My Favourite Photography Gear For Travelling

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My Favourite Photography Gear For Travelling

I’m a gadget geek. I love things that sparkle and promise to make our lives easier, even if they’re completely unnecessary. I could happily spend a couple of hours in a large electronic store. I even like checking out Kickstarter to see what genius ideas people are currently coming up with.

I’ve put together a list of gear/gadgets that are either photography related or travel related that I love. If you have any gadget recommendations, please feel free to add them in the comments box.

Please note, none of these links are affiliate links so I don’t get any money for recommending them. These are just items I use and enjoy.

Photography Gear

1. Nikon D800 & 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens. I’ll get these ones out of the way at the beginning. They don’t really need any introduction. I love this body/lens combo. I can’t see this primary shooting equipment changing any time soon.


2. B+W 10-stop ND filters. For me, these are the best filters around. It’s such a shame B+W don’t have a filter for the 14-24 Nikon lens. Nevertheless, I managed to get one for my 16-35 Vario Tessar recently. Looking forward to dedicating my Sony A7 to long exposures in New Zealand.

3. My Tripods. I have two tripods. Manfrotto’s 055 is my main set of legs. It is a beast. And with an extendable central column, it gives you a lot of options when shooting in awkward situations. I also use it to hang my microphone when recording tutorials. My second tripod, which I’ve had for over two years, is a Benro Travelpod. It’s small, light, sturdy, and extends to a perfect height for me (I’m 5 11″ on a good day).

4. Mafortto Super Clamp. This piece of kit, although heavy, will allow you to shoot in places which forbid tripods. I haven’t used it much, but having it could mean the difference between walking away with an awesome image, or empty handed.

5. Lowepro Vertex 200. I love this bag!! It’s small enough to carry on a flight, but big enough for camera gear and clothes for a few days. It also has 3 potential spots to carry your tripod. With all these compartments, I enjoy packing my bag before a trip, putting everything neatly in the correct place. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

6. iPhone. This was probably my best purchase last year. I actually hadn’t owned a phone for 5 years before I got an iPhone 6. I liked being disconnected from the world somewhat. My wife convinced me to get one so we could communicate conveniently while I was travelling. Although I only have two peoples’ phone number, and don’t call or text anyone, this phone has been a revelation.

With (a free app), I can get an offline map for just about anywhere in the world. I mark all of my locations on this map. Because of this one app, I rarely, if ever get lost looking for my hotel or locations to shoot.

For photography I use PhotoPills to plan most of my shoots. It’s great for sunrise/sunset time/direction, moon cycle, Milky Way position, and a lot more. It’s very similar to Photographer’s Ephemeris.

I also use LongTime to determine my long exposure times.

Non-Photography Gear/Gadgets

1. HooToo Wifi Router. If you’re an online business owner like me, you’ll know how important it is to be connected most of the time. We have customers to reply to, and content to publish. When I was in China it took 45 minutes to upload a 500kb photo to my blog using the hotel WiFi in Shanghai. Like most hotels, the room had an Ethernet port but I didn’t have a cable. Sometimes I don’t take my computer with me so an Ethernet cable wouldn’t be much use for my portable devices.

When I got home I did some research and found the wonderful HooToo TripMate. You can plug this little gadget into the Ethernet port and it will transmit encrypted WiFi which you can use on all of your devices. So while hotel guests are scrambling to squeeze life out of the public WiFi, you can enjoy your own private wifi connection.

The TripMate is also a 6000mAh powerbank, and can transfer/backup files from your computer/usb device onto your mobile devices. Very cool!

2. Anker PowerCore 20000mAh Battery. In New Zealand we’ll be living in a camper van and sometimes camping. There’ll be serious competition for the limited power points available to charge camera batteries and keep the computer alive for work purposes. But I will also have to keep my phone alive in case we get into trouble in the middle of nowhere, and in case we need GPS to help get to locations as easily as possible. To ease this competition for power, I got the Anker PowerCore because it can charge an iPhone fully 6-7 times. In fact, it can charge just about any USB powered device – thus freeing up some power point time for camera batteries and my laptop.

3. Microsoft Arc Mouse. This is definitely an unnecessary gadget, but I like it nonetheless. I don’t like to carry my Wacom table around when travelling due to its size. But I’d also prefer not to process images using my trackpad. Instead, I got this mouse for processing because it flattens out and fits nicely into my bag.

4. MyDigital SSD Drive 512BG. This tiny little external hard drive weighs next to nothing, is extremely fast, and far more durable than usual external drives. It’s pricey, but worth every penny.

5. Ear plugs. Every single trip I take, regardless of length, I always have these Howard Leight Laser Lite ear plugs. The world can be incredibly noisy, but these bad boys close out everything, and cradle you in a little world of silence. Essential item for a good sleep.

Gadgets I love the look of!

The best Luggage Ever! This bad boy is water resistant, drop resistant, a portable charger, has a built-in scale, and GPS, and is fully secured! This is an expensive piece of kit, but the GPS alone will give you serious piece of mind.


MiniPresso. This is one for the espresso addicts. Make espresso anywhere. Unlike the luggage above, I won’t be getting this one, but it’s a very inventive way to get your caffeine fix.


For all you gadget fans, what are your favourite gadgets? I’d love to check them out.

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My Favourite Photography Gear For Travelling

25 thoughts on “My Favourite Photography Gear For Travelling

  1. As a gadget man myself I like your list and its hard to pick my top ones.
    Aside from my main cameras/tripod my top 3 are
    1: Olympus TG4 camera its waterproof, freeze proof, drop proof etc its been a revelation in fun and no worry shooting.
    2: Timelapse kit my Nebo slider by capture beyond limits a lightweight collapsible slider for timelapse and video work and along side that is my radian timelapse rotation unit.
    3: a WD mypassport wireless drive I can pop the SD cards from my camera into it after a shoot and it backs up the data automatically its also got wifi and a DNLA server so great for entertainment on the move.
    I will stop at 3 gadgets LOL.
    Keep up the good work I enjoy your photos, stories and curated links.

    Regards Chris (

    1. Thanks Chris. I looked into the WD wireless drive a while back. It looked great, but my only reservation was that you can’t browse through your files to confirm they transferred correctly. Have you found this to be an issue? Or do you backup your images via another method just in case?


      1. Don’t really know the stuff, but seeing that you have an Iphone, wouldn’t you be able to use your iphone to browse the WD drive’s content?

        1. That would be great! I don’t know if it’s possible, but it would definitely interest me if it were – especially if it had the capacity to view RAW files.

          1. Hello Jimmy, Jurgen,

            I possess one of these WD Wireless too and yes, you can browse your files thanks to the integrated WIFI router. You can check it on your iphone, PC, and so on …

            My only concern is the resistance. It’s a standard HDD so it may be a little shock-sensitive.

          2. I have one and I’ve taken it on three trips so far. I browse via iPad and even transfer to the iPad and work on the images in LR-Mobile.

            I also carry 64GB cards and while I transfer the images to the WD, I don’t delete them. The WD is smart enough to not copy the same ones over again. I fill about a card a week, so I carry one for each week, plus a spare.

          3. Yes see my response to Jimmy above I do similar the WD passport is a back up I have a pile of memory cards so end of day I pop the card into the WD to get a backup and then use a fresh memory card next day

          4. I agree I wish there was a SSD option but then its no worse than taking any other HD based device on your travels. I got a case from Amazon and I usually keep it in my hand luggage and then keep it at my room/campervan etc and do a end of day backup with it so Im not overly concerned with droppage.

          5. I use my Ipad mini to browse my RAW images. Got to be careful not to delete from card as ipad always asks to do that when upload complete.

      2. Jimmy,
        Ref WD passport wireless
        First off Im not a pro so my requirements and risk profile are perhaps lower than yours. I never have trouble with memory cards and travel without a laptop (cos I have enought camera & timelapse kit to cart around) so this is a way to get a just in case backup in addition to the memory card and I am happy never had a problem so no I don’t do any other backup in field.

        There is a iphone/android app I use this to view the folder to confirm the files have been xfered then I have raw software on my android tablet so can access the RAWS to verify focus etc on the larger screen. I don’t post process in the field but I could with various android tools probably snapseed (used in past love it) Im sure you could do similar with the iphone/ipad.

        Further there is a DNLA server in the WD passport so I can access photos (jpg) and videos on my phone/tablet via that route too.

        My only criticism is that there is no SSD option otherwise I am very pleased I get in field back up just switch on and insert card, I can browse files & edit on my tablet/phone and it streams movies & music to entertain me all without a laptop so it works well for me your mileage may vary LOL.

        If you check Trey Ratcliff uses one of these and he did a video on it.

        If you have any other questions shout and I will try to answer.

        Regards Chris.

  2. Ha, I almost have the exact same gear except camera I’d like to use the Sony Alpha cameras while travelling as they are lighter than the Nikon body, with the 16-35 Vario Tessar 🙂

  3. The Hoo Too is unavailable on the link to Amazon. Looked like a cool gadget to have. Government probably wants to figure out how to hack it before it comes back into availability.

  4. Which cameras do you use that Benro Travelpod with? I’ve been looking at those ultralight travel tripods but I’ve been worried they wouldn’t hold my D750 stable enough for really tack sharp stuff, but your stuff is all tack sharp so it must be working for you. What are some of the images you’ve shot with it?

  5. My newest/best gadget is the Tamrac Expedition 5 backpack. Like your Lowepro Vertex 200, I love all the ways to organize my gear. Only downside is I have to buy the commuter cup holder to attach. Other than that, excellent backpack. Thanks for sharing your gear list. I’m always interested in what works when on the road, especially uploading images/viewing then storing off the card. That’s been a huge deal for me. With unreliable wifi, cloud storage just didn’t work!

  6. Here are a few suggestions for kit.

    Aeropress for coffee. Fraction of the price and far easier to work with.
    Backpacks for camera kit: f-stop bags are the best I’ve worked with. With the ICU’s they are extremely versatile. I have 2 of their bags and multiple ICU’s. When in town I just carry and ICU
    Everyday Messenger Bag from Peak Design also looks promising.
    For landscape, I think the Sony 7Rii is now the best option. There are many lens options available now.
    For street, I love the Nikon 750 with the 28-300 lens. The D800 is big and paired with the 14-24mm mentioned above it a big/heavy beast.

  7. Filters for Nikon 14-24 Lens.
    I also shoot with this lens on my D800 and D810 bodies with the FotoDiox Pro WonderPana Filters and lens attachment. Well worth the price for the set including the adjustable ND32 and Cir Polarizer as well as the protective UV. I highly recommend the screw in metal lens cap as there will be windy days like when I was on a boat tour in the wilds of Florida and the wind blew my huge plastic clip on lens cap off like it had wings.

    1. I second this for the 14-24. However I like the ND100. The Polarizer that comes with the kit is not coated, but they do have one that is coated which should reduce flairs. This is a big filter (145mm) and flairs are possible/probable.

  8. Hi Jimmy,
    I’d be really interested to know how you rate the B+W 10 stop filter, and if you have compared it to anything else before? I reading a lot of mixed reviews and trying to figure out which one I should get for my kit…

  9. Hey Jimmy, since much of your photos are shot with the nikon 14-24, what filters (holder and size) do you use for long exposures?

  10. Hi Jimmy. I’ve just come across your site over the last week and have been pouring over your tutorials and blog posts. Thanks for the great information! You mentioned the PhotoPills app and I just wanted to recommend PlanIt! which is a very similar app for android users. PhotoPills is only available for IPhone and i found PlanIt! to be a very useful alternative.

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