travel like a Pro

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Quick tips to help you plan that photography vacation you’ve long waited for

Planning to take a summer vacation and looking forward to capturing every bit of it with your camera? Or getting started as a wannabe photographer and confused about what accessories you need for it? Zoom in on these essential camera accessories and you can click all you want without losing sleep.

May the power be with you

All you bags may be packed and you're ready to go for a holiday abroad. But before leaving please verify what kind of electrical sockets pock the walls of your destination country. Why? Because you’ll need to charge your camera battery every now and then, won’t you? And do carry a travel adapter along before you catch that plane. If you’re an intrepid Macro Polo who frequently — or even off and on — dons his Seven League Boots to travel to several countries across continents, it makes a lot of money sense to buy a single multi-country travel adapter. The adapter will let plug not just your camera but also your laptop/phone/other device chargers into electrical sockets in other countries.

Backup bozo!

Backing up your images soon after they are taken is always a good idea. And we don’t mean merely dumping everything on your laptop or a puny pen drive. Use an external hard disk drive to dump your images once you are back. And if you are a rather trigger-happy shutterbug who takes loads of pictures, it is good idea to carry a portable hard drive along. The are umpteen options from Seagate, Western Digital and LaCie etc. available in the market. As they are USB powered, they don’t need an external power supply and are easy to lug around. Available for Windows and Mac platforms in capacities of up to 2TB, they usually come with built-in shock and vibration protection.

Sizing up the file

The more the megapixels, the larger the image file size. It is best to have at least an 8 GB memory card in your camera. And then there is video, most of which is in the rather heavy AVI format. All this takes up huge gobs of space. If you are carrying a laptop, dump the pictures you are shooting everyday on to the laptop at the end of day. Even otherwise, it is always good to carry an extra memory card or two with you.

Also, it is equally important for you have a backup memory card or two in case something happens to the primary one. Depending on the camera you are carrying, there are various types of memory cards out there ranging from CompactFlash cards and SD cards, to SmartMedia cards and xD-picture cards. Ensure you carry the one that’s compatible with your camera. And always keep it formatted and ready to pop in.

Steady, ready, shoot...

For stabilisation as well as timed pictures, there is nothing quite like a Joby Gorillapod. This camera tripod comprises short, flexible, gripping legs which can be wrapped around almost anything to support a camera. Gorillapods are available in several sizes. The largest of these can support up to five kilos. Available in clones as a cling pod or as a flexipod, this diminutive contraption will help you take photos from all like of angles, places and surfaces without much of a fuss.

For full length floor-standing fellas, check out the sturdy Manfrotto tripods. Some of them weigh less than a kilo and with their telescopic legs can collapse down to some 40-odd centimetre. You can also checkout a monopod, or unipod. This single pole can also be ably used to steady cameras or video cameras while outdoors.

Water, water everywhere

If you’re heading for wetter climes or plan to take your shooter while rafting or canoeing etc., carry along something like the Aquapac Stormproof Padded Camera Case for your camera. A case like this safeguards your point and shoot camera from water and the vagaries of inclement weather. With it you will be able to use your camera come splashes, snow, hail or rain without a worry. You will also find similar outer gear from P&S and D-SLRs from Outex and DiCAPac.

Since some cases have foam padding, they protect your camera from minor knocks and bumps as well. However, while roll-down seals keep rain, mud, spays and splashes out, most cases cannot be submerged in water. So do verify the suitable depth rating before buying … especially if you are planning to don fins on your feet and stuff your snout in a snorkel for some underwater sightseeing but wishing that you could somehow carry your cam into all the H2O. zz

(The author is a personal tech writer)


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