The Traveling Photographer
Unlike traveling with children on the airplane traveling with camera gear is much more easy than even I thought that it would be. Even with the size of my collection of equipment and it’s weight traveling to Oregon for the weekend has been a breeze and I would expect the same on any other travels, no matter the distance. I in fact think that my camera equipment travels better than I do as a six foot plus body really isn’t meant to be in the poorly designed plane seats.
Understanding the rules and regulations of travel with anything is key to traveling well. Pelican and other hard case makers understand the need for professionals of all types to travel with their gear, keep it safe, and arrive with it in hand. To that end Pelican has created a case, with wheels, that is the maximum size that most, and I have to emphasize MOST, airlines will except while traveling. Always check with the airline that you are going to be traveling with to ensure that your method of packing will comply with their regulations. I have linked some regulations pertaining to flying with gear below.
Going anywhere with camera equipment is a balancing game of wants versus needs to capture the experience, if you’re going to the mountains to photograph the tree’s you probably won’t be needing a telephoto lens unless you want just the tops or plan on shooting from one mountain to another. Likewise if you are going out to shoot wild life you won’t need to take your fisheye lens, unless you are out to photograph macro’s of some of the smaller biology in the forest. Take into account anything that could happen where you are going as well, will you be on a boat and will your camera float, or will you be dust storms, sand, or extreme heat. Under each condition your gear will take on different shapes and may have different limitations.
Often as photographers, hobbyist or even professionals at times, we will arrive at a location not knowing what would be best to have along, for situations like this you may find it best to have a small point and shoot that can accomplish a good cross section of the functionality of your gear while offering the size and portability of something that will fit in your pocket, you wouldn’t show up to a wedding with a point and shoot unless it was for a very specific purpose, likewise you wouldn’t go to photograph your third cousins’ twice removed birthday party with a full digital SLR kit unless you were really good friends or were being hired to do so.
Keep it light and keep it simple, that is the best way to travel with photographic related equipment. But always way sure that you have what you feel you may even want and if you find yourself packing anything more that one camera and one lens you may want to consider something with wheels.