Packing List: Tips from David

I’m not much of gear head, what excites me about travel and food photography are the people that I’ll meet and dishes I’ll eat. But experience has taught me that if I don’t plan my gear strategy properly I could end up sitting on the sidelines with a dead battery or broken camera. I don’t want to bring a ‘ton’ of gear but I do want to have enough redundancy in my kit that if something stops working I have a back up.

Take the information below as my suggestions, then make your own list and do yourself a favour and lay everything out in one place before you pack up head out. If any of this seems a little too technical don’t worry, part of the workshop will be to help you work through the functions of your camera. Bring the tools and I’ll work with you to get the best possible images.

Dslr or higher end pocket camera (or preferably both since it is always nice to have a back up). I use both a dslr and a pocket camera for food photos but by far prefer the dslr because of the flexibility and ability to focus manually. We will go into some more advanced techniques which are best suited for a dslr so I would encourage you to have one but it is in no way a requirement. If you do have a pocket camera it is best that it have a macro function for close ups and the ability to use it in manual shooting mode. Have a look at your camera manual or drop me a line if you have any questions.

Lens(es) – If you are bringing a dslr, have at least one lens that is equivalent to 50mm or greater. (if you’re bringing a pocket camera, make sure it has a zoom function – food just doesn’t look good with a wide angle lens).

Charger – I Iearned the hard way so now I carry a charger in my carryon luggage along with my gear. Because of the range of cameras and battery systems out there we will not have a charger available at the lodge.

Extra battery(s) – Plan on having your camera with you all day shooting whatever moves you. Every camera battery is a little different so consult your manual to determine the average number of shots per charge you can expect. I like to have at least one charged battery with me at all times, there’s nothing worse than getting ready to take that perfect shot. Also, think about how long it takes each of your batteries to charge. If charge time is in the hours then why not buy a third battery so you always have a battery in your bag ready to go.

Memory cards –Bring plenty of flash storage (CF or SD cards depending on your camera). Expect to download your images each night to a hard drive(s). Memory cards are cheap compared to missing out on shots for lack of memory. I do not like to delete in the field (I delete at the end of a day or after a trip) so I carry twice as much memory with me each day as I think I will need. Again, consult your camera manual to determine how many shots you can expect per memory card shooting at the highest quality setting (either jpeg or raw).

Camera manual – Cameras can be complicated. Bring the manual just in case something unexpected happens or you want to experiment with new settings.

Tripod –Essential in my book for sunrise/sunset shots and general low light /night photography. Bring a tripod that is sturdy enough to support your camera but light enough that you can comfortably carry it for 1-2 hours. You may want to take it out in the field for sunrise / sunsets and use it in the kitchen where light levels are lower.

Bag – Make sure that your bag is something that you are comfortable carrying for 3-4 hours at a time. I encourage people to pack light for the field outings. Often the less equipment you have with you the more you can think about taking photos.

Back-up camera – I carry a point-and-shoot or another dslr body compatible with my lens system.

Laptop w/photo processing software – Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, Photomechanic.

Charger for laptop

Card reader

External drive(s) – I back up all my shots on two drives every day and would encourage you to do the same. Technology is great, but sometimes it fails so protect yourself. I’m positive you will come back with some great images that you will want to have and share.

Notes:

  • Buying new equipment for your trip is fine, but make sure you have some time prior to the trip to get familiar with it and work out any bugs.
  • We want to be prepared to get to the best spots on foot. Bring comfortable shoes and a water bottle.
  • Turkey is 220v 50hz. Chargers will work in 110/220v 50/60hz. Plugs are C & F types. You should bring 2 adapters with you if your devices use something other than a C or F type plug.
  • Photography gear tends to be rather expensive in Turkey so if you are coming from overseas plan to purchase what you need before you leave home.

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