TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: WHAT'S IN OUR KIT BAG
Our first Digital SLR camera was a Canon and since then, we’ve always been a part of the Canon family.
Canon EOS 77D
The newest addition to our camera family and we couldn’t be happier. We decided to upgrade for two main reasons:
(1) to capture higher quality images, and
(2) to have a camera with a high-performing video functionality. With so much video content produced these days, we hope to dabble in this area in the future.
The improvement in the quality of our images has been instantly recognisable and we hope this will be evident in our Galleries. We’re still learning the ropes when it comes to videography but hopefully we’ll have some videos to show soon!
Canon EOS 600D
Our foray into photography and DSLR cameras began with the 600D. This is a great entry-level camera although sadly it is no longer made. We would encourage beginner photographers to purchase the 600D second-hand or check out the newer model, the Canon EOS 700D. There is enough functionality within the camera’s modes to allow the user to take ownership of the images they are snapping. Users can learn the basic ins and outs of a DSLR camera without feeling too overwhelmed.
Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
This lens is a great all-purpose lens for everyday shooting. When shooting with the Canon 600D and 55-250mm lens, it became apparent that we were only using the added range of the 250mm lens on rare occasions (see below). Switching to the 77D, we purposefully chose the 18-135mm lens instead of the 18-55mm lens to have the flexibility of a zoom lens.
Switching to the 77D and the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens offers terrific range when we need to use the zoom without compromising on picture quality.
To compensate for the distortion, we will be looking to add a prime lens like the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens to our kit bag in 2018.
For the Canon EOS 600D
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
If you’re buying the Canon 600D with a lens, chances are that this will be the lens included as part of the set. In our opinion, the lens represents excellent value for beginners when purchased in combination with the camera (As the 600D is no longer made, the combo set will be with the latest 700D model instead).
Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II Lens
This lens came in handy when Bevan was on safari in South Africa as this lens works best for nature and wildlife shoots. Overall, we’d suggest this lens for anyone looking to take pictures from a distance without feeling the pinch in their back pocket.
To ensure that your camera performs as expected, it is essential to have a memory card capable of capturing your images effectively and efficiently. We use Sandisk across all our cameras and always carry a backup (two in fact). There is a wide range of memory cards on offer from Sandisk and other brands but we choose to use the highest quality Sandisk cards simply because they perform better and faster than its peers.
Our tripod is both travel and backpack friendly. It can be folded compactly and weights very little. We take it almost everywhere we go and use it frequently. Its quick release legs means it takes mere seconds to put up or pull down.
We consider a tripod an absolute must for our kit bag particularly in the following three situations:
A cleaning kit is an important component of a photography kit. It guarantees that no dirty fingerprints or dust marks make their way onto your lens to ruin your shot. We clean our lenses regularly to ensure they are always looking their best (no 5 o’clock shadows here guys). Your cleaning kit should include (at a minimum):
OUR OTHER EQUIPMENT
Both of us are iPhone advocates and use them constantly. We are guilty of taking pictures of our food pretty much before every meal (yes, we are those people in the cafes and restaurants). We both currently run around with an iPhone 6 (eager to upgrade soon!) which features an 8-megapixel camera with a ƒ/2.2 aperture. If shooting in poor light with your smartphone, make sure to spend a bit more time improving the image during post-production.
Instax Share SP-2 Photo Printer
Film is not dead! And thankfully it remains rather accessible to photographers and the general population alike. This nifty photo printer was Jasmine’s Christmas present in 2016 (lucky girl!) and it’s proven to be a fabulous travel companion. When we travel, we can print photos almost instantly, snap a creative wish-you-were here shot and tuck the mini print away for scrapbooking later.
The small white box holds a roll of 10 sheets of exposure film and is connected via the Instax Share app on a smartphone. Import photos from your smartphone gallery, edit the image as you wish (you can add frames, text and filters with the app’s built-in features) and then click print. Photos print in just 10 seconds and with 320 DPI, the results are of a high quality. The image size measures 46 x 62 mm (W x H) on a printed sheet measuring 54 x 85 mm (W x H). Images can be printed vertically or horizontally and there is also a reprint button if you’d like to print the same photo more than once (sharing is caring!). A rechargeable battery via USB port means it can also be topped up on the go.
After all the hard work, we need a place to view, edit and then store our amazing images. For viewing and editing, we both use Macbooks: Bevan a Pro and Jasmine an Air. Macbooks have an in-built Photos application. We import our photos from our SanDisk memory card into Photos, sort through the good from the bad and save them into arranged folders. Selected photos for the blog or social media are then processed through Lightroom (see below).
With the number of photos that we take on each trip, we also need somewhere to store our pictures. Our laptops don’t have the storage capacity to store large volumes of RAW files so we enlist the help of our WD portable hard drive. This hard drive can store up to 2GB of photos on a device which is just a little bit bigger than a deck of cards. We take ours everywhere so that the memory cards can be cleared and we can back up our images. Make sure to always back up, back up, back up!
We’ve recently added a Seagate external hard drive to our bundle to store older images that can no longer fit on the portable hard drive. It has 4TB of storage (4,000 GB) which is more than enough storage for the two of us (if only all of Jas’ clothes could fit in the same space…)
The finishing touches to our images are applied using Adobe Creative Cloud. We use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom to edit and enhance our photos. Over time, we have developed presets within Lightroom and these are used as a base to enhance our images. Once edited, we can then store our images in a catalogue in Lightroom; similar to a digital photo album. Photoshop allows us to resize our images and to edit images for our What To Pack section of the blog.
Got any questions or recommendations for us? Make sure to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!