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Friday, January 26, 2007

Better Travel Photos Made Easy

Go for the great shots you can hang on the wall or use in a dramatic slideshow of your trip

Rolling bags and cases aren't the best for shooting in a foreign village or when climbing ancient stairs to a historic site, however. I like to carry my camera gear in a rolling backpack, but I add a smaller, packable camera bag in with my clothing and use it when I reach my location. In this way, I have the gear I might need in the big bag, but only take a limited amount of gear to a specific location.

I also prefer to travel with a digital SLR and a compact digital camera. I gain the power of the larger camera with an assortment of lenses and flash, plus D-SLRs always have excellent high-ISO capabilities, meaning you can shoot with them in low-light conditions. I have the advantage of size and portability with the smaller camera when I need to travel light or I want to shoot less conspicuously (such as during a celebration in some developing countries where a camera bag may make you a target for thieves). Quality, high-megapixel cameras offer superb results with big zoom ranges, yet take up little space.

Dealing With Power
With a digital camera, you must have battery power, and you can't count on it lasting a long time (how long depends on the camera and how you shoot). The challenge is to always have power when you need it. There are several guidelines you can follow to ensure that happens.

•Put your charger on a special "to pack" list. There's nothing more frustrating than arriving at a location and discovering your charger is still at home.

•Keep three sets of rechargeable batteries. This makes your travel photography less likely to run out of power. You go out for a day's shoot with a fully charged battery or set in your camera, another fully charged battery or set in your bag, and the third is back at your base charging. When you return that evening, replace your camera's battery with the one on the charger, put one of the other batteries on charge for the night (to go in your bag the next morning), and keep the last for charging the next day.

•If your camera uses AA batteries, look into the lithium AAs from Energizer. These lightweight, high-capacity batteries can sit for years without losing power, making them ideal for backup and travel.



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