Travel photography is almost always fun. You get to travel, visit new places, experience new cultures, meet new people, and on top of that take great photographs that will probably earn you some keep. Now, travel photography is a tad more complicated than regular photography, since you are on the road. That means you are facing new territory, far from home, and you need to be prepared in order to avoid failures.
Among all the things that can go wrong, and will definitely go wrong for that matter (because of Murphy’s Quantum Law: “Anything that can, could have, or will go wrong, is going wrong, all at once”) there are a few that you should be the most aware of, and if you are, you can do something about it.
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Having bad weather for your whole trip isn’t fun. I mean, yes, we are photographers and probably will figure something out. However, why improvise in bad weather, when you can plan the trip when the weather is good. Weather forecasts nowadays provide insight quite far ahead. Of course, the further you go ahead, the less accurate the forecast becomes… but then again you can plan the trip without fixed dates 6 months in advance, and so be able to adjust for the weather.
There are many weather forecast services. Therefore, it is best to check at least several of them and derive an average. Make sure that the services you are using aren’t pulling their data from the same source.
Additionally, if you think that you’ll need 3 days to complete your preferred goal abroad, add a day or two to spare, in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.
If you aren’t traveling by car, or if you aren’t renting a car at your destination, you’ll have to use public transport for destinations that are too far away to be walked to. However, some places have weird schedules for the local public transport, and it can be a bummer if you miss the last bus (or the only bus for that matter, as is in Esino Lario per se). This means you’ll either have to walk copious distances or pay a cab fare which can cost you a leg and an arm, especially in European countries.
You can probably find the schedules printed out on most of the bus stops, or you can find them online. Anyhow, take a photo of the schedule (or a screencap) and keep it with you at all times. You’ll find it handy more than you think.
Powerbanks are lifesavers like no other. I usually have one 10 000 mAh power bank with me, and it keeps my phone topped off for around 4 charges. However, recently I’ve realized that I can use power banks to charge my camera batteries as well. All one needs is a USB charger for the batteries. Quite cool right? By applying some logic, having 2 x 16 000 mah power banks, and having two chargers for them (regular 2 amp android chargers), can allow you to charge your phone/tablet on one bank, and have around 10 camera batteries charged on the other power bank. This means that even if you take a ridiculous amount of photos daily (per se, time-lapse shooting) you’ll still be able to charge the spare batteries on the go.
I know, obviously, you can’t go beforehand and scout every area, however: there is Google Maps, photographs of the place, shots from other photographers, posts from bloggers, and many more resources on your disposal. Getting to know the place better before you go there means that you won’t loose time looking for cool things to shoot while you are there. So always be prepared beforehand. Look for insight on places like Couchsurfing, or search Flickr, 500px, or even Google Images for images with certain geo locations. The internet is filled with people and resources that can provide enough insight for you to plan your trip accordingly.
Traveling is fun, traveling is educational, and traveling improves a person on a whole different level. However, traveling can turn into a huge pain in the neck if you aren’t prepared for it. Improvising on the spot can sometimes save you from sticky situations, but why risk it when you can think ahead? It doesn’t take much to ruin your day, but it doesn’t take much to be smart about it and prevent bad stuff from happening in the first place.