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You might think that capturing a once-in-a-lifetime photograph is all about being in the right place at the right time, but any traveling photographer knows the best way to get the perfect shot is to be prepared for it. A lot can go wrong when you’re traveling the world with your camera: lenses can get scratched, memory cards are easy to lose, and camera batteries run out of juice. These mishaps can make the difference between the best photo you’ve ever taken and an empty memory card full of nothing but regret.

The best way to never miss a moment? Travel with the right gear.

Compact Tripod

Using your flash in low-light conditions washes out photos, but without it, photos tend to come out blurry. A tripod solves this problem by offering a steady surface for longer exposures, but most tripods are heavy and cumbersome. However, there are some great light and compact tripods designed specifically for travel.

For example, this colorful aluminum tripod from MeFoto weighs only 1.8 pounds and folds up small enough to fit into a medium-sized messenger bag. This tripod is fully extendable and easy to set up quickly. If you’re looking for something smaller and easier on your budget, check out the 50-Inch lightweight Tripod from AmazonBasics. It does not extend as high, but at 1.2 pounds, it’s even easier to carry around.

Remote Shutter

Tripods can make it easier to shoot in low-light situations, but without a remote shutter you still run the risk of motion blur when you press down to take a photo. A remote shutter like this one will allow you to take photos using a remote. Some, like the WU-1a from Nikon, allow you to take the photo with your phone, and will even give you a live preview and the option to download the photo straight from your camera.

Using the WU-1a optional wireless mobile adapter you can now automatically send great images to your smartphone and even use your smartphone to remotely capture images from compatible Nikon D-SLRs and COOLPIX cameras. With an easy to use app, now when you can’t wait to share that great shot you don’t have to. Share it to your smartphone in a instant.

Extra Batteries

It doesn’t matter how little time you expect to spend away from your hotel room, you should always keep extra camera batteries with you. Not only will it save you should your batteries die in the middle of the day, it also means less time spent waiting for one battery to charge.

Batteries purchased from the manufacturer can be expensive, so the best place to start your search is on Amazon. Make sure to double check the size and make of your camera’s battery before purchasing, though.

Memory Card Case

Like batteries, you should always travel with multiple memory cards. When the moment strikes, you don’t want to waste time deleting photos just to make more room on your memory card. Memory cards are small and easy to lose or damage, so the best way to keep them safe is by investing in a memory-card organizer. This waterproof card holder from HDE can hold up to 12 micro and standard SD cards, while taking up minimal space in your camera bag.

Hard Drive

Even with an arsenal of back-up memory cards in your pocket, it doesn’t hurt to also back up your photos on an external hard drive. Not only will this save space on your cards, it will also save memory on your computer–and you can rest easy knowing that your precious vacation photos are backed up and stored away. Hard drives come in all different sizes and models, so start your search here to find the perfect one for you.

Lift-Strap

One of the most surprising difficulties that comes with travel photography is the strain of carrying a camera on your neck. Wearing a heavy camera can cause stiffness and soreness, which is why I recommend investing in one of the latest camera innovations to pop up on the market. The Camera Lift Strap eliminates the problem of camera-related neck soreness with a leather band that attaches the camera strap to your backpack, thereby distributing the weight evenly on your shoulders.

Carry-On Case

If you’re the kind of photographer who can’t travel without every lens, gadget, and camera body in your arsenal, then it’s time to invest in a carry-on case designed to keep your gear protected. If you’ll be traveling with all your gear no matter where you go, the Lowepro Pro Runner DSLR Backpack is a smaller option that’s easy to carry around, but if your concern is just getting your gear to your destination, invest in hard-case luggage like this watertight model from IBEX.

The Pro Runner x350 and x450 AW DSLR rolling backpacks delivers a convertible, streamlined and urban-inspired solution for pro photographers and photojournalists who carry their gear through crowded airports and busy city streets. It’s purpose built for superior protection and maximum flexibility as photographers work and travel. This easy-to-convert design fits a DSLR with attached lens up to a pro-sized body with grip and 300mm f/2.8 attached lens (x450 AW), laptop, tripod and multiple accessories, plus a few personal items. From its fully padded interior to it’s patented, built-in All Weather AW Cover, the Pro Runner AW thoroughly safeguards valuable gear. Each pack includes: spring-loaded trolley handle; premium wheels; checkpoint-friendly laptop sleeve; Hideaway Tripod Mount system; rainflap lids; SlipLock attachment loops; multiple storage pockets; memory card pockets; and more.

Fashionable Camera Tote

Camera cases will keep your gear safe, but they’re also conspicuous. That’s why I love the latest trend of fashionable camera totes like the Kailo Chic Camera and Laptop Tote. It is fully padded on all sides and the bottom and has one padded laptop compartment and three padded dividers that velcro to the sides of the bag to create padded compartments for your digital camera, lenses, and external flash. The front zipper pocket is padded and fits a full size ipad/tablet/or ipad mini. Inside there is a drop pocket for water bottle/phone/external flash as well as a clear zipper pocket that is the perfect size for holding a camera remote, memory cards, or extra camera/flash batteries.

The Outside of the bag features the ipad pocket mentioned above in addition to two side pockets that can hold easy to access items like your phone and keys. The back of the bag has a drop pocket with a zipper at the bottom that can open so that your bag can slip over your luggage handle when traveling. The bag also has a padded removeable crossbody strap to make carrying the bag easier on you and your back. The material is a heavy weight cotton canvas in a Black and White lines print and the trim is a black faux leather. The Bag measures 18″ x 13.5″ x 6″

Waterproof Case or Rain Cover

Like most DSLR owners, you probably cringe at the idea of bringing your camera anywhere near water, but with cases like this Underwater and Waterproof case from Bingo, you can finally bring your camera on your next underwater adventure. These are also great if you get stuck in the rain. Just make sure to keep the plastic cover secured tightly to your camera lens to avoid any distortion; and, before you buy, make sure you’ve selected the right fit for your specific camera.

Transparent and flexible case allows convenient control for camera buttons as well as perfect visibility for the LCD screen. This waterproof case fits film and digital cameras from Canon, Olympus, Nikon, Samsung, Kodak, Sony, Minolta, Pentax, Fujifilm, HP, Panasonic, Casio and other manufacturers. User friendly product with easy to open and close Roll & Velcro zipper system. Senior PU window for camera lens allow consumers to take clear pictures. The case provides reliable protection not only from the water, but from dust, sand and weather elements. It even floats safely if dropped in the water.

Lens Pen

If you’re like me, the bottom of your camera bag is full of microfiber wipes that have attracted all kinds of dirt and debris over the course of your adventures. Well, it’s time to throw those out and buy yourself a lens pen. A lens pen is the easiest way to clean your lens, and its retractable cap keeps it protected from dust when you’re not using it. Much faster to pull out and easier to carry around (and with nos cleaning spray required), the lens pen makes cleaning your lens as easy and quick as possible.

The new LensPen NLP-1C now has invisible carbon! A superb new tool in optical lens cleaning technology. Perfect for cleaning camera lenses, binocular lenses, small aperture spotting scopes and telescopes, eyepieces and other optical items. Comes with a handy retractable dust removal brush and a special non-liquid cleaning element, designed to never dry out. Safe and very easy to use.

Conclusion

Photographers spend their life traveling and searching for the right moment to capture. Being unprepared when a once-in-a-life shot presents itself can be the worst feeling of your life. So, if you are working on becoming a travel photographer, start preparing and equip yourself with the right tools that would aid you in your quest.

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