Overcoming The Travails Of Travel

Travel and photography have been intertwined since the earliest days of the craft. At photography’s beginnings, photographers often carted gear on horseback and mule, bringing along tents for wet plate coating and processing in the field. Coated film changed all that, and amateurs and professionals alike soon discovered newfound freedom in where a camera could go, and a profusion of images showed us every corner of the globe.

Today, as we work with digital, it would seem that the need to haul “bricks” of film and the necessity of protecting film from the hazards of temperature and moisture would make traveling with a camera easier than ever before. Yet, those who work with digital have replaced those film packs with a host of wires and storage devices (read laptop) that seem to again increase the burden. Add to that the increasingly onerous baggage restrictions and fees airlines use as profit centers and it would seem we have taken a step backward in what should be a pleasantly portable experience.

In this issue we address not only the potential rewards of travel photography, with an in-depth look at the market by pros who make their living with travel images, but also have some helpful tips on how to pack the gear you deem essential when on the road. As to the travel photo market, we highly recommend Maria Piscopo’s interview with numerous travel pros who share insights on what it takes to make it in this highly competitive field. Their frank discussion on business strategies, as well as how they fund their trips, may help you in your consideration of tackling this aspect of the craft.

As to getting there with gear intact without paying an arm and a leg for luggage fees, and making sure you can bring along the right gear for your trip, we offer a sampler of roller cases that both meet the restrictive airline baggage requirements and make sure you keep the gear with you as you go. There’s nothing that strikes fear into a photographer’s heart quite like getting to the airport and realizing that thebag you have with you might not be able to be taken on board. Knowing the airline baggage restrictions, especially for those smaller “connecting” flights, and particularly when traveling abroad, can eliminate a lot of anxiety. And having cases that won’t break your back as you go from place to place, be it from your car to your hotel or photo locale, or overseas or on a train or bus, makes the whole journey so much more enjoyable, and that’s where a roller case comes into play.

We also cover compact “folders” in this issue, handy tripods that can actually be taken aboard a plane or can be strapped onto your roller case. There’s no question that aside from low-light photo ops, where a tripod is key, that a tripod can add much to final image quality in any kind of light. In fact, talk with any pro about handheld versus tripod-mounted image quality and tripod usage wins out every time. While these folders might not afford the weight-bearing ability of the big rigs they certainly can be a big help on the road.

As we go to press with this issue we are just returning from the worldwide photo show, photokina, held every two years in Cologne, Germany, and we look forward to bringing you our reports starting in the January issue, available on newsstands in December. We have a team of reporters who will be bringing you reports on tech breakthroughs and gear that will be coming on the market in the months ahead. And just to keep with the theme of this issue, you can be assured that we packed our photo gear inside roller cases and brought along a compact folder to capture images as we went.

DenFletcher's picture

Some of the best and most amazing photos I ever took were while traveling and that's why I encourage every new photographer to explore. I am going to be taking photos in France next month. I have planned a trip there through the holiday rentals France travel agency. I will visit the French Riviera and hopefully get some amazing photos.

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