So you're going on a trip...
There are going to be lots of things to take photos of,
And you are going for a while, but you are not sure you are always going to have access to electricity to recharge your batteries, the weather might get a little wild and you don't want to have to waste all your time in internet cafes emailing off all your photos or getting them burnt to CD.
So what do you need to know?
1. MANAGING MEMORY
Yes memory cards are expensive and if you have a high resolution camera such as a digital SLR with anything from 5 to 20 mega pixels then you are going to run out of memory pretty quickly. Rather than buy alot of cards there a number of other options out there that allow you to always carry your photos with you and even enjoy them on another level than simply storing them on a card.
Enter the ipod video!
For about the price of 4x 1gig memory cards you could get instead this handy little device with 30 gigs (and doubles as an mp3 player). You can connect via a cable your camera to the ipod and download all your photos. But not only does it store them, it enables you to view them whenever you want so on your travels when you want to show a fellow buddy something you've seen, there is no need to find a computer, just wip out your ipod! The screens on these things are also quite large, and are therefore better to view your photos then what you get on the back of your camera.
A cheaper alternative...
Ipods aren't the only devices out there which can store your photographs. If you can't afford an ipod, there are other devices which store your pictures, but don't have a screen to view them on. X-Drive makes such as product.
There are also a number of other brands out there, so check them out. But make sure you check how long the batteries last and how long it takes to download about 1gig worth of photos from your camera as this will be an important consideration. However remember you won't be using it as much as your camera.
2. WILD WEATHER AND PICK-POCKETS
Perhaps you are going to the alps or india during the monsoon. You need to consider the temperatures and the precipitation you may encounter. Firstly regarless of the weather you expect to encounter it is essential to have a good quality, weather-proof case for your camera. One with lots of pockets for all your accessories is best. Make sure it has lots of padding too, and is fairly light-weight. Crumpler is a great brand for this.
However another important thing to consider when thinking about what kind of bag you will need is, the likelyhood of pick-pockets. If you are going to a region known for this kind of theft, a camera backpack may not be the best option unless you can lock it (but then make sure you can't slash it either). A smaller case which you can keep close to your body at your front may therefore be a better option, and while the bright coloured bags may bee really cool-looking they may attract unwanted attention.
If you are taking an ipod with you to download your photos, then it might also be a good idea to keep it separate from your camera. That way if your camera is stolen, then you will always still have your photos (something your travel insurance can't replace!).
If you are going to be a very cold region, then your batteries are not going to last as long which must then be a very important consideration....
Different cameras use different batteries, but most will allow you to use some form of rechargeable battery. Now this guide is written assuming you already have your camera, so you are stuck with what you have got. It is important to understand how long your batteries are going to last in a range of different temperatures. This information is often provided with your camera. Then you need to buy sufficent spare ones to last you for however long you think you might be out of range from a power-point. Which raises another thing, make sure you have the right adaptor plugs for your country!
If you are going to a very cold region, your batteries are not going to last as long, and that includes your fully charged spare batteries that are just waiting for you to use. It therefore doesn't matter how many you bring, they will all go flat before you use. One way to prevent this is to make sure that you keep your batteries warm. Handwarmer packs are a good option for the day, although these only last about a day, so you could go through a few. At night-time sleep with your camera and batteries in your sleeping bag. This is a very effective technique. The other option during the day is to keep all your spare batteries in a money belt under your jumper and held close to your belly.
And use your common sense... if you won't need all your batteries with you that day and you have a warm house to leave them there then do.
4 OTHER TIPS
Make sure your travel insurance covers the cost of your camera, your memory card and any portable storage devices (such as ipods) you may take with you.
And have fun! Photography is great fun, and a wonderful reason to travel, but make sure you take the time to experience your trip for real though, and not always through the lense!!!