Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vacationing with your camera

Hopefully, it won't be taking a dip in the pool with you.

A few readers have asked some questions on this subject, specifically related to Disney, so I thought a post would be appropriate.  I also plan on giving my lens and equipment suggestions but couldn't get my act together to post it now.  So much to do, so little time....  

Photography is my thing, my hobby, so I can't imagine going on vacation without my camera.  I don't own a point and shoot and while I occasionally take pictures with my iPhone, I limit those to Twitter usage.  Admittedly, I do sometimes joke that bringing the camera along is like caring for another child.  (The most important word in that sentence is joke.)

In order to understand my perspective, I should state that I am on the overprotective end of caring for my camera and equipment.  It cost a lot of money and I don't want anything to happen to it.  I've never just thrown my camera in the diaper bag or allowed the kids to play with it.  Not that it's wrong if you treat your camera differently.  This is just how I do things.  

So when I talk about vacation, I'm referring to one that involves a lot of walking and activity (such as Disney).  I also have three small kids so that impacts some of my decisions and thoughts.

Camera Bag
I think the most important item to have is a well padded, comfortable-to-carry camera bag.  I have a fancy camera bag that looks like an oversized purse (Jo Totes) and while it's appropriate for outings, I find it quite uncomfortable to carry for long periods of time.  Last summer, I purchased a Lowpro Flipside 200 camera backpack.  It's listed for $70 on Amazon right now.  (I'm almost positive we paid less than that though.)  This post would probably be better if I had some pictures of the bags but I don't.  While the backpack is very comfortable, I still find removing my camera to be a bit awkward.  I've come to the conclusion that it's best for carrying your camera and equipment but not for constantly pulling your camera out and tucking it back away.

In addition to how comfortable it was to carry, I also liked how everything was padded and protected.  During our August trip, I had my backpack sitting upright on my chair at Cinderella's Royal Table.  We were gathering all of our items to leave and I was distracted.  The backpack flipped off of the chair and landed on the floor.  My camera, lenses and Speedlight were undamaged.

Having a black backpack is convenient in that I can hand it off to Rich and he's not stuck carrying a purple purse.    

I try to pack light because my back really can't handle hauling massive amounts of camera equipment around all day.  Plus, more equipment means more to worry about/deal with and that's not what I want to do on vacation.  I want to capture vacation memories for us and maybe photograph some of the landscape/parks when it's convenient to do so but our vacations our not photography vacations.

Safety/Theft Concerns
(This portion is Disney specific.)  I'm not naive enough to think that theft doesn't exist on Disney property.  I handle my camera bag as I would my handbag/purse in any public place.  At Disney, you can take bags with you on any and all rides.  (From what I've read, you cannot do the same at Universal and must leave bags in lockers.)  Sure, I've placed my camera bag in the stroller basket but it only stays there if I (or Rich or Grammy) am with the stroller.  I would never leave it in an unattended stroller or where the back of the stroller (such as during a crowded parade) is unattended.

As for at the resort, I have never left my camera in our room at a time when housekeeping would be in there.  Not because I don't trust housekeeping but because I believe that's when a thief would have the easiest time gaining access to our room.  I have left my camera in the room at other times though.  I didn't go swimming this past vacation but I did during our August trip and I know that you can't babysit a camera and swim with kids at the same time.

Back Up  
Some folks bring their laptop and external hard drive on vacation.  Each night, they upload their photos to their laptop and then back them up on the external hard drive.  Yeah, this is not me.  At home, my normal operating procedure is to upload to my laptop but I don't constantly back up to my external hard drive.  I don't delete photos from my memory card though until I have backed up my laptop to my external hard drive.

If we drive to our vacation location, I usually bring my laptop and after a few days of vacationing and photographing, I'll upload my photos to my laptop but I won't delete them from my camera.  This past Disney vacation, we flew and I wasn't about to drag my laptop along.  So basically, I had no back up plan.  Maybe this sounds lazy and yes, I would have been quite upset with myself if something had happened to those photos but there's also more in life to worry about.  Grammy was taking photos too and Rich had some video so not all would have been lost.  Vacationing with three little kids can be tiring and having a strong photo back up plan wasn't high on my list of priorities.

I should note that the Nikon D7000 has two memory cards slots.  You can use them as two different memory cards (double the photos) or you can use card #2 as back up for card #1.    
Hope this helps!

[Please note that this is not a sponsored post.  Lowepro has no idea who I am.  And I don't belong to any type of Amazon affiliate program so if you buy something off of Amazon after linking through my blog, I earn absolutely nothing.]

1 comment:

mae said...

Thank you for writing this up! It was very informative.