You know you’re in Heineken land when even the bottle opener in your hotel room says Heineken on it.
Recommendations for planning a trip to Amsterdam:
- and the Eyewitness Amsterdam guidebook.
Tony and I have been earning a living as professional photographers for the past ten years. In that time we have learned a few things. At the end of each blog post we include the list of our favorite tips as well as an extensive list of the equipment we use.
LIST OF OUR FAVORITE TIPS
TIPS FOR TRAVELING
- The more you know about the place you are traveling to, the less you will miss. Spend some time listening to podcasts or reading books about the place before you go. You will be amazed at all the things you would have walked right by without noticing.
- To get a better idea of what the country is really like, get off the tourist path. Instead of one more selfie in front of one more landmark, and searching out the nearest Starbucks, try eating at the locals favorite restaurant and try the local favorite drink and dish.
- Take photos of details as well as the usual landmarks. Notice the differences in local flowers, bridges, sidewalks, food.
- Use a cell phone camera to quickly capture information. You can capture menus, names of restaurants, the name of the street where the hotel is located, a photo of the shower that you couldn’t figure out how to use, the unbelievable staircase. And you can also take quick photos of things you would normally collect and put in a scrapbook – a shell, a coaster, a logo, a stamp.
TRAVELING WITH A CAMERA
- Take only your favorite camera and lenses – to reduce the weight and bulk. We have a Canon 5D Mark IV, and a Canon 5D Mark II – both of these are a rugged enough for travel. Tony’s favorite lens is the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L II, which is large, but takes incredible photos. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L is my favorite all-around lens. Then we also carry the Canon EF 17-40 f/4L USM Ultra Wide angle Zoom, for incredible panoramic photos and shots of clouds and sunsets.
- Consider the size of the camera in case you need to lock it in a hotel safe. Make sure it is not too heavy to carry all day.
- Use an iPhone for documentation – Take photos with your phone as well as your professional camera. When all the photos are uploaded to the computer, the photos from the phone will add location information. We use the iPhone to take quick photos of signs, restaurant cards, menus, and other details.
- Use a comfortable, waterproof, inconspicuous, cross-body camera bag – to protect the camera from water, salt, thieves, shocks and still keep it easily accessible.
- Keep the camera bag with you on board flights – don’t check your camera equipment or put it in the overhead bins on a flight. Keep it under the chair in front of you and use it as one of your personal items.
- Travel with a down vest with pockets – if there is a weight restriction on a flight and the camera bag is too heavy, one of the lenses can be put in the pocket of the vest and worn. On board, the vest can be used as added protection for a lens or as a pillow or neck roll. Later on the trip, a vest is an easy way of adding an extra layer of warmth without too much bulk.
- Use a polarizer – it does double duty by improving the color in the photos and adding a layer of protection for your lens.
- Carry CompactFlash cards in a rugged case – to protect them from water, salt and impacts, especially once they are used and contain irreplaceable photos.
- Put gel packets in the camera bag – to reduce the humidity in the case and prevent mold.
- Carry disposable lens cleaners – cleaning a cloth is impractical and it’s important not to use something that has sand or mold spores on it. The individual use wet and dry cleaners make lens cleaning easy when traveling.
- Not camera related, but I can’t help mentioning that the Bose noise canceling headphones are invaluable on a long flight.
OUR LIST OF FAVORITE EQUIPMENT FOR TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
- Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L II,
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L,
- Canon EF 17-40 f/4L USM Ultra Wide angle Zoom,
- Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II zoom
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L macro
OTHER EQUIPMENT –
- Hoya 77mm NXT Circular Polarizer Filter
- Hoya 72mm NXT Circular Polarizer Filter
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB 160MB/s CompactFlash cards
- CompactFlash card case that is watertight and shock resistant
- Interteck reusable blue silica gel packets
- Tamrac sling pack camera bag
- Lens Cleanse wet/dry packets