MEMORY & STORAGE
For extended trips, you’re well advised to carry multiple memory cards. Consider a card wallet like Think Tank Photo‘s Pixel Pocket Rocket (thinktankphoto.com< /a>), available in several sizes and versions to carry CF, XQD or SD cards that make it easier to track which cards are full and which are ready to go.
Backing up your images is also highly advisable. While many cameras now include built-in wireless capability for image transfers from camera to laptop or the cloud, a good card reader is still the fastest way to get images from memory card to computer. Lexar‘s Multi-Card 25-in-1 USB 3.0 Reader (lexar.com) offers a fast USB 3.0 connection and can read 25 different types of memory cards, including all those used in digital cameras.
Once you have your images transferred to your laptop, you have one backup, which is great, but laptops and electronics are targets for thieves, and even the best hard drives fail occasionally. With an online service like Dropbox, Google Drive or Mylio, to name just a few, you can upload all of your images to the cloud for redundant remote backup, ensuring that no matter what happens to your gear, your images will make it home safe.
Great images start with great light. Sometimes you’re lucky to stumble onto a scene where the light is perfect as it is, but more often, a successful image requires enhancing the ambient light. In a studio, there are a lot of options, but for most types of travel photography, a shoe-mount speedlight is the most practical solution. It can also be harsh and unf lattering, unless you modify it.
A basic f lash modifier kit for travel and scenic photography would include at least three types of modifiers: a bounce, a diffuser and gels. Bounces improve f lash output by ref lecting it indirectly toward your subject, which not only softens the light but also adds dimension (as opposed to the f lat look of a head-on f lash). Diffusers are even better at softening the light and spreading it over a wider area. They’re great for portraits, but also for providing fill light on foreground elements in landscape and scenic shots. Gels are especially helpful when you need to add fill light to a scene and want to approximate the color of the ambient light, like during the “golden hours.” Or they can be used for more wild effects to add interest and color in scenes that might otherwise be monochromatic and dull.
You can piece together your own collection of modifiers or invest in a complete solution like the Rogue FlashBender 2 Portable Lighting Kit (rogueflash.com), which includes large and small FlashBender 2 reflectors, large and small diffusion panels, a full spectrum of gels, and the Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid for creating a focused spotlight, plus a travel bag to keep it all organized.