For the upcoming Wandering the World 'Iceland Photography Tour' in August 2016, Glenn Guy, Photographic Guru and Tour Escort shares his insights on the ideal photographic equipment to travel with on this trip.
Less Gear Equals A Better Experience
The enthusiastic photographer has to find a way to include camera, lenses, tripod, camera bag and, possibly, laptop and backup drives into their luggage allowance. This may involve some tricky decisions and can mean you travel with only a portion of your photography kit. But the advantage is a lighter day pack equals less stress when managing the relative tight carry-on luggage requirements of most airlines.
The good news is that things are getting easy. Cameras, lenses and laptop computers are getting smaller and lighter. An emerging trend is the mirrorless camera which, in many cases, offers a significantly smaller and lighter chassis then is the case with a traditional DSLR camera.
Many of these mirrorless cameras retain the full feature set associated with larger DSLR cameras and also include numerous technological advancements that make the process of making high quality photos easier and quicker.
I converted to a mirrorless system during 2015. It’s the top of the line Sony a7Rii camera, but there area numerous less expensive models from Sony, Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic that are also excellent choices. Canon and Nikon are either unwilling or unable to play in this exciting new field of photography, though their DSLR’s are still excellent choices.
For the Iceland Photography Tour in August 2016, I’II be taking my Sony a7Rii camera and two lenses. A Sony/Zeiss 16-35mm f4 super wide angle and a Sony/Zeiss 24-70 f4 general purpose lens. This is a relatively new camera kit so, at this stage I only have the two lenses. It’s possible that I’d also add to the kit by bringing along a Sony 70-200 f4 for added flexibility and for photographing details from within the larger landscape.
As this is a landscape photography adventure, I’m unlikely to bring a flash with me, though I will probably have a small, backup camera which may have a built in flash. Folks who own cameras with a built in flash should find that sufficient for the kind of general people based photographer where flash is often employed. I do have expertise in flash-based photography and would be happy to set your camera up and instruct you in the art of making great flash photos.
Memory Isn’t Just For The Brain
Of course, with so many wonderful landscapes to explore, you’ll need to ensure you have sufficient memory cards for your needs. I usually work with two large capacity cards, the images from which I download on a daily basis. My practice is to alternate from one card to the next on a daily basis. As I don’t like to leave images on a memory card I make sure they’re safely downloaded and backed up at the end of every day, regardless of how many photos I’ve made on that particular day.
Other folks may prefer not to bring a laptop along. That’s fine, there’s no requirement for you to bring one. You’ll just need to ensure you have plenty of cards for 12 days of photography. I recommend estimating the amount of photos you expect you’ll make and ensuring you have at least three times that capacity. Purchasing large capacity cards en route may not be so easy and its not fair to expect that other folks will have a card to spare.
Tripods are not essential for this tour. However, there will be room on the bus for your camera gear and, on most days, we won’t be walking all that far from the bus. I’II be bringing my tripod and a small camera backpack, but I’II also have a small, lightweight and collapsible camera bag which I can easily put my camera and several lenses into for those quick stops where a tripod is not required. This makes the process of getting on and off the bus easier and it makes for a more physically active approach to your photography where, free from a tripod, you’ll be able to explore different angles and shooting styles with ease.
I’m an advocate for employing filters. Back in the day I had oodles of them. These days, in the world of digital photography, most folks can get by with just a few filters. These are the ones I’d recommend.
This is a clear piece of glass, mounted in a plastic or metal ring, that most folks use to protect the front glass element of their lens from dust, moisture, pollutants and fingerprints. Of course you need to keep the filter clean, otherwise it’s a bit like making photos from inside your car through a really dirty windscreen.
Ultra-Violet light is invisible to the human eye, yet it does have an adverse effect on our photos that’s evident in a potential loss of sharpness and contrast (i.e., pop); colour saturation (i.e., colour purity or richness); density and a slightly bluish colour balance. A UV filter works to counter these adverse effects.
This is an essential piece of kit for landscape photographers photographing on a sunny day. Properly used the polarizing filter will allow you to produce more colourful and more highly detailed images than you otherwise would be able to. Explaining how and when to employ your polarizing filter is a tiny, though essential part of what I teach.
Neutral Density Filters
These are wonderful for tripod based photography when you’re wanting to produce ethereal landscape images with moving water and/or clouds. Closer to our departure I’II be sharing a range of detailed articles and online tutorials for participants so they have a good idea of what techniques, approaches and accessories I recommend and how to go about implementing them on location.
Iceland is a country of sublime beauty and I’m very much looking forward to partnering with Wandering The World on our Iceland Photography Tour during August 2016. If you have any questions relating to the photography aspects of the tour feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru
To read more about the 13-Day 'Explore Iceland Photography Tour' with Glenn download the trip notes.