paraphernalia than you are prepared to carry. You might want to invest in a full-size pro SLR, a set of lenses, plus a tripod but you have a lot of miles ahead of you. If you begin to get lazy about humping it all around then, no matter how good your kit, it is not going to be shooting many Pullitzers sitting in the hotel room!


3. If you are going for a point-and-shoot consider that a really tough expedition type – water-proof, shock-proof – camera could be a worthwhile investment. I used the Pentax Optio WP as a spare backup video and stills camera for several fairly tough expeditions...and it was still going strong after my precious Nikon fell in a Mexican river.


4. A major advantage of the post-film era is in not having to carry a great pack of spare rolls. However, most travellers at some point run out of juice and space. Take more batteries and memory cards than you think you will need and back them up regularly. Rather than one 16gig card (which might get broken/lost/corrupted) take several smaller cards.


5. A flickr account can be a good way to showcase your images while you are still on the road. A lot of people don’t realise either that for a reasonably small upgrade to Flickr Pro you can upload an unlimited number of hi-res images (list them as private so that only you can see them). A great online backup.


6. Even in this day-and-age few cameras are always infallible in fully-automatic mode. Before you leave home familiarise yourself fully on your camera’s manual settings and try not to let your camera dictate all your shots completely.


7. If you are travelling with serious bulky SLR kit then get a bag that at least does a reasonable job of being surreptitious. A shoulder bag is usually better than a backpack since you can access equipment easier. National Geographic make fantastic canvas shoulder bags (the largest of which is big enough to hold laptop, two bodies, 3 lenses, hard-drive, Dictaphone...) and doesn’t necessarily appear at first glance as if it is loaded with thousands of pounds worth of equipment...especially if you cut off the Nat Geo badge.


8. Use a roll-top canoeist type bag and equipment while one the move over water. (If your RTW has Bangkok as one of the early stopovers take an opportunity to buy the bag – good quality and just a few dollars – at one of the many shops along Khao San Road).


9. A lightweight tripod can be worth its weight in gold if you want to get more artistic. You suddenly realise a world of potential for long-exposure, slow-synch, time-lapse and fast-forward video if you carry even the simplest of tripods.


10. Even if not travelling with a laptop consider investing in a portable harddrive (or iPod with lots of hard-drive space) so that you can backup all your precious images. Losing all those breath-taking shots on month 11 of a year-long trip could take some getting over!




by Mark Eveleigh