Your trip will undoubtedly provide some great photo opportunities, so it makes sense to be well prepared. If you’re buying a new camera for your trip it is wise to get it well in advance and do some serious practice runs and familiarise yourself with it. That way you’ll be ready to capture the decisive moments when they occur.
These days superb results can be obtained from even the smallest of point-and-shoot digital cameras which are very easy to carry. If you have an SLR camera that takes interchangeable lenses it’s convenient to have just one lens with a wide zoom range that covers from wide angle to telephoto (narrow-angle).
How much photography equipment you can comfortably carry will depend on the physical challenge involved. Trekking in Patagonia, you’ll be at an altitude where everything you carry will seem heavier. Experience shows that a very long telephoto lens, while nice to have for a few situations, probably won’t be worth the effort involved in carrying it.
Digital cameras have large appetites for power and it’s not always possible to recharge batteries during your travels, especially in remote areas. So be sure to bring at least one extra fully charged battery, preferably two. And don’t forget your battery charger and a converter plug for the local power points. Remember also that cold temperatures run down batteries faster, so keep your spares in an internal pocket to keep the battery warm as you can never predict when a battery will expire.
Memory cards can fill up fast during your travels, so bring enough storage capacity. We recommend taking several memory cards, rather than just one card in case a card is damaged or lost and you may never have these photo opportunities again. It’s best to be able to shoot plenty of pictures rather than having to save on memory card space. It’s also useful if you intend taking many pictures to bring a portable storage device. They offer almost unlimited memory capacity, allowing you to shoot freely.
Again, ensure you are familiar with this equipment and the image downloading process prior to travel.
The very best way to learn is to get out there and practice but do so well before leaving on your trip. Learning to use your new camera once you’re on your way is definitely not recommended. You could also consider attending a short photographic course prior to your trip to familiarise yourself with your equipment and pick up a few tips from the pros. The time and cost involved should be well worth it.