Are you a backpacking photo buff? Or a professional photographer traveling overseas for your next assignment? You probably have such things as your health checks, insurance and luggage sorted out. But have you put extra thought into protecting your photo gear- you should adopt a whole new set of safety “rituals” for them because it is worth the risk.
As a traveling photographer, anything can happen and you want to be prepared. Your camera and accessories are important, so here are some safety tips to consider on your next trip.
Use Padded Cases
When traveling, most professional photographers take two bags for their gear. This is not a rule, but consider you would be moving around a lot. The first is a backpack which contains the main items, and the second is a day bag. The important thing about these bags is, they should be incredibly well made and heavily padded.
As a busy photographer, the last thing you want is an inferior quality case. Your bag shouldn’t be difficult to carry and they must be able to protect your gear. A quality padded case is well made and waterproof.
Get a Shoulder Bag
While taking walks on a busy street, it can be an inconvenience knocking things over with your backpack, not to mention that they can easily be opened from behind. When you travel with your camera, take along a shoulder bag, even if you are only using a single camera and lens.
Keep your camera secure on the side, so you have eyes on it at all times. Consider getting a shoulder bag with a camera insert provision. Ensure it is well padded and can even be stylish- if you wish. Bags with tight clasps are great for added security.
Carry your Gear in your Hand Luggage
Be wary of leaving your camera equipment to the mercy of baggage handlers. Not that all of them are careless, but are you willing to take the risk? When you go on a plane, it is advisable to carry your equipment with you. Most long flight airlines know this and are often lenient about luggage weight in these situations. Sometimes, it may help to disclose that you are only carrying a camera.
Conceal or Remove Camera Branding
Cameras are very valuable equipment, especially those high-res Nikon brands. Thieves can tell their value simply by looking at the brand. So if you have spent a tidy sum on yours, I suggest you protect it at all times. This involves concealing the logo with a black duct tape and using inconspicuous camera bags. You can always remove them when you are back in familiar territory.
Clean your camera
Being on the move regularly exposes your camera to all kinds of dirt- like sand and dust. Your lens is not air tight; to zoom, it needs to move in and out. Unfortunately, this allows air in too. In severe cases, lenses let in dust which result in poor images and wear out the camera. Ensure your lens’ are covered when not in use and clean them regularly.
One last thing, write down the serial number and insure your gear. This is helpful as you never know what may happen. But hopefully, it won’t get to that.
Enjoy your trip!