What I use for my photos
I’ve had a lot of messages on Instagram asking what equipment I use to take my photos. I figured I would compose this more detailed write up so you guys can see what I bring when I pack for my travels.
I don’t bring all of these things each time, but these are my go to belongings and all that I need to document my travels.
So let’s begin with the most important – a camera. Without this I wouldn’t be able to capture the images that I do. Despite phones having increasingly powerful cameras built in, you can’t beat the quality a DSLR gives you.
I use a Canon 6D, I got this beast around 5 years ago and it has withstood everything I’ve thrown at it these last few years. It’s never let me down.
It’s relatively dated now though so when I upgrade I’ll be looking into the Canon 6DM2 or even better – the Canon 5DM4. They are heavier than the Sony cameras but I love having a camera that can take a beating and the batteries last an age unlike the Sony competition.
For 3 years I only had and used this Canon 24-105mm f/4 it’s an incredible all rounder and a lens which lets you shoot a great variety of images.
When I was in Australia, I picked up this Canon 50 1.8mm – also affectionately know as the nifty fifty and wow, does it deliver! It’s so cheap for the quality of images it gives you and the 1.8 aperture allows you to create that dreamy bokeh (the blurred background.) It’s my go to lens for portraits and detailed shots.
After a lot of longing and self persuasion I finally bought myself the Canon 16-35mm f/4. This lens is now on my camera 90% of the time. It’s allows me to capture even more of the landscapes that I find myself in. It’s also my workhorse for interior shoots when we’re shooting for hotels as the 16mm lets you have much more of the rooms in shot. There is a 2.8 version but I just couldn’t justify the price and I have no issue using a tripod if I shoot at low light.
For underwater or action shots you can’t beat the GoPro. The GoPro Hero 7 is a beast and if you’re looking for a small camera which you can use as an allrounder and to film those snorkelling sessions you can get away with just using this!
When you’ve got expensive lenses the last thing you want is for the glass to get scratched, which is why I highly recommend these UV filters. If you don’t think it’s worth spending an extra £20-30 on these then ask yourself – “would I rather lose £30 or upwards of £1000” – all it takes is one scratch to render the lens unusable.
Because we shoot hotels and I like to dabble in Astrophotography I use this tripod. It’s sturdy, lightweight and I pack it in my clothes bag when moving from place to place or on flights.
Perhaps my favourite piece of equipment and the one that brings me the most joy when I use it is my Mavic Air. I used a chunk of my money from working on a farm in Australia to pay for this but it’s the best decision I made when it comes to photography . The shots I can get with this and the different perspectives it shows still blow me away. It has allowed me to see the places I visit from a view I never would’ve seen otherwise, and sometimes an area might seem rather dull until you see it from the sky. Plus every time I fly it, I feel like I’ve just gotten onto a helicopter which has come out of my backpack.
I recommend getting these filters for the Mavic Air, they let you shoot in the harsh sunlight and they’re cheap and cheerful. The polarisers also allow you to photograph water without the reflections.
There’s no point in taking all the photos if you can do anything with them – I have a MacBook Pro 15 inch. It was my first Apple computer and I can’t see myself going back. It makes editing photos and videos a breeze.
Back up, back up, back up! Please don’t be one of the people who have told me they’ve lost a whole catalogue of shots because they hadn’t backed up their photos. I use the Canva 2TB Harddrive, I’ve used Canva for years and they’ve never let me down and I don’t trust the other brands, not in the price range that I’m happy to pay for at least.
I use a Portable Charger to charge up my phone when I’m camping or traveling overnight. As much as I’d like to go without it to some of these places I need my phone in order to operate my Mavic Air. Using Google Maps all day long also drains the battery so they are really useful in making sure you have a charge all day.
For the times when a raincover won’t cut it, I highly recommend a dry bag. If you’re on a boat for a snorkelling excursion or undertaking a 3 day boat trip across the islands, then you’re going to want to ensure protection from any accidents like dropping your bag overboard to ensuring your gear is protected in the event of a ship wreck… some of the boats I’ve been on during my travels probably deserved a warning of this boat may sink. Shockingly, I met a more than one person who experienced this on a trip from Bali to Komodo Islands. I picked one up in Thailand a few years ago which is still going strong but you can find similar ones here.
If you want to see all these items together click here.
So there you have it; an in depth look at my most important gear. Of course I take another bag with the non-gear essentials and when it comes to that I am a minimalist.