Ten Travel Photography Tips

Protect your digital camera with these travel photography tips

Travel photo tips
Compassionate Eye Foundation / Rennie Solis / Getty Images

When traveling with your digital camera, you can make use of it to help you through a variety of potential problems that may occur. It's also important to take some precautions to ensure your camera and related equipment will be safe as you travel. Travel photography requires some special steps and some travel photography tips to have success.

Here are 10 digital camera and traveling photography tips for making the most of your camera's capabilities, while also protecting it, during travel photography.

  • Avoiding weather problems. This might be the most important of the travel photography tips that I'm sharing with you. The weather can be unpredictable when you're traveling. There's also a chance you'll be near water or harsh heat, such as in the photo here. If you didn't buy an all-weather or waterproof camera, you can try keeping the camera sealed in a plastic bag to protect it from water. To protect it from extreme cold, keep it close to your body. If you notice condensation on or inside the camera, stop using it until you're back inside. Not keeping an eye on the weather could lead to a damaged camera.
  • Backing up images. Even if you have multiple memory cards with your camera, it's a good idea to back up the data on the memory cards. After all, those vacation photos are not replaceable should the memory card break or get lost. Any store that allows you to make prints from your digital photos should be able to copy the photos on a memory card to a data CD or DVD.
  • Driving a rental car. Snap a few photos of the rental car, including the license plate. Then, if you can't remember where you parked, you at least have an image to help you locate the vehicle. Or if you notice some damage to the car after you leave the lot, and you're concerned that you may be stuck with a repair bill if the vehicle rental company attempts to pin that previous damage on you, shoot photos of the damage with a time stamp and contact the company immediately.
  • Finding a lost camera. You can help a lost digital camera find its way home. With the first frame on your memory card, snap a photo of a piece of paper, on which you've written your name, phone number, and e-mail address. If someone finds your camera, chances are they'll look through the photos stored on the memory card, giving you the opportunity to use a photo to "send" them a message on how to contact you and return the camera.
  • Hiding your camera. You wouldn't walk the streets of an unfamiliar city holding a stack of cash in the open. By the same token, you probably shouldn't wander with your expensive digital camera in plain sight. Keep it hidden in a bag until you're ready to use it.
  • Insuring your equipment. Well before you travel, contact your insurance company and make sure your photography equipment is covered as you travel. Be specific about what equipment you'll be carrying and where you'll be going. Then write down serial numbers and models of all of the equipment. You might need to purchase a rider to cover your photography equipment.
  • Losing your way. For those who have a poor sense of direction when sightseeing, use your digital camera to snap photos of street signs and landmarks as you wander through an unfamiliar location. Later, you can use the photos to help you find your way back to the hotel.
  • Packing your equipment. With more restrictive packing rules on airplanes in the United States, you'll want to be careful how you pack your camera. Do not pack camera equipment in a checked bag, where it will be out of your sight. The x-ray scanning equipment at the airport will not affect your memory cards. You may be asked by security personnel to operate the camera, just to prove it is a functional unit, so be sure to have a charged battery available.
  • Thwarting thieves. Don't leave your camera sitting unattended on a table, an empty chair, or a bench. Don't make things easy for a thief. Keep it in a bag, out of sight, and keep the bag with you at all times.
  • Traveling with children. If you're traveling to a place where it's possible your child might become separated from you, such as a large amusement park, be sure to take a photo of your child every day before you enter the park. You'll then have an image of what the child is wearing, should you need one.