Know Before You Go!
Where to Go
If photography is the main purpose of your trip, choose your destination wisely - you might not find much worth photographing in a purpose- built tourist resort! Research travel books and websites and view other photos on sites such as Flickr.
When to Go
Most countries have special festivals and events at certain times of the year which lend themselves to photography, and in some countries, such as India, the climate can change dramatically, throughout the year. Do your homework!
Be very careful of wandering off the beaten path with expensive gear, especially in some poorer countries where the proceeds of your camera could feed a family for months. Don't advertise your gear. When not in use, keep it hidden. Keep your bag close to you, and be wary if wearing a backpack as people can steal from them without you seeing.
Take plenty of spare media cards and batteries as you may not easily be able to obtain more when you get there.
Obey the Law
Familiarise yourself with local laws before travelling. In some countries it may be illegal to photograph bridges or railway stations, for example. It's good to know this stuff in advance!
If you're travelling from place to place you'll curse yourself for taking too much. Stick with what you can carry in your hand luggage. If you're based in one place you can take more, as you can keep your heavier kit in your room.
Vegetable vendor outside a butcher's shop in New Delhi, India. By Karoki Lewis of India/UK.
The Ideal Travel Kit Bag
What Camera To Take:
A light DSLR, or micro system camera (e.g. Olympus Pen).
Lenses and Accessories:
- A fast standard zoom like the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8.
- A superwide, such as the Sigma 10-20mm.
- A 75-300mm zoom, for candids, portraits and details.
- Alternatively, a longer zoom between 18-135mm and 18-270mm is a good one-lens solution for backpackers.
- Small flashgun, polarising filter, travel tripod.
Get the book
‘Travel Photographer of the Year: Journey Three' features all the winning shots from 2009 plus the best from previous years. Priced £25, it's available from bookshops or from www.tpoty.com