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Discover Hawaii Tours 6:31pm, 15 July 2011
Share your best photography advice! When you're travelling the world and taking flicks in Hawaii, what techniques do you use?

Here's one of ours:
Be comfortable with your camera
Know how to quickly adjust your settings without pausing to hunt for the ISO button. If you delay the shot just because you forgot where the aperture setting is, you've already missed the shot!

Also, bring a camera you're willing to carry around. If you bring a bulky DSLR and don't feel like bringing it along when you leave the hotel/house, you're gonna miss a good shot, guaranteed. You don't want to be caught saying, "I've should've brought my camera!"
TomBenedict PRO 7 years ago
I'll second what you said about bringing a camera you're willing to carry. It's similar to the old adage about personal protective equipment like safety glasses and respirators: If it's not comfortable, it won't get used. Cameras are the same way. It's got to be something you will carry with you at all times or you won't have it with you when the moment arrives.

I know this isn't universal, but something I have to do at the outset is decide if this is a photographic trip or a family trip. If it's photographic, I carry more gear and make the assumption I'll be awake before sunrise and will stay out past sunset. If it's a family trip I carry less gear and focus more on people photography than landscapes and chasing the light. It makes for a more harmonious trip all 'round.

Regardless I always try to carry the following things with me:
- A camera that I like to carry and use
- Some way to hold the camera for self-timer or long exposure shots (Ultrapod or Gorilla Pod works well)
- More memory than I think I'll use
- A minimal set of filters: circ polarizer and graduated ND
- My camera manual!

Other than that the only advice I can give is to follow good practice with composition and exposure. But there are lots of good treatises on composition and light. I won't go into it too much here.
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Discover Hawaii Tours 7 years ago
Great advice t. benedict.

Another thing to keep in mind with memory cards is, are you bringing a laptop with you? If so, will you be backing up your images every day?

If you bring a laptop you might not have to bring a ton of memory with you, just more than what you think you'll use for the day.
TomBenedict PRO 7 years ago
With few exceptions, any time I'm doing photography I bring some means of getting images off the memory cards. I look at it this way: By the time I get to where I want to do the phtoography, have the light I need, have the subject the way I want it, and finally trip the shutter, the most valuable thing I have in my possession is the photographs themselves. After a day's work I like to get them somewhere safe where I can't accidentally overwrite them, format them, or drop them in the ocean.

Even so, I try to bring more memory than I'll need. Because that one day the UFO shows up or Nessie erupts from the water right beside me, the last thing I want to see is "Card Full!" on my camera's screen.

One more from the bag:

Of all the accessories you can carry into the field in addition to the camera itself, the one I've found the most valuable is information. Learn what you can about a place before going there. Get postcards, if you can. Find out what the well-known vantage points are, and the times of day when they're at their best. Then talk to people who have been there and find out where they have gone that's a little off the beaten path. With that information in-hand, plan out where you think you'd like to go and when you'd like to get there.

There's nothing more disappointing than returning from a trip only to find you'd missed all kinds of good photography opportunities because you didn't do your homework beforehand. (Been there, done that, and will likely do it again.)
missnoma PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by missnoma (member) 6 years ago

You really are on the ball.
I am horrified at how I left the big heavy canon with battery pack, lenses and tripod in the car, or at the accommodation and shot so much with a P&S... What are your thoughts on my getting a Monopod to carry, use as walking stick, kind of....?
TomBenedict PRO 6 years ago
I honestly don't know. I thought about getting one back when I was using film, but I never got around to it. These days I'll carry a tripod if I think I'm going to do photography toward dusk. (And usually I'm mentally griping at how heavy the tripod is!)

I do carry something that could be classed as a monopod, but not for my DSLR. It's a carbon fiber breem pole I modified to take a small ball head. I can stick my P&S on top and extend the pole up about 16'. If I hold the bottom end of the pole at shoulder height, it gives me about 21' of height on the camera. Collapsed, it's about the size of a walking stick. I don't carry it around all the time, but if I know I'll be stuck in a crowd or if there's a good opportunity to use a high angle like that, it's nice to have.

Here's the pole, extended on my driveway:

Laid Out

And here's a typical photo made using it:

Welcome Home

(Sorry, that's from San Diego, not Hawaii...)

The biggest change I made in my gear in recent years was to wrap my head around the idea of using a single zoom lens, and to leave all my primes at home. This makes a DSLR much MUCH more portable. I'm a lot more likely to grab my DSLR bag than my P&S these days.

(But primes still rock.)
missnoma PRO 6 years ago


Thanks for the comprehensive response.... Yes leave the battery pack and just take a zoom... have a 18-200mm IS and if not taken to the extremes can get away without fringing... Must return better shots than a P&S.. Thank you so much for the pictures, they certainly tell the story...

Will go investigate a mono-pod when I get to a city not the bush where I live..Cheers Claire
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